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Grand Tour of the South

21 April - 7 May 2023        19 April - 5 May 2024

13 - 29 October 2023        18 Oct. - 3 Nov. 2024

 

This is the Grand Tour of the South. A tour which will leave with you an everlasting impression of life in the south of Italy. The warmth of the people, the different regional specialties, the buildings, and sites going back to Greek and Roman times, as well as Norman, Medieval and Baroque architectures. You'll witness the beauty and contradictions of our South, taste the culinary excellencies of southern cooking, enjoy art, and lifestyle typical of the Mediterranean.
Given just over two weeks, we take our time and don't leave anything uncovered. We start and end in Rome covering the best coastal roads, national parks, mountain roads, and interesting sites all the way to Sicily. We then explore Sicily, including the highest active volcano in Europe, Etna. This tour offers 16 riding days with 3 double nights in Amalfi, Taormina and Siracusa in the tour. We visit 12 UNESCO World heritage sites, not including Rome and Palermo. 

Join us for the definitive Down to Sicily ride.

Map:

 

Day by day:

Day 1: We exit Rome on a Saturday morning and ride to the volcanic lakes and hills south of Rome. We then ride and visit some interesting sites in southern Lazio before reaching Sperlonga for our first night just by the beach. An easy day getting used to Italian roads and ending early to enjoy what Sperlonga has to offer. 

Day 2: We follow the Via Appia and reach Pompei mid morning. We enjoy this amazing archaeological site and have lunch in Pompei, leaving all of the afternoon to reach Amalfi for our first double night stop over.

Amalfi town

Day 3: We have a full day to enjoy the Amalfi Coast. We ride to Sorrento and to Termini to view Capri island. We ride back stopping in Positano for coffee. A relaxed day to enjoy this amazing coastline and its villages.

Day 4: Before we leave the Amalfi Coast we visit Ravello and then ride to Paestum for a visit to the first Greek temples of the tour. We shall come across more in Sicily. After the visit to Paestum we ride along the Cilento coast to reach the small town of Sapri for the night.

Day 5: We leave Sapri and enjoy riding one of the very best sections of the very long SS18, The coastal road is awesome and offers a delightful stop in the town of Maratea. Here we ride all the way to the top to view the Statue of the Redeemer and the magnificent view the location offers. Once we finish visiting Maratea we complete the SS18 in Castrocucco, where we turn inland into the mountains and ride the roads across the Pollino National Park reaching the Ionian coast near Rossano Calabro, well-known for the production of liquorice of excellence.

one of our participants riding an R1200R near Maratea

Day 6: From Rossano we twist and turn our way across the Sila National Park plateau, an amazingly wild park covered in conifers, chestnuts, ancient oak trees and lakes. The good conditions of the roads and the little traffic make it a very enjoyable ride across a territory very often neglected, but of outstanding natural beauty. We return to the Tyrrhenian sea and finish our day in Tropea, another small town of outstanding historical beauty.

Day 7: From Tropea we follow the coast all the way to Scilla and cross over into Sicily at Villa San Giovanni. After a short blast on the Sicilian highway, we take on the pass of Sella Mandrazzi, which offers incredible views over the Eolian islands to the north and over Etna volcano on the south. In the late afternoon we reach Taormina for well deserved two night stop.

Sella Mandrazzi SS585 just passed the summit

Day 8: After 7 full riding days a break would not be shameful. Taormina has plenty to offer if you'd like to take a break from the saddle. For those instead who want a short ride (70km 2.5hrs), we will gladly take you to the small village of Savoca, home of the famous Bar Vitelli, featured in the Godfather movie.

Bar Vitelli is in the Godfather 1 movie

Day 9: On the way to Siracusa from Taormina we ride the Etna volcano around the east side with spectacular views of the coast and of the volcano. The roads are all new as occasionally the volcano decides to destroy them ; ). If time permits, we shall also ride by the Necropolis of Pantalica on the way into Siracusa, where we shall stay two nights on the island of Ortigia, the baroque heart of the historical centre of this city. 

road carved through the lava fields on Etna - Sicily

Day 10: As we stay two nights in Ortigia, you could take another break from the saddle and enjoy the sites in Siracusa. The archaeological site and the baroque town will easily fill your day. We offer another short ride. A loop across the Iblei hills, viewing the finest examples of Sicilian baroque architecture in the towns of Noto, Modica and Ragusa. The ride is very pleasant along valleys and hills amongst olive grows and vineyards. 

Ortigia - Siracusa - the coastline very close to our hotel

Day 11: Our ride takes us west to Caltagirone, the ceramic and pottery capital of Sicily, and to Piazza Armerina, where a visit to the Roman Villa del Casale is an absolute must. This Villa offers the best preserved Roman mosaics in the world. Our final destination is however by the sea near Agrigento, where the Valley of Temples awaits. 

hunting scene in Villa Romana del Casale in Piazza Armerina - Sicily

Day 12: After a visit to the Valley of Temples we transfer across the centre of Sicily and reach Cefalý on the north coast of Sicily. We ride over the Madonie mountains on parts of what were once the famous road tracks of the Targa Florio and visit the museum in Collesano. Cefalý is another UNESCO site with its beautiful Norman cathedral. Our dinner will be in sight of the cathedral. Our hotel by the beach within minutes on foot from the centre.

view over Cefalu - Sicily

Targa Florio in the 50s - This is how the road raced then

Day 13: From Cefalu we drive west to the furthest tip of Sicily. We view the castle of Caccamo, stop for coffee in Corleone and ride across endless vineyards all the way to Marsala. We also stop by the greatest modern art installation in the world in Gibellina, the Cretto di Burri, testimony to the earthquake of 1969. In the evening we have the opportunity to visit the Donnafugata winery close by the our hotel and enjoy their wines for dinner.

Day 14: From Marsala we ride along the salt plants of the Stagnone lagoon and reach medieval Erice at the top of an isolated 840 meter high mountain. The road up there is a great ride and the views of the surroundings and over the Egadi islands, are amazing. From Erice we reach the exclusive white sandy beach resort of San Vito lo Capo before heading to Palermo. Just before reaching Palermo we visit the cathedral of Monreale, another must stop in your visit to Sicily. We then reach our hotel in the centre of Palermo.

Day 15: You have a full day in Palermo to visit this incredible city before catching the ferry back to Napoli in the evening.

Day 16: We land in Napoli in the morning and will make our way back to Rome partially on the highway with visits to the Abbey of Montecassino and that of Casamari, two outstanding Benedictine abbeys of significant importance. We reach Rome by mid afternoon, hand over the bikes, and get ready for our farewell dinner.

 

to recap:

Day 0:  Arrive Rome, briefing and pick up of bikes
Day 1:  Rome - Sperlonga
Day 2:  Sperlonga - Amalfi
Day 3:  Amalfi Coast loop ride
Day 4:  Amalfi - Paestum - Sapri
Day 5:  Sapri - Maratea - Pollino - Rossano (Ionian coast)
Day 6:  Rossano - Sila Natural Park - Tropea
Day 7:  Tropea - Taormina
Day 8:  Taormina - loop ride - (free/rest day)
Day 9:  Taormina - Etna volcano - Siracusa
Day 10: Siracusa baroque loop (free/rest day)
Day 11: Siracusa - Caltagirone - Agrigento
Day 12: Agrigento - Cefalu
Day 13:
Cefalu - Corleone - Marsala
Day 14: Marsala - Palermo
Day 15: free day in Palermo and ferry overnight to Napoli

Day 16: ride back to Rome

 

motorcycle solo rider sharing double room
own bike 4305 euro
Honda NC750X, Moto Morini XCape 650 5815 euro
BMW F750GS, Moto Guzzi V85TT & V7 5965 euro
Honda Africa Twin 1100, Honda NT1100 6150 euro
BMW R1250GS, R1250RT, MTS V4 6450 euro
   
passenger supplement +3975 euro
single room supplement +845 euro


Pricing examples:

2 people on an R1250RT sharing a double: 6450 euro + 3975 euro = 10.425 euro
1 person on am F650GS in a single room: 5815 euro + 845 euro = 6660 euro
1 person on an Africa Twin 1100 sharing a room with another rider: 6150 euro

BOOK A YEAR IN ADVANCE AND GET 10% OFF

minimum number of participants: 8 people
maximum number of participants: 10 people

closing date: 60 days prior to tour commencement

If minimum number of participants isn't reached the tour can be cancelled or run with different format.

Booking fee 10% of total to be paid on reserving a place on the tour.

 

for currency converter click here

 

what is included:

1) motorcycle rental of a touring prepared bike with side cases & top case (where possible)

2) 16 nights accommodation in 3 or 4 star hotels with breakfast and safe parking for the bike

3) Overnight ferry in double cabin with private en-suite bathroom and ferry crossing from Palermo to Napoli

4) Francesco (owner of CIMT) will be your motorcycle guide always on a motorcycle. The guide is there as a point of reference and to facilitate things during your trip. You can ride following him or decide to seek your own way. You will always be able to reach him on his mobile phone in case of need, or to get advice during riding breaks. Think of him as your local source of information and a fellow traveller.

5) support van with second guide to carry your luggage from hotel to hotel, provide necessary assistance during the tour with tools and spares, and carry any purchases you have made along your way. It also has two extra seats for passengers who wish to take a rest from the pillion seat. The second guide will join the ride on the spare bike located in the van on loop days. 

6) Welcome and farewell dinners in Rome

7) maps and road book of the tour

 

what is NOT included:

1) fuel for your motorcycle
2) motorway tolls
3) entrance to museums or other sites
4) gratuities and tips
5) all lunches and dinners (except as per included ones) 
6) beverages with your dinners
7)
airport transfers (we will give you all options - including a chauffer driven car if you wish)
8) city taxes (to be paid on request when checking out)