Dual Tue 29 May 2018

Sicily Between Enduro and Avventure

Our journey starts in Anghiari, an enchanting village with historical background as well as an Eldorado for Enduro in the heart of Tuscany. Our guide is Pietro and we are not missing any what-so-ever desire. Every day he guides us to a special ‚tour‘ – we enjoy romantic single trails through magical forests - along rocky hiking paths with spectacular views of the landscape – speedy passages which demand for a strong opening up of the gas– ambitious steep and hard climbing ascends with steps and ‘no help zones’ followed by crispy downhill tracks. Besides the endruo program we enjoy the culinary art of the Tuscan food and receive special treats in our Agriturismo ‘Il Cardo’ where we can even book massages exclusively for us after a long and exhaustive day of off road.  

After four days in enduro we change the small bikes for our big BMWs, which are anxiously waiting to go.

Anghiari – Amalfi Coast. At Angri we finally leave the motorway and take the road through the mountains from Corbara to Maiori. At the summit we see the spectacular coast of Amalfi for the first time from far above, a fantastic view. We continue our way towards Amalfi, the curly descend is a lot of fun on the bike; unfortunately, down on the coastal road the traffic is very heavy - we have to fight our way at walking speed to our Hotel. There we get paid off by the breathtaking view from the Hotel terrace towards the cliffy coast line. Countless steps on the way down to the beach are worth to be taken as down at the sea level we find a charming little restaurant where we enjoy a marvellous dinner on the terrace at the water front.
The next day we decide not to continue along the coastal road, which would have been very nice to take, but the traffic is just too heavy. Instead we take the motorway to Salerno and further south, at Lagonegro we leave the motorway behind and continue on the country road which is very scenic with practically not traffic. At Lauria, a small little village, we take a break and we are surprised at what we get for lunch in the Trattoria della Piazza in this assumed sleepy place – fresh Italian pasta at its best. Along hilly roads on the Strada Statale 19 delle Calabrie – via Rotonda – Mescio we drift towards the South. In Altomonte we find the very nice Hotel Barieri where we enjoy a fantastic view of the historical village.  
Altomonte – Roggiano – San Marco – Bisignano – Arci – Soveria – Nicastro – Curinga – Monterosso – Gerocarne – Laureana – Cinquefrondi – Cittanova – Oppido – Delianuova – Gambarie. The next morning, we start our ride under a drizzle and continue southward. We pass many picturesque small villages along scenic side roads. On the spur of the moment, we decide to continue through the National Park ‘Parco Nazionale dell'Aspromonte’ on beautiful hilly roads practically without any traffic where we can freely enjoy the winding road. We pass hilly high plateaus, alpine landscapes, romantic and mystic wood trails. Stunned by the scenic landscape we almost forget to look for an accommodation. At dawn and under a drizzle we arrive at Gambarie, a skiing resort in the middle of the most southern part of Italy, very exciting we found. We are lucky that one of the Hotels is open during the summer season and thankfully they also have vacant rooms for us.

Dried up and re-energised from breakfast we jump on the bikes and drive along a winding curvy road (SP7) in a descend of 1000 m altitude difference down to the coast line to Reggio Calabria. There we take the ferry to Messina – finally we are in Sicilia. After the traffic chaos in Messina, which took us forever to go through, we take the coastal road towards Toarmina and Etna.  Although it’s already afternoon, we cannot resist the magic of Etna. Eager for the view on The Big Black Mountain we explore all the roads and tracks and possibilities to ride on the back of the Volcano. Again, we are surprised to find a skiing resort at the highest point of Etna. The black and massive lava just beside the road is very impressive and stunning, one can just imagine the force of nature and elements this mountain hosts. For the night we find a beautiful and romantic Agriturismo in Fiumefreddo, ‘Agriturismo Serra San Biagio’. This place is difficult to find, we follow a gravel road which seems to lead nowhere, however it is more than worth to go there. The place is beautifully placed directly above the coast line. We are heartily welcomed by the ‘Donna della Casa’ and stunned by the location which offers a wide view over the sea and a spectacular unimpaired sight on Etna from the terrace of the Restaurant, unbeatable in romance. The day ends with a fantastic dinner in a fantastic place, truly an insider tip to be explored.   
Etna – Ucria - Sant‘ Angelo di Brolo - Oliveri. First, we are tempted to stay for another day in this wonderful place enjoying the flair of doing nothing, but in the end our passion and desire for adventure on the bike are stronger -  as always happens.  Our goal for today is to cross the mountain range towards northward and, as usual, we do not have any particular route planned, it’s more important for us to find small winding and adventurous roads with no traffic, the smaller the tracks the better. We follow a beautiful country road on the back of the Etna plateaus towards Ucria, a beautiful little dozing village where we stop for a caffè. We take a left on SP139; this road gets smaller and finally we find what we were looking for, an access to a gravel road.  Along this path we cross the high plateau with herds of cows and flocks of sheep and experience spectacular views. On the one side Etna slowly disappears and on the other side the view sight opens up towards the seaside with the impressive volcanic islands placed in the middle of the sea. We trundle on the gravel road with a fantastic landscape taking stunning scenic pictures which we will not forget, truly a journey hard to top. Back to civilisation again in Sant‘Angelo di Brolo we take a break to let these wonderful impressions sink into our minds.  After this we take the motorway along the coast to Oliveri where we find our last accommodation on the mainland.

The next morning, we embark on sailing yacht and cruise around the fascinating isles of Vulcano, Stromboli and the others of the Eolie Islands. Now we can cure our shacked bones after two weeks on the bike. What we take with us from this trip are wonderful memories from an outstanding enduro and in strada giro.

Text: Tanja Wroddnig
Photos: Nadja Utsch

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