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    Standard 19 May 2019 - On the way to the bridges (Sicilien)

    SICILY ON THE ROAD
    19 May 2019 - On the way to the bridges

    All photos here https://bit.ly/2HGCGoa

    Finally on the road in sicilian land! I've been waiting for this moment for three months and thanks to amazing weather conditions I'm ready to spend a wonderful day together. Today we will follow an itinerary to discover ancient bridges and their history. The day begins at eight with his friend Fabrizio for breakfast and to buy a couple of arancine for lunch. Today I'll be his passenger! At the event we are many, old and new friends all with the same passion. I can not accept to "redo" the breakfast, I can not resist the croissant with ricotta! Finally we start towards Buonfornello. To the industrial area we leave the highway for the SS120 in the direction of Cerda. The landscape changes rapidly and leaving the sea behind us is an explosion of colors that the Sicilian hinterland not yet scorched by the sun gives us in the spring. Strokes of red, green, yellow that fill with joy. We cross Caltavuturo to reach the Tremonzelli junction a little later on the motorway. From here a few kilometers up to Irosa to head towards Blufi where we reach the Sanctuary of the Madonna of Oil. Here I have an appointment with Pio and his group of inmototuttolanno.it who are already waiting for me. A great joy and celebration to meet Pio again and get to know the whole group personally. The sanctuary is an oasis of peace and its origins date back to the 12th century. even if the present church is from the eighteenth century. But the sanctuary is famous for the oil of the Madonna. A source of mineral oil dug into the rock is located a few hundred meters from the sanctuary. The oil of this source is used as a remedy for some skin diseases and as a vermifuge. After the visit Pio and his group make me a great surprise and with a lot of ceremony and speech the pennant of the group of inmototuttolanno.it is given to me. This excited me a lot and I take this opportunity to thank one by one all the guys that I had the pleasure of meeting with the hope of having you as my guests in Viking land. After the ceremony the march is resumed and a long caravan of more than thirty bikes leaves the sanctuary to head just outside the town of Blufi to visit the first of the planned bridges. The road leading to the bridge is not paved and is quite steep so that many motorcycles are forced to stop to avoid ruinous falls and continue on foot up to the stream where the so-called "Roman bridge" is located, even if the origins are uncertain and most probably they date back to the Middle Ages. But on arrival, the scene repays the descent. The bridge is surrounded by dense vegetation and the southern Imera flows under its main arch, making this place quite magical and very picturesque. After the visit, it's time to say goodbye. The group continues on its way, others decide to stop at the restaurant for lunch. I and another crew prefer to continue the planned itinerary. We reach Petralia Sottana where we make out the arancines bought in the morning and have a drink and a coffee. After a good hour of rest we resume the march. Just a few kilometers outside the town there is another Sicilian jewel, the "San Brancato" bridge (or San Pancrazio). Of early medieval Roman construction, it crosses the Mandarini torrent and can be reached from Petralia Sottana along the Regia Trazzera of Petralia-Castelbuono. The place is a splendor both for the very structure of the bridge and for the beautiful vegetation that covers the whole area. We continue our march towards Gangi and then reach Sperlinga where we take the SP140. The pitiful conditions of the road do not allow for a quiet drive but the landscape pays for all the efforts made to reach the SS117 in the direction of Mistretta. We are about 1,200 meters above sea level and suddenly the sun gives way to fog! We are practically in a cloud. In short we reach the village of Mistretta where we stop for a coffee and some "dolcetto"! Leaving the village and after a few kilometers we take the SP172 and after about twelve kilometers we reach the last stop on this day the Zu Pardo bridge in the Romei district. It is a seventeenth-century bridge on the old trade and transhumance route that reached as far as Caronia. To get there you have to leave the bike and follow a path for about half an hour downhill until you reach two sheer cliffs carved out over thousands of years by the flow of a river. The place is magical and the rushing of the river makes it even more picturesque. This splendid day on the road in Sicily ends here with still in mind the beauty and scents of this magical land. Until next time.


















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  3. #2
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  4. #3
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