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Down to Sicily

If the Grand Tour of Italy concentrates mainly on the beauties of the Italian Center-North, this tour devotes the riding to the amazing south and the incredible island of Sicily. 

To do it right without rushing you'll need 2 weeks. Starting in Rome and ending in Palermo this tour covers all of the coastal regions all the way to Sicily then explores the complete island of Sicily. It offers 14 riding days with 4 double nights in Amalfi, Taormina, Siracusa, and Cefalu. We visit 12 UNESCO World heritage sites, not including Rome and Palermo where we start and finish this one way tour. 

Dates: 9 - 24 October 2021



down_sicily_map_800.jpg (180617 byte)

Day by day:

Day 1: An easy day to kick off the tour. We exit Rome on a Sunday morning and ride to the volcanic lakes and hills south of Rome. We then enjoy the traffic free roads of the Lepini and Ausoni mountains before reaching the quaint seaside town of Sperlonga. 

Day 2: We head directly to Pompei for a 2 hour guided visit to this amazing archaeological site and UNESCO heritage. After the visit we head over the Lattari mountains to Amalfi, our home for the next two nights. 

Amalfi town

Day 3: We spend a full day in the Amalfi Coast. You can chose between riding or taking the ferry between towns. The ride will take us to the far tip of the Sorrento peninsula and then to Positano and Ravello. 

terrazza dell'infinito in Villa Cimbrone - Ravello

Day 4: We ride the final section of the Amalfi Coast and head to Salerno and then on to another UNESCO archaeological site. This time a Greek one. Paestum is the home of some of the best preserved Greek temples in Italy. After a short visit we explore the coastal road of Cilento and finish our day in Sapri. 

Day 5: we explore the Pollino and Sila National parks inland from the coast and end our day in Calabria in Tropea. Another beautiful town on the Tyrrhenian coast. 

one of our participants riding an R1200R near Maratea

Day 6: 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 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 our second two nights stop. 

Sella Mandrazzi SS585 just passed the summit

Day 7: This could be a rest day to explore the exclusive town of Taormina, or a short ride to Savoca to see the set of one of the Godfather scenes at Bar Vitelli and a ride to the megalites of Agrimusco near Montalbano Elicona. 

Bar Vitelli is in the Godfather 1 movie

Day 8: 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 spend another two nights on the island of Ortigia, the heart of the historical center of this city. 

road carved through the lava fields on Etna - Sicily

Day 9: We ride a short 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 10: 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. 

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

Day 11: 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 and we have another double night here. 

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

Day 12: Take a day off in Cefalý visiting this town and relaxing by its beautiful beach, or take a great ride across the Madonie mountains to Sperlinga and Gangi experiencing the twisty roads of the Targa Florio. From Cefalu you can also take a day trip to Palermo. This would be a good opportunity. Best done by train.

view over Cefalu - Sicily

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. 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 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 reach the harbour in Palermo by 6pm and set sail in the cruise-ferry back to Napoli.

Day 15: We land at 7am and will make our way back to Rome on the autostrada by lunch time. Hand over the bikes and say "arrivederci!"

to recap:

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


motorcycle solo rider sharing double room
BMW F750GS 5635 euro
BMW F850GS, Scrambler 800 5755 euro
BMW R1250GS, BMW S1000XR, MTS 950 5905 euro
BMW R1250RT, Ducati MTS1260 5615 euro
passenger supplement +2960 euro
single room supplement +620 euro

minimum number of participants: 10 people
maximum number of participants: 14 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, tank bag, locks and alarm, tubeless puncture repair kit.

2) 15 nights accommodation in 3 or 4 star family run hotels with breakfast and safe parking for the bike

3) 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 traveler.

4) 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. 

5) Dinner in Rome at the start and dinner in Palermo at the end of the trip

6) 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
airport transfers (we will give you all options - including a chauffer driven car if you wish)
8) city taxes