A stage of medium length and without any particular difficulties.
After an initial climb, we continue uphill and downhill along a rocky rampart before descending into the beautiful town of Cefalá Diana.
Almost shadeless stage: not recommended in the summer months.
Only water point in Villafrati (when the stage is almost over): bring a good supply.
Danger of ticks (presence of flocks of sheep and tall grass).
The path along the first ridge is almost non-existent; look out for the markings.
On leaving Villafrati you will have to cross a busy state road: be careful.
We leave Ciminna behind and venture into the cultivated fields above the village. After an initial stretch on an asphalt road, we continue along a dirt track until we reach the edge of the ridge where the path we take develops. We continue along the ridge, skirting the rampart (if there was a sea instead of cultivated fields below, we'd be in Ireland!) and walking on rocks (we have to pay attention to the markings as the path is often not there).
After leaving the slopes of the rocky Cozzo Bardaro (695 m) behind us, we leave the path and continue briefly on an asphalt road; after passing the small church of Madonna di Loreto, we return to the dirt track. Here and there we come across farms and sheep pens. We continue to the slopes of Cozzo Rocca Cavallo where, after a climb, we rejoin the asphalt road and catch a glimpse of the Arab-Norman castle of Cefalá Diana.
We descend a little to Villafrati (where we can fill up with water near a small park dedicated to Peppino Impastato). After the village, we cross a busy main road and tackle the last climb (about 150 m height difference). A dirt road leads us to the beautiful castle and from here we enjoy access to the small, charming Cefalá Diana.
Cefalà Diana is a town of Greek origin that owes its name to the cliff where the castle stood, called Kephalè (head) in Greek. Others claim that the name comes from an appellation given to Byzantine military nobles: kefalas.
Situated between Palermo and the Mazara valley, it had an important defensive function, as many of the region's internal trades passed through here, particularly the grain route - the Mazara valley itself was an important cereal-producing area.
The Arab conquest of Sicily left Cefalà Diana a magnificent example of thermal baths from the late Middle Ages. The Bagni di Cefalà Diana (or Arab baths) rise on a rocky outcrop from which springs a hot water spring. The building that houses the baths is a sturdy square structure. The interior consists of a large room with a pointed vault divided by three arches that separate the two areas: one contains a large bath, the other three smaller ones.
Because of its style and an inscription in Kufic characters, it has always been attributed to the Arabs, but recent studies place its foundation in the Roman period.
Laurel liqueur is produced in Cefalà Diana; the one from Casa d’Allora is really special. It is a beautiful comeback story: Antonio Barone has been able to enhance a typical product and turn it into a liqueur that lends itself well as an innovative base for cocktails.
B&B Caravella Mezzojuso, a Mezzojuso (about 4 km from Cefalà Diana). Tel. +39347 880 2412
Casa degli Artisti San Lorenzo, a Mezzojuso. Tel. +39320 031 0130
Casale Valle Agnese, a Godrano (4.5km da Cefalà Diana). Tel. +39327 784 8711
The starting point is accessible by car.
The starting point can be reached by bus, starting from the city of Palermo.
Here is the LINK to check the timetable.
The starting point is NOT accessible by train.
Va' Sentiero is a grassroot project, thanks to the spontaneous contribution oft housands of people.
Even the most complicated dream, a 7,000km uphill dream,
can be achieved... together.