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Montemaggiore Belsito > Ciminna

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A fairly long stage with a not inconsiderable difference in altitude: not to be underestimated.

However, the effort is rewarded by the diversity of the landscape, which changes greatly.

Special Notes

The stage is almost completely shadeless: not recommended in the summer months.

The only 2 water points are after the 20th km: take a good supply with you.

Some sections of the trail are poorly signposted and without a path: it is good to follow the gpx track.

In times of heavy rain, the crossing of the San Leonardo river should not be underestimated.

Watch out for the presence of shepherd dogs near the huts, especially if there are no owners.

when to go
Marzo - Novembre
Suitable for
how to get there
description of the route

We leave the village of Montemaggiore Belsito and shortly after the cemetery we turn into a paved road with several huts on both sides. There are many prickly pears by the side of the road.

We continue on a dirt road that barely climbs the slopes of Monte Scardilla on the southern slope. As soon as we cross the mountain, the view opens onto the Valle del Torto, at the foot of which we catch a glimpse of the small railway station of Montemaggiore: We reach it after an easy descent (about 250 m) that takes us through medlar, cherry, lemon and orange trees. Behind the station we cross the Torto river (which gives its name to the valley of the same name) and enter the Val di Mazzara.

We continue along the Falsopiano trail and slowly gain altitude (about 350 m height difference), surrounded by wheat fields, until we reach the village of Sambuchi. From there we descend steeply (about 350 m drop) until we reach the bottom of the valley, where we cross the San Leonardo river and have to face an ascent for the umpteenth time (approx. 450 m height difference). The trail continues unmarked through olive groves and we have to pay attention to the path; we find the signs again once we are back on asphalt. After a few kilometres we rejoin the path and tackle the last steep climb. We reach the shoulder of Cozzo Maragliano (680 m), from which we finally catch a glimpse of the village of Ciminna.

We descend (about 200 m drop) and follow the road. The entrance to the village is very picturesque, especially at sunset.

What to know

Anni dopo, la chiesetta di San Vito fu utilizzata come location per il film Baarìa di Giuseppe Tornatore. 

A Ciminna, nel giorno dell'Immacolata (8 dicembre), si tiene, da oltre due secoli, la Festa du Triunfu.

Ha inizio alle quattro di mattina, quando si comincia a mangiare la focaccia ripiena di carne di maiale, cipolle e spezie. Nella notte la statua della Madonna viene portata in processione lungo il paese, mentre ardono i fuochi di legna - detti busana.

In 1962, some scenes of Luchino Visconti’s Gattopardo were filmed in the village of Ciminna, which hosted an extraordinary cast: Burt Lancaster, Alain Delon, Claudia Cardinale... On this occasion, the village “pretended” to be the hamlet of Donnafugata, one of the settings in Tommaso di Lampedusa’s novel (more precisely, the summer residence of the Salina family).

In the museum centre of Ciminna there is a photo exhibition that tells of these memorable moments. The film was an opportunity to show the beauty of this hidden village in the interior of Sicily.

Years later, the little church of San Vito served as the location for the film Baarìa by Giuseppe Tornatore.

In Ciminna, the Festa du Triunfu has been held on Immacolata Day (8 December) for over two centuries.

It begins at four in the morning, when people start eating focaccia filled with pork, onions and spices. At night, the statue of the Madonna is carried in procession through the village while wood fires - known as busana - burn.

What to see

In the village of Ciminna stands the baroque church of Santa Maria Maddalena, which used to be the setting for the film The Leopard. It has existed since the 13th century and was rebuilt in the 14th century in the Norman style. Inside are numerous works of art from the 16th century, including a marble polyptych attributed to Giacomo Gagini. The 17th century stucco decorations by Scipione Li Volsi da Tusa are similar to those of Palermo Cathedral. The three-nave interior is characterised by the carved choir stalls by Francesco Amari.

Along the provincial road leading to the coast is the Eremo di San Felice, built by the hermit monk Guglielmo Gnoffi at the turn of the 13th and 14th centuries.

It is 600 m above sea level in the territory of the municipality of Caccamo and consists of a small church dedicated to the Madonna, a rectory and a stable. From the hermitage there is a splendid view of the sea.

Also near the municipality of Caccamo is Lago di Rosamarina, one of the largest artificial reservoirs in the region, fed by the Sirolo torrent, with 16 km of shore and a good 100 metres deep.

Its clear waters are the meeting place for many anglers, sailors, windsurfers and canoeists. Below the water level, which has been submerged since 1994, is the Chiaramontano Bridge, built by Manfredi I di Chiaromonte, with its classic humped shape.

what to eat

Dolce tipico della tradizione siciliana sono i buccellati, biscotti di pasta frolla farciti con un preparato di fichi, frutta secca e marmellata.

Preparati durante le festività natalizie, possono conservarsi a lungo. Numerose sono le varietà nelle diverse province, c'è chi ai fichi preferisce le mandorle o il cioccolato. Qualcuno sostiene che il nome derivi dal termine "buccellatum", che nell'antica Roma indicava un pane a ciambella; oggi vengono chiamati in dialetto cucciddati

A traditional Sicilian sweet is buccellati, butter biscuits filled with a mixture of figs, dried fruit and jam.

They are prepared during the Christmas holidays and have a long shelf life. There are many variations in different provinces, some prefer almonds or chocolate instead of figs. Some say the name derives from the term “buccellatum”, which in ancient Rome meant a donut-shaped bread; today they are called cucciddati in dialect.

where to sleep

Villa Priolo, in Ciminna (about 2 km from the centre). Tel. +39328 558 5619

Fast Room, in Ciminna. Tel. +39333 707 3317

How to Reach

The starting point is reachable by car.

The starting point is NOT reachable by bus.

The starting point is NOT reachable by train.

The nearest place you can reach by train is Montemaggiore Belsito station (9 km away) in the city of Palermo.

Here is the LINK to check the timetables.

“Sicily in bloom is a painting by Monet”

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