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Sicily on Horseback

GRATTARA CAVE, ABBEYS OF SAN GIORGIO AND SANTA MARIA DEL PEDALE: DISCOVERING ROADS, KNIGHTS AND MEDIEVAL MONASTIC ORDERS

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 helped to give the town its name. 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 now become a favorite destination for numerous Italian and foreign visitors who set out to discover a milestone of 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, get ready to take a journey back to the Middle Ages, to discover the intriguing history of a Norman monument, but also local legends such as that of the existence of a treasure, sought out over the centuries with so much fury by unusual strangers.

The itinerary will end in the Pedale wood, where we will visit the Abbey of Santa Maria, one of the oldest in Sicily, founded around 1130 by the Basilian monks of the Byzantine rite and then passed to the Benedictine clergy. The property is located just under 600 meters above sea level and about 3 kilometers from Cllesano, in an area rich in trees of various species, therefore particularly suitable for healthy naturalistic excursions.

Throughout the excursion you will be joined by one of the narrators who will guide you on a fascinating journey in the heart of the Madonie.

Duration: 5-6 hours
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Itinerary: on foot
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Difficulty: Medium / High
GRATTARA CAVE, ABBEYS OF SAN GIORGIO AND SANTA MARIA DEL PEDALE

The itinerary includes the following stages: Grotta Grattara – Vista Piano Prato – Abbazia di San Giorgio – Torrente Argilumeni – Punto Acqua – Bosco Pedale – Abbazia Santa Maria del Pedale

  • Grotta Grattara
  • On foot
  • Sicily on Horseback
  • Palermo

What is included

This itinerary includes three stops:

  • Grattara Cave;
  • View of Piano Prato;
  • Abbey of San Giorgio;
  • Argilumeni stream;
  • Water point;
  • Pedal forest;
  • Abbey of Santa Maria del Pedale.

Information on the sites

Visit the site for more information

Period and time of the excursions

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 Grattara cave

Type of excursion

Excursion with pack animals for transporting provisions

Duration

Entire itinerary takes 5-6 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

Itinerary price €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).

Extra costs

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

For info:

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