A stage of good length, but mostly downhill, in the heart of the Madonie, in a spectacular landscape of dolomite rock, among sharp peaks and grazing deer.
The path leading down to Scillato has a rather treacherous surface of unstable pebbles. The signposts are not always easy to see and you have to keep an eye on the GPS track (but the directions are intuitive). On the same stretch downhill, some passages are overgrown with vegetation through which you have to make your way.
No water points, take a good supply with you.
We leave Piano Battaglia and slowly lose altitude (about 200 m drop) on an easy path across the meadows until the landscape changes radically at a small gorge and we find ourselves at the foot of the spectacular dolomite walls of Monte Mufara (1,865 m). When we reach the asphalt road, we follow it to the right for 1 km, then turn into a forest track and start climbing slowly (about 200 m D+), admiring the cliffs of Cozzo Piombino to the south, until we reach the picturesque esplanade of Piano Cervi. After a small ramp, we come to a small CAI hut with a nice haystack next to it (it can be a useful shelter), then we continue (and shortly after we come across a forest bivouac) until we emerge from the forest and look out onto the gentle grassy slopes of Monte Castellaro; it is not difficult to observe groups of grazing fallow deer.
Finally, we start the long descent (about 1,000 m drop) towards Scillato. After passing a few hairpin bends on the forest road, we take the path to the right that leads into the wooded valley. The path, which is steep in places, is not always clearly visible and the ground is treacherous, consisting of unstable pebbles that we have to watch out for to protect our ankles; the markings are not always obvious, but we descend intuitively. Eventually the path improves (apart from some sections overgrown by plants), we leave the forest and slowly reach the plain below, where we come across a comfortable dirt road.
When we reach the asphalt road, we turn left. 1 km later we take an asphalted road to the right (steep) and reach the village of Scillato.
NOTE. If you still have energy in your legs, you can take advantage of this and continue to the hamlet of Caltavuturo, a real gem of the area.
The nearby village of Polizzi Generosa is the birthplace of Dolce of Dolce&Gabbana.
It was in Polizzi, in his father’s tailoring workshop, that Dolce took his first steps into the world of fashion. The famous designer has remained deeply attached to his village and to the entire Madonie area - in particular, the majolica tiles that characterise some of the dresses come from the Sicilian tradition.
Under the geological fault called “Padella”, which rises in front of the village of Polizzi Generosa, is the polo culturale Porto di Terra.
A community project created by a group of young people, based on the principles of sustainability, permaculture, ecology and transition, promoting a lifestyle in contact with nature, where agrotourism and slow tourism are a unique way to enhance the Madonian territory, marked by depopulation.
Along the Agnello stream are the ruins of the Parrinu Mill, where oil and wine were produced. The mill was active until the 1960s; a few decades later, the municipality restored the building and opened the ruins to visitors.
The blond orange of Scillato is a typical cultivation of the region.
An old variety, it is characterised by its slightly oval shape and the intense golden yellow skin from which it takes its name. The juice yield is very high: the citrus fruit is mainly used in confectionery - the peel is excellent for Sicilian cassata. They are also called “Brazilian” because they were imported from Latin America in the 1930s.
Another typical product is the Scillato apricot, an early variety of apricot that is small and has a reddish colour and is only sold in neighbouring municipalities. It is harvested in spring and the jam made from it is excellent.
Today, numerous associations recover the old abandoned apricot trees, including Terre di Carusi.
Every year in June there is a festival dedicated to the Scillato apricot.
Affittacamere Da Carlo, in Scillato. Tel. +39339 732 4191
The starting point is reachable by car.
The starting point is NOT reachable by bus.
The nearest location that can be reached by bus is Polizzi Generosa, starting from the city of Palermo.
Here is the LINK to check the timetables.
The starting point is NOT reachable 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.