The Giro della Sicilia’s aim is not only a sporting event but it also informs the participants of all the places, traditions, stories and products of the Sicilian Island.
The 2018 edition explores the Madonie Park and the Nebrodi Park with its entire natural and cultural heritage that these two valuable areas offer.
Our cycling stages will most often alternate between the sea and mountains allowing the participants to experience and explore the various colours and scents that few other places can match.
Established on the 9th November 1989, it includes fifteen municipalities of the metropolitan city of Palermo in Sicily (Caltavuturo, Castelbuono, Castellana Sicula, Cefalù, Collesano, Geraci Siculo, Gratteri, Isnello, Petralia Soprana, Petralia Sottana, Polizzi Generosa, Pollina, San Mauro Castelverde, Scillato and Sclafani Bagni).
It also includes the impressive mountain range of the Madonie, located on the Northern Sicilian coast between the rivers Imera and Pollina.
The park houses over half of Sicily’s plant species, (such as the Abies Nebrodensis which is currently in extinction located in the Madonna of the Angels valley).
It is home to various animals and plants including bird species, different types of mammals and more than half of Sicilian invertebrates.
Geological peculiarities are also notable. The geology of the Madonie is at the centre of studies and research begun since the 1960s. Because of the geological interest of the Madonite mountain complex since 2003, the Madonie Park has joined the European Geopark network which joins more than 20 geological and Non-European parks.
The site was placed on the UNESCO World Heritage List on the 17th November 2015 during the 38th Plenary Session of the UNESCO General Conference held in Paris.
The Madonie Mountains which are two thousand feet in height are broken into a mosaic of blocks, whose physical uniformity is apparent. It will not be difficult for many to recognize the substantial differences between limestone central areas with harsh and hard morphology and peripheral areas of sandy-clay nature characterized by a much sweeter morphology.
The central nucleus develops above 1600 meters from Pizzo Carbonara (1979 m) to Pizzo Antenna (1977 m) and Monte Ferro (1906 m). They are separated by a wide valley from Mount San Salvatore (1912 m) and Monte Quacella a typical dolomite massif and another valley from Cozzo Dipilo (1385 m), characterized by deep ravines and cliffs. The Madonie valley separates these mountains from the Cervi massif (1794 m) which creates a reservoir from the Madonie waters.
Rivers and streams go long and around the mountains carrying water from the mountain to the sea. The large hydro graphic network affecting peripheral areas leaves out only the central areas of the plateau between Pizzo Carbonara and Pizzo Dipilo, where instead a dense underground water circulation system is developed thanks to the remarkable karstic manifestations.
The Nebrodi Regional Park set up on the 4th August 1993 with a surface area of circa 86,000 is Sicily’s largest protected natural area.
The Nebrodi along with the Madonie to the West and the Peloritani to the East constitutes the Sicilian Apennines. They face north on the Tyrrhenian Sea, while their southern limit is marked by Etna and in particular by the Alcantara River and the Simeto.
This altimetry is remarkable, from a few tens of meters above sea level reaches the maximum 1847 meters of Monte Soro. Other features to be noted are the Serra del Re (1754 meters), Pizzo Fau (1686 meters) and Serra Pignataro (1661 meters).
The main elements that most strongly characterize the natural landscape of the Nebrodi are the symmetry of the various slopes and the diversity of the rich vegetation and humid environments.
The position and various forms of the mountains are due to the presence of large banks of clay and sandstone rocks.
The summits reaching Mount Soro with a maximum height of 1847m have rounded hips and open up in wide grooved valleys from numerous rivers going to the Tyrrhenian Sea. However when lime stones are prominent the landscape takes on a dolomitic appearance with irregular features and rough cracked shapes. This is the case of Monte San Fratello and above all of the Rocche del Crasto (1315m).
The municipalities belonging to the park area are 24, out of these 19 are in the province of Messina (Acquedolci, Alcara Li Fusi, Capizzi, Caronia, Cesarò, Floresta, Galati Mamertino, Longi, Militello Rosmarino, Mistretta, Raccuja, Sant’Agata di Militello, Santa DomenicaVittoria, San Fratello, San Marco d’Alunzio, Santo Stefano di Camastra,San Teodoro, Tortorici, Ucria) 3 are located near Catania ((Bronte, Maniace, Randazzo) and 2 in the province of Enna (Cerami, Troina).
The main elements that most strongly characterize the natural landscape are the dissimilarities of the various slopes, the diversity of patterned forms, the rich vegetation and the many humid environments.
The orographic pattern about 70 km long is characterized by the gentleness of the forms due to the presence of large banks of clay-arenaceous rocks. The summits which reach the Monte Soro peak of 1847 meters above sea level, have rounded sides with extended sumptuous terraces and open into wide valleys surrounded by countless rivers that flow into the Tyrrhenian Sea.
Where, however, the limestone is predominate the landscape assumes dolomitic aspects with irregular profiles and rough and cracked shapes. This is the case of Monte San Fratello (716 meters above sea level) and mainly of the Rocche del Crasto (1315 meters above sea level).