PICCOLINA ADVENTURES’ SICILY AVID CYCLING TRIP
The following article was written by Laura and Piccolina Adventures.
See more at piccolinaadventures.com and at piccolinaadventures.wordpress.com
I’m sitting in the living room of our apartment on the Ionian sea in the town of Riposto. I hear the waves crash outside my window, an occasional vespa vroom by, and the sound of laughter as a family heads out for breakfast.
It’s a holiday. A sacred don’t- do- anything- but- hang- with- friends- and- family day. A go- to- the- beach- and- play day.
We just finished our fullest season yet, and I am looking forward to a day of rest.
As the morning opens, I wanted to share a some stories from the season’s grand finale: the Sicily Avid Cycling trip.
Memories return as colors and images, then form into emotions, then solidify into moments … pearls of adventure … that call to be shared.
We paused in Piazza del Popolo early one morning on our way out ofPalazzolo Acreide. I was floored by the grandiosity of the architecture in this tiny town.
Palazzolo, along with every other city in the region, was completely destroyed by a devastating earthquake in 1693. To rebuild, the noble aristocracy invited talented architects to come re-design their hometowns in the style of the time: Spanish Baroque. They planned the city, streets and structures with care. The result is a strikingly harmonious and well-organized town with stately palaces and magnificient churches.
Our first ride through the scenic Anapo Valley. We traversed rolling hills, passed flat-topped mesas, peered down into Pantalica canyon, spotted necropoleis dug into the walls, and conquered some crazy climbs into the hilltop villages.
Here, we’re triumphantly descending out of Cassaro.
It didn’t take much to make us happy: beautiful views, bicycles and a sense of adventure.
And good food.
Nella, our talented and generous host in San Giacomo, runs an agriturismo with her daughter and mother. All three generations spent a morning teaching us to roll cavatelli, make focaccia ragusana and zucchini sauce. They make their own cheese on the farm and … there is no cheese like fresh ricotta!
Yes, this is real. Rounding the south eastern point of Sicily.
This may have inspired the buzzword of the trip:
Don’t tell the nutritionist, but gelato is the best energy bar ever invented.