THE GIRO D'ITALIA HAS BEGUN IN SICILY MANY TIMES. SO, LET'S BIKE ON THE BEST OF THE GIRO’S ROADS.

ON THE ROADS OF GIRO D'ITALIA IN SICILY

up Etna black slopes
  • Starting price

    Guided tour: € 1399
    Self-Guided: € 878

  • Duration

    8 days

  • Activity level

    Challenge

  • Departing dates

    11 May 2019

  • Gouided group tour

    Small group minimum 6 riders | Private groups, any size on requested dates

  • Starting location

    Syracuse

  • Final Destination

    Letojanni

Support levels

Guided tour

  • Accommodation

    7 nights at 4-star

  • MEALS

    6 dinners; all breakfasts.

  • SUPPORT LEVEL

    Guiding; van assistance; mobile workshop; spare bike, bars, gels and electrolytes available on purchase; group transfers from/to Catania airport; 10% discount on the bike rental.

  • NOT INCLUDED

    Flight tickets; extras in hotel, etc.; drinks during the dinner; city tax (if any); travel insurance; individual arrival and departure transfer from/to Catania airport; bike rental.

  • On request

    Individual arrival transfer from Catania airport to Syracuse € 70 p.p. (min 2 pax); individual departure transfer from Letojanni to Catania airport € 85 p.p. (min 2 pax); supplement for single accommodation € 259 p.p.; bike rental.

Self-guided tour

  • Accommodation

    7 nights at 4-star

  • Meals

    6 dinners; all breakfasts.

  • Support level

    Detailed briefing and a Road-Book containing tour details; GPS with preloaded stage routes; telephone assistance during your stay; 10% discount on bike rentals.

  • Not included

    Flight tickets; extras in hotel, etc; drinks during the dinner; city tax (if any); travel insurance; arrival and departure transfer; bike rental; luggage transport.

  • On request

    Arrival transfer from Catania airport to Syracuse € 70 p.p. (min 2 pax); departure transfer from Letojanni to Catania airport € 85 p.p. (min 2 pax); supplement for single accommodation € 259 p.p.; bike rental; luggage transfer (€ 399 p.p. + 10 per pax - min 2 persons).

Send us a quick inquiry

Sicily has been historically a stage location for the Giro d'Italia, most beautiful race on the Pro Tour. Sicily has offered Giro a perfect location, featuring all the specifications that cycling enthusiasts hope for when it comes to stage racing in Italy – varied racing conditions, incredible settings among the ever-changing Italian landscape, but also riding through stunning historical towns and sites.

This is what makes Giro special and so incredibly unpredictable from the very beginning and till its end.

But if the Sicilian roads are perfect for Giro, they're for sure perfect for us cycling lovers. We've designed this tour so that it reproduces the same varied cycling conditions of the professional race, with unpredictably different riding days, with coastline, rolling hills inland, medium distance to super long climbs.

And, yes, we'll go up to the 2000m top of Etna volcano, like on the last Sicilian stage of 2018 Giro d'Italia won by Esteban Chaves.

As non pro riders we have a huge privilege: pros, during the Giro, have no chance to discover the towns, neither to enjoy the flavors and tastes of the fine Sicilian cuisine as well as of the famous and robust red wines. Luckly we aren't pro riders, and certainly we aren't on a race. The focus of this trip, in fact, is enjoying riding challenging stages that include the best roads selection from the Giro d'Italia race course along the years, making us bring back home only the best Giro and Sicily can offer.

We're sure you'll love it!

Our Route

Day 1: Arrival day

Arrival at Catania airport, transfer, accommodation in the wonderful Syracuse. Accommodation at a four-star hotel.


Day 2: SYRACUSE - CALTAGIRONE 100 KM - 1670 M ELEVATION GAIN

This stage features a series of ups and downs from the very beginning, with generally medium length climbs. We start with a 6km climb to Sortino. From there we head to Buccheri, on the same road of the 4th stage of 2018 Giro d’Italia. We'll stop on our way, in Vizzini, the last KOM of Giro's fourth stage and for a 'Cannoli break'. They most likely weren’t included in the riders’ musette, but, nonetheless, it's an amazing food supplement! From there, a continuous up and down takes us to Caltagirone. That was the finish line of the 4th stage of Giro d'Italia 2018, won in a close sprint finish, by the Dutchman Tim Wellens from the Lotto Soudal team. Caltagirone – UNESCO World Heritage site since 2002 – is famous for its ceramics and pottery exported worldwide. But it is also renowned for a very special architectural beauty, the stairway of Santa Maria del Monte with its 142-steps. If you think today’s ride has been too easy, you can climb to the top! Overnight and dinner in Caltagirone at a four-star hotel.


Day 3: CALTAGIRONE - CENTURIPE 106 KM - 1700 M  ELEVATION GAIN

Another long and amazing ride, which, as usual, includes some good climbing, especially in the last part of the stage. Leaving Caltagirone, we ride towards Piazza Armerina, a town rich in history and culture, with its narrow medieval streets and its majestic cathedral. After a coffee with view of the cathedral on the Piazza Armerina, we’ll ride on the same route of the 6th stage of Giro d'Italia till Raddusa. A thrilling, winding, descent from Aidone to Raddusa will introduce us to a long flat section before the village of Catenanuova where we’ll stop for refreshments before the last challenging climb of the day. This means we’ll climb up to Centuripe, which has a lovely terrace with a view of the Etna volcano. At the end of this challenging stage, we will have well deserved a local delicacy – “granita and brioche” – in Sciacca square, before going to our hotel. Overnight and dinner at a four-star hotel.


Day 4: CENTURIPE – LINGUAGLOSSA 107 KM - 1700 M ELEVATION GAIN

It's time to start our approach to Etna. After the start, we'll cross the very wild Nebrodi mountain range and come to Troina. Now it's time for a short stop, so why not order a slice of “vastedda cu sammucu”, the typical Troina flatbread with sambuco flower essence. Tasty, right? Only one slice, as there are still 40 km to go. After a descent through a lovely countryside, we climb up for 7km to Cesarò. Then a 10km descentthe same ridden during the 4th stage of Giro d’Italia 2017. This takes us to the northern side of the Etna Natural Reserve. Our stage ends in Linguaglossa, another village inside the Etna Reserve and the door to the northern side of the volcano. Here we often can meet some pro riders during their winter training. Among the most frequent guests are the riders from the Trek Segafredo team. Overnight in Linguaglossa at a four-star hotel.

Meeting Katusha Pro Tour team before Etna stage
The lovely and wild Sicilian countryside

Day 5: SOUTHERN SIDE OF ETNA 114 KM - 2800 M ELEVATION GAIN

This is the first of two challenging and very exciting days, because they involve climbing up Etna, the highest active volcano in Europe. Are you ready? OK, let’s go! Out of Linguaglossa, we’ll climb up 6km or so to the Etna ring road. The Etna ring is a continuous up and down through the villages around the Etna belt such as Milo, Fornazzo, Zafferana Etnea, Pedara, Nicolosi and Ragalna. Between Nicolosi and Ragalna. we'll take a stop in one of the awesome pastry shops to refuel before the challenging second part of the stage, up to the Sapienza refuge, at 1910m above sea level. To get there, you’ll climb for 14km, with some very steep walls up to 20% – from about 8km from the  top. That's the place where the Mitchelton-Scott riders, Esteban Chaves and Simon Yates, built the victory of the Etna stage of the 2018 Giro d’Italia. The climb is demanding, but the unbelievable views are worth the effort.

Etna is my favorite Italian climb, even though not one of the hardest. It's a very high mountain, not like the Alps or the Pyrenees. It's such a wonderful place in a such beautiful country that I've even named my third dog Etna.” –Alberto Contador.

After a stop for a quick lunch at the Sapienza refuge, we’ll start our way back to the hotel. After Nicolosi, again ups and downs and a final 6 km long climb to Linguaglossa. Accommodation and dinner at a four-star hotel.

 


Day 6: NOTHERN SIDE OF ETNA 92 KM - 2000 M ELEVATION GAIN

Today we are facing the northern side of the Etna volcano. We’ll immediately start gaining meters up! A 18km leg will bring us up to Piano Provenzana on a beautiful hairpin road. Often this leg is among the training camp roads for pro-teams and it was included in the 2011 Giro Etna race course, won by the Spaniard Alberto Contador. After 5km up we’ll get into the Ragabo pine forest, which grants us shade for the next 10 km. From the 15th km the countryside changes dramatically as the trees give way to the typical black volcanic rock. The great Etna eruption of 2002 redesigned the area covering these slopes with a dramatic black lava rock layer, which is today dotted with small green bushes and young trees, a very unusual sight. The climb ends at 1720m in Piano Provenzana. We can't get any higher on this side of the volcano. Our ride continues on a long descent to Fornazzo, along part of the 5th stage of Giro d’Italia 2017 – Pedara to Messina – won by the Colombian sprinter Fernando Gaviria. We continue riding down Etna's slope through Linguaglossa, Castiglione di Sicilia and the noted Alcantara gorge, a basalt canyon created by watercourses and lava flow. This is also a noted wine production region. You'll love riding through the Sicilian vineyards. We’ll end today’s tour the coastal town of Letojanni. Overnight in Letojanni at a four-star hotel.


Day 7: GODFATHER LOOP 70 KM - 1600 M ELEVATION GAIN

This is the last stage of our tour, a grand finale full of emotions. After leaving the hotel, and after a bit of ups and downs along the incredible coastline roads down to Taormina, we'll climb up, hairpin after hairpin, to the picturesque village of Savoca. There we can't pass up a cappuccino stop at the famous “Bar Vitelli”, the same chosen by Francis Ford Coppola to shoot some footage of The Godfather. From there a thrilling and winding descent will take us again on the coastline road. Our ride includes another climb up to Castelmola, across from the beautiful Taormina. Castelmola is a small village that overlooks Taormina and where you’ll have an unusual and unforgettable experience if you pay a visit to the tiny old city center. Returning to Taormina, we don’t dare missing a stop in the city center of Taormina. The relationship between the Giro and Sicily goes back years. The Giro often visits the eastern coast, of which Taormina is the most iconic town. A relationship that has begun with the Catania Messina stage of 1930 Giro d'Italia, won by Bianchi's rider Michele Mara. From Taormina, we’ll ride all the way down to Letojanni, then after just 8 km we'll be back at the hotel. Dinner at Letojanni. Overnight in Letojanni at a four-star hotel.


Day 8: FAREWELL AND DEPARTURE DAY

Transfer to Catania airport and end of services.


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We have (so far) three offices accross Italy. Contact us via email, call us or drop by.

Cagliari

Headquarters

Via Gaetano Donizetti, 7
Quartu Sant'Elena, Italy
+39 070 204 10 29
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Costa Smeralda

@ Hotel Airone

SP59 to Baia Sardinia
Arzachena, Italy
+39 070 204 10 29
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Letojanni

Sicily headquarters

Via Vittorio Emanuele, 130
Letojanni, Italy
+39 340 342 6320
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