GRATTARA CAVE AND SAN GIORGIO ABBEY: ON THE TRAIL OF AN ANCIENT ROMAN ROAD
Our tour begins with an uphill route through a lush pine forest to a beautiful cave with a pure spring – the Grattàra cave – which probably contributed to the name of the village 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, get ready for a journey 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 strangers.
The route ends in the Collesano wood, in the district called Ficaricchia, where we will discover the last vestiges of an ancient Roman road. Certainly, an adventure not to be missed, accompanied by a narrator who will guide you on a fascinating journey through the heart of the Madonie Mountains.
GRATTARA CAVE AND SAN GIORGIO ABBEY
The itinerary includes the following stages: Grotta Grattara – Vista Piano Prato – Abbazia di San Giorgio – Torrente Argilumeni – Strada Romana – C.da Ficaricchia
What it includes
This itinerary includes three stops:
- Grattara Cave;
- View of the Prato Plan;
- San Giorgio abbey;
- Argilumeni stream;
- Roman road;
- Ficaricchia district.
Information on places
Visite the site for more information
Period and time of excursions
Time: to be chosen from 9.00 am to 4 pm (please arrive about 30 minutes before departure)
Lunch: at 1 pm
Departure from Grattara cave
Type of excursion
Excursion with pack animals for transporting provisions
Entire itinerary takes 4-6 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 or from agreed location
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.