Cammarata -San Giovanni Gemini

Your next destination in Sicily in the Sicani mountains

Una montagna di eccellenze

The stages on our territory

Castronovo stage> Cammarata - San Giov. Gemini

Stage Cammarata - San Giovanni Gemini> Sutera

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Let's go to the discovery of the great Magna via Francigena on our territory

First of all, let's start from the story. The road that connects Agrigento to Palermo, which has always been in Sicily, has been an important direction of movement for men, animals and things. It has allowed since the archaic age to connect the shores of the Mediterranean to those of the Tyrrhenian so that the South could breathe the air of the North and its cultural contaminations.
From the Greek colonists from the Aegean islands who came in the seventh century. to found the
  poleis  Siceliote and confronted and clashed with the Phoenician people who occupied the western cusp of the island, to the Romans who, once taken  Akragas  they went up this road to conquer  Panormus, building an ordered mesh network of  statio  And  mansio, points built at precise distances that allowed you to change horses, refresh yourself or sleep, which remained active until the fourth century. AD.

From the Byzantines who shortly after occupied the region and included it in the thema of Sicily, settling on the fortresses and on the hills for defensive purposes to the Muslim warriors who invaded the island in the 9th century from North Africa, Arabia and Spain. transforming the face of the streets and villages that prospered or were abandoned over the centuries. Up to the French knights from the Normandy coast. In just over thirty years, the Normans led by the Grand Count Ruggero d'Altavilla and his brother Roberto il Guiscardo, reconquered the island for two centuries now under the control of the Emirs and re-Christianized the whole territory, rebuilding the churches of the Greek rite, building them new of the Latin rite, allowing that osmosis that created the premises for today's Sicilian society.

What you will see are not just paths between the fields and the various urban centers. They are the legacy left to us by these people, they are the Regie Trazzere that at the end of the nineteenth century the Bourbons cataloged and designed in their  Regi Cadastre. All this mixture is what you will encounter. What still makes us say: “Siciliani semu, a populu who sings in joy; 'nta lu sangu avemu the strength of the ancient cavaleri, Nurmanni, Greeks, Arabs and Spaniards, who is Sicily vosiru vantari… ”.  

(source: official website)

mgna via francigen cammarata san giovanni gemini
Magna via francigena

The path

"The Magna Via Francigena begins in front of the Cathedral of Palermo and following Corso Calatafimi reaches Monreale and its Cathedral, walking side by side with the Itinerarium Rosaliae. From here, crossing the valley, you pass the Conca d'Oro and reach the the hills of Santa Cristina Gela and the lake of Piana degli Albanesi.The road continues through the expanses of wheat towards the Sanctuary of Tagliavia and towards Corleone, once reached it proceeds towards Prizzi.

You enter the Sicani village after having turned around the artificial lake and from here continue towards the Natural Reserve of Monte Carcaci to reach Castronovo di Sicilia, the geographical center of the Magna Via. The route from here follows the course of the Platani river, passing through Cammarata and San Giovanni Gemini , until it cuts the railway, the state road and climbs towards the fortress of Sutera. Under the bulk of San Paolino the road continues touching the rural villages of Campofranco, Milena and Racalmuto and reaches the center of Grotte, a small town in the Agrigento area.

The last stages lead us to overcome the Platani and reach the mining village of Comitini and Aragona to finish with the center of Joppolo Giancaxio. The last stretch of countryside reaches the imposing fortress of Agrigento, its Rupe Atenea and overlooks the Mediterranean Sea and the Valley of the Temples. " (source: official website)

Common:  Cammarata,  Castronovo of Sicily,  St. John  Gemini

Path length:  12.7 km

Maximum elevation:  692 m

Minimum Elevation ::  380 m

Difficulty:  Average

Common:  Cammarata,  Castronovo of Sicily,  St. John Gemini

Path length:  12.7 km

Maximum elevation:  692 m

Minimum Elevation ::  380 m

Difficulty:  Average

Description:

Route route:  Asphalt 35% Dirt 65%
Maximum slope:  24.3%;

The heart of the Magna Via Francigena is right between the Rocca di San Vitale with its Norman ruins and its churches and the plateau of Kassar on the mountain from which the road descends. A visit to the whole center of the Sicani village allows you to better understand the genuineness of the welcome. The road continues along a nineteenth-century trazzera which, cutting the modern hairpin bends, passes the sports field, the emergency runway for the helicopter rescue and the cemetery and reaches the intersection of the provincial roads that lead to the fast flowing. From here, 400 m after the crossroads, you will find the turning point for the path that leads to the company  Colle San Vitale  which preserves within its grounds the precious archaeological evidence of the  Necropolis of Capelvenere: a large rock excavated for the arrangement of burials and reused over the centuries also for residential purposes. After the site, you cross the Platani along a passage that in winter is not recommended due to the flow of water but which in spring and summer allows the pleasure of a refreshing foot bath. After crossing the river, you reach the most imposing control site of the Magna Via, the  Casale di San Pietro, which probably preserves in the subsoil the memory of the Islamic settlement that stood around the farmhouse mentioned by the Norman diplomas. The excavations of the Archaeological Superintendence of Palermo and the missions of the University of Rome Tor Vergata and York are bringing to light new discoveries that will better clarify the history of this place that has always seen the passage of people from north to south. Leaving the Casale behind you reach a fountain and from here you begin to climb the trazzera that follows the course of the tributary of the Platani, the Saracena stream, until you come within sight of Cammarata and its castle. Entering the village allows you to stock up on food and water and continue along the track towards the neighboring town of San Giovanni Gemini. (source: official website)

Description:

From the town of San Giovanni Gemini, an interpoderal road allows you to leave the town and take the trazzera that descends towards the river. The stage towards Sutera can easily find a stop in the accommodation facilities of the area that provide hospitality and refreshment to the traveler and from here continue along the old National road for about 2 km and then pass the railway and the SS 189, in a straight stretch where it is easier to cross while keeping the attention high. A trazzera begins that climbs for about 1.5 km and reaches the cemetery and the town of Acquaviva Platani, where it is possible to rest and top up the water. From here, a disused former provincial road takes us along the trazzere that walk along the crest of the hills that surround Sutera and the Rocca di San Paolino. Enchanting landscapes in every season of the year that form the backdrop to the farms along the route, like the last one before Sutera which preserves the medieval origins of the town. The last kilometers lead to the town and its imposing fortress, a sacred site that can be visited and perhaps fortified in the medieval period. A visit to the town and its small precious pearls is not to be missed: the  ràbato  which still retains the urban layout of the Arab type, made up of small streets and houses built one next to the other, the ancient one  spital  of San Simone, the mother church dedicated to the Assumption and the municipal ethno-anthropological museum located in the former Carmelite convent, the Santa Croce hill and the palace of Francesco Salamone, one of the 13 Italian leaders who disputed the famous Challenge of Barletta .  (source: official website)

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