Sunday morning. The coffee pot is silently mumbling on the stove. The cookies are already meticulously arranged on the large plate in the kitchen. The autumn season is characterized by a light scent of cinnamon and oranges that reminds me of the irresistible Sicilian Christmas.
Again, I trace the route on the map with my finger. Since discovering that I didn’t know the beauty of Sicily’s pearls, I have been planning my trip to conquer it. I plan to ride from Palermo by bicycle. Caccamo is my choice!
A few minutes after my coffee I am already pedaling my bike through Palermo’s streets. Caccamo can be reached from Termini Imerese junction of the A19 highway or along the Palermo-Agrigento fast slide. However, I chose to ride the bike because I wanted to enjoy the road and all its secrets to those who are patient enough to listen.
Within a few minutes, I cross the Messina Marine Street cycle lane and then deviate to Villabate along Provincial Road 76 to Misilmeri entry where I can access the Provincial Road 16. This will take me to Ventimiglia di Sicilia. I then turn off the Provincial Road 6. Although the climb is difficult and the asphalt is slow under my wheels, there are no mountains that a cyclist cannot move.
Kilometer afterkilometer, I am rewarded with a landscape that is not common to those few kilometers from the ocean: farms, olive oil mills, dairies, and beautiful orange groves. You can also taste the Sicilian tradition’s products, as well as small streams that still feed agriculture.
A shepherd and his flock stop me from my path, and I am able to enjoy the moment by watching a graceful hawk glide gracefully along an invisible wind road. Small villages rest peacefully on top of the mountains, guardians of history and tradition. Behind me, the sea is always there but far away.
Ventimiglia di Sicilia is where I stop for a coffee and have a chat with the bartender. He encourages me to continue my journey and gives me an almond pasty to help me “recover some energy.” I am energized by the warm welcome and feel more at home. I leave the Provincial Road 6 to cycle along the rural road that runs alongside the stunning Rosamarina Lake.
Just after the climb that took my breath away, I just passed a sharp bend and am still dazzled.
Caccamo has been there. Instantly, the fatigue from the 60km of steeps just ridden disappears.
Caccamo, surrounded by lush vegetation and a canopy of sky, rests at the foot San Calogero Mount, with its rich history and artistic beauty. Surprised by such beauty, I linger to take in the magnificent castle, the churches and the surrounding landscape.
I use my smartphone to browse the District of Caccamo’s current guide. I am able to discover its mystery and origin, as well as an accurate description of the city’s artistic and architectural heritage. I spent the remainder of the day wandering through the streets, looking for hidden houses in the rocks, and talking to friendly locals.
I am suspended at nightfall in the yellow light from street lamps and the woody scent that emanates from the chimneys of houses.
It looks like it is part of a large crib. I am still wearing the perfume and my eyes are filled with beauty. I reach Termini Imerese station within a few kilometers. There, a regional train will take me and my bike to the Central Station in Palermo.
Caccamo is a train ride away. Caccamo is about discovering the courage and beauty of its people, as well as the tools and patience they used to preserve ancient and beautiful traditions. Today, it is thanks to all who visit it.