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FROM THE VALLEY OF BERYL TO THE CRESTS OF PRACE: IN SEARCH OF THE ROCK CRYSTAL THAT MADE GRATTERI FAMOUS IN ANTIQUITY

14 May, 2020

FROM THE VALLEY OF BERYL TO THE CRESTS OF PRACE: IN SEARCH OF THE ROCK CRYSTAL THAT MADE GRATTERI FAMOUS IN ANTIQUITY

There is an enchanted valley between Gratteri and Gibilmanna, in the locality of Valle Nasca, above a stone chapel that people call tribunedda. This place has always aroused the curiosity of treasure hunters, among the shaggy peaks of the Prace mountain massif, in the districts that the shepherds call Rocca Dinàru (Rocca del Denaro) and Lavanca Vrilli (la Vallata del Berillo).

Popular rumours tell of shiny crystals set in the rock above Piano Morto. It is precisely these gems – vulgarly called beryl – which have made the small Madonie citadel of Gratteri famous since ancient times, as Fazello wrote in the 16th century: “Gratterium oppidum Berillo lapide nobile“.

In reality, it is rather a colourless and transparent rock crystal, commonly known as hyaline quartz, which is found in nature in various forms – rough stones, points and druses – considered by ancient peoples to be the stone of the seer, due to its hypnotic and divinatory virtues.

Our excursion will begin in that valley, to climb the highest peaks of the Prace mountain, up to the Prace Abyss, Ciacca and Macabbubbo. After a refreshment at Piano Prato, in front of a breath-taking view, we will descend towards Gratteri, but not before stopping at the Grattàra cave, to discover the natural beauty and legends of a cave with a very clear spring that, according to tradition, gave its name to the village of Gratteri.

Duration: 5-7 hours
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Itinerary: on foot
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Difficulty: Medium / High
FROM THE VALLE DEL BERILLO TO THE CRESTS OF THE PRACE

The itinerary includes the following stages: Tribuona Ranni – Pizzo Macabubbo – Valle del Berillo – Rocca Denaro – Inghiottitoio Prace – Testa di Dafni – Piano Prato – Grotta Grattara

  • Valle del Berillo
  • On foot
  • Sicily on Horseback
  • Palermo

What it includes

This itinerary includes three stages:

  • Tribuona Ranni;
  • Pizzo Macabubbo;
  • Beryl Valley;
  • Denaro Rock;
  • Prace sinkhole;
  • Head of Dafni;
  • Meadow Plain;
  • Grattara Cave.

Information on the places

Visite the site for more information

Excursion period and time

Time: to be chosen from 8 am to 6 pm (please arrive about 30 minutes before departure)
Lunch: at 1.30 pm

Meeting point

Departure from panoramic point Sp28 Gratteri-Gibilmanna (Tribuona ranni)

Type of excursion

Excursion with pack animals for transporting provisions

Duration

Entire itinerary takes 5-7 hours

Group size

The excursion is subject to a minimum number of 8 participants.

What to bring

Sunglasses, sun cream, insect repellent, long trousers, comfortable closed-toe shoes (trainers or boots), a bottle of water, umbrella, heavier clothes for the evening (it can get cooler in the mountains).

Hiking days

  • Check the calendar of events.
  • Every day by prior booking with a minimum of 8 participants.

Difficulty of the excursion

Medium/high

Price of the itinerary €60
(Excursion with guide + lunch)
The price includes transport, the assistance of a guide and a narrator, packed lunch to be enjoyed during the excursion in a characteristic place with typical Sicilian products (drinks included).

Extra costs

Cost of shuttle bus Gratteri/Cefalù – Cefalù/Gratteri
Depending on the number of participants, the time of departure and return will be established
Meeting point in Cefalù – Railway Station
Meeting point in Gratteri – Belvedere Gangi Battaglia
Possible transfers from other locations can be agreed with the organisation depending on the number of participants.

What to know

The itinerary is subject to change due to unforeseen circumstances beyond our control.
The company reserves the right to modify or cancel the itinerary if necessary due to availability and/or adverse weather conditions.
Participants must sign a waiver before taking part in the excursion.

Note: Guides reserve the right to judge the level of experience of each participant. If they consider the participant unsuitable, the participant will not be allowed to take part in the excursion. No refunds will be issued.

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