GRATTERI: NORMANDY ITINERARY TO DISCOVER THE TREASURES OF THE ABBEY OF SAN GIORGIO, BETWEEN HISTORY AND LEGENDS
Our tour begins with an uphill route through a lush pine forest until we reach a beautiful cave with a very pure spring – the Grattàra cave – which probably contributed to the name of the town itself. Inside the cave, you will hear the mysterious story of the Old Woman and the Nymph’s spring, a legendary female entity, probably the legacy of a millenary myth linked to the existence of a primordial indigenous oracle near a Madonie outpost inhabited since prehistoric times.
Then, after a little refreshment to capture an indescribable panorama at the foot of Pizzo Dipilo, we head northwest towards the abbey of San Giorgio. The site has become a favourite destination for many Italian and foreign visitors who come to discover what at first glance may seem like just another ruin, but is in fact a milestone on the Norman Way in Sicily.
The church of the monastery of San Giorgio is in fact a cultural asset of singular importance in the Sicilian panorama from a historical, artistic, spiritual and anthropological point of view. The monastery, founded by Duke Roger II to seal the peace with Pope Innocent II around 1140, was entrusted to an order of French monks, the Premostratensians, who had their only monastery in Sicily in Gratteri.
Around 1300, the abbey was inherited by the Hospitallers of Jerusalem, better known as the Knights of Malta, who held it as a commandery for several centuries until the complete destruction of the monastery, due to circumstances still unknown except through popular tales.
So prepare yourself for a trip back to the Middle Ages, to discover the intriguing history of a Norman monument, but also local legends such as the existence of a treasure, sought after over the centuries with such doggedness by unusual outsiders. Our journey will end at the “passo della Scala” in front of the small church of the Crocifisso where you can catch a breath-taking view of the Tyrrhenian coast. Facing the Carapé, we will tell you the story of the talismans of the women and the Anime del Purgatorio (Souls in Purgatory), the votive shrines located inside the church today.
Get ready for an adventure not to be missed, accompanied by a narrator who will take you on a fascinating journey into the heart of the Madonie Mountains.
What it includes
This itinerary includes three stops:
- Grattara Cave;
- View of Piano Prato;
- Abbey of San Giorgio;
- Piazzetta Scala.
Information on the sites
Visite the site for more information
Excursion period and time
Timetable: to be chosen from 9 am to 5 pm (please arrive about 30 minutes before departure)
Lunch: at 1.30 pm
Departure from Grattara cave
Type of excursion
Excursion with pack animals for transporting provisions
Entire itinerary takes 5-6 hours
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).
- Check the calendar of events.
- Every day by prior booking with a minimum of 8 participants.
Difficulty of the excursion
Price of the itinerary €50
(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).
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.