I started from trappitello, where I live, around 10.00 after having breakfasted very quietly. The day was sunny with a temperature of about 21 ° which made me want to do this little trip on a motorcycle.
Arriving in town I stopped at the APT to get a map and exchange a few words with the person at the counter after which I headed to Piazza Sant’Antonio Abbate where I parked.
Turning around, I didn’t see any tourists, let alone chaos but just tranquility. On one side of the square there is the church of the same name and facing it there are the stairways to reach two other churches. From the other two sides there are buildings with facades enriched with cornices, pilasters and portals all in lava stone and Syracuse stone. That day, unfortunately, both the churches and the various tourist places were closed, but this did not discourage me; on the contrary, it gave me more time to visit the whole ancient village of the town. Climbing the stairway in front of the church of S. Antonio, I reached an open space where the main façade of the church of San Benedetto and the apse of the Chiesa SS. Peter and Paul. The façade of the first one is adorned with Doric columns and two small niches that collect the statues of San Benedetto and Santa Scolastica, all in Syracuse stone.
The apse of the second is an imposing structure that stands for about 20m with a lava stone crowning.
From there I continued to reach the prospectus of the church of which I first saw the apse. The prospectus is poor but very suggestive.
It overlooks a small square with a view of the town and it is on the etna that in that day it was free from clouds and steaming.
From there I reached piazza Lauria and climbed the stairs leading to Castelluccio, also this one closed. Descending from the stairs I asked the bar near them where they had advised me to continue on foot along the panoramic road, via Edoardo Pantano, under the castle, that I would have reached another entrance from the rear making a nice experience. Along the same road is the Basilica of Madonna della Catena with a wide access stairway and a large prospect rich in friezes and stone decorations from Syracuse.
Reached the stairway to go up to the castle, I took the opportunity to take some panoramic views of the Alcantara valley, also the Gurne along the route of the Alcantara river.
Turning around the bend, I took the staircase, recommend me first, to reach the small square of Castelluccio. An area that dominates the town and the valley where you can relax a few minutes in the shade, in the summer case, of eucalyptus before resuming the final part of the trip.
Continuing along the Via Pantano, I took Via Federico II and encountered a nice wine bar.
From there I reached the church of San Marco and, still along Via Federico II, a small square with a fountain of cast iron where you can drink. These fountains are widespread in the country.
Continuing the way I took a staircase and reached the square where I had parked. I took the bike and went down Via Regina Margherita and stopped in the church of Santa Maria.
From there I continued to the church of S. Vincenzo Ferrara
and the nearby tower called “U Cannizzo”.
Both are outside the country in the countryside and it is worth a stop for more than a few minutes. The church and the park around have been arranged and embellished with paths that reach the tower and turn around it. Nearby there are goats and donkeys owned by the residents and they are also part of the landscape enriching it. Along the way back I stopped, just for a photo, in the Byzantine Cuba, or church of San Nicola, next to the Roman bridge below and near which there are part of the Gurne of Alcantara.
Arrived in Francavilla, the town below Castiglione di Sicilia, I saw the indications of the Gurne path and, since it was still 12.00, I took the opportunity to go back and did the right thing but, this is another story.