The story of Sicily told by the storyteller: from year Zero to nowaday
Testo in italiano
A19 Catania-Palermo (highway)
Departure: Catania (or Palermo)
Arrival: Palermo (or Catania)
Lenght: 192 kms
Time for visit: 2 hours
Points of interest: Sicily of citrus fruit, Sicily of wheat, detours to different places of interest of historical-landscape , Sicilian hinterland, sea
Today we travel along one of the most famous roads in Sicily: the A19, the highway that connects Catania with Palermo, crossing the entire Sicilian hinterland and joining the Ionian Sea with the Tyrrhenian Sea.
So, let’s go!!
The signs mark 191.6, which are the kilometers left to get to Palermo.
The highway immediately plunges into citrus fields: the delicious citrus fruits of Sicily!
The majestic Etna, with its 3300 meters of height, looks at us immense to our right.
The lava soil is very fertile and for this reason the vegetation is very lush in the parts of Catania.
Here are the prickly pears, another symbol of Sicily, which grow everywhere.
Along the way you will see many Sicilian farms in the middle of these agricultural fields.
If you decide to move to our countryside please let us know and we will help you find the best solution.
There is a great sense of infinity, with hills and mountains dominating the horizon in front of us.
It will always be like this until we reach the sea on the other side of Sicily.
Bucolic Sicily, the one sung by our poet Theocritus, the inventor of the poetry of the shepherds, in the 4th century BC.
KM 171.4: taking the detour for Gerbini you can reach the fascist villages of Sferro and Libertinia, places where time has stopped, very few inhabitants who live in these agricultural villages wanted by the fascist leader Mussolini.
Just before reaching Catenanuova on the right, a magical place: it is called Locanda Cuba and it was a resting place from the past.
It has probably always existed: first as a Roman state along the road that connected Akragas to Katane.
Today the ruins remain of a possibly eighteenth-century construction.
You can still see the place where the horses were put, the kitchen.
And also Goethe slept here on his famous trip to Sicily in which he said: “Sicily is the key to everything, to understand the rest of Italy”
Now, gradually, it is the wheat that takes control of the landscape.
Endless hills of wheat, green in autumn and yellow in summer, the wheat brought by the Romans: Sicily, the granary of Rome.
The various highway exits lead to characteristic inland towns, full of history and true Sicily: Agira, Leonforte, Piazza Armerina with its mosaics, Assoro, Aidone with the beautiful Morgantina.
This is a famous Outlet for those who want to go shopping.
Right after a service area.
There are three, one every 60 kilometers or so.
KM 119.5 Up there is Enna, almost always shrouded in fog, the navel of Sicily.
Now the A19 descends and among the wheat fields passes the Caltanissetta exit from which you can reach the Valley of the Temples.
Now we are right in the center of the island.
An infinite peace, a bucolic landscape of great emotion.
KM 97.8 This is the Ponte Cinque Archi exit because there is a bridge with five arches over the Himera river, once navigable, a river of historical importance that will keep us company all the way to the sea.
The Madonie mountains begin to appear on the right.
KM 73 We are in Tre Monzelli, the highest point of the A19, about 800 meters.
There is this tunnel, there are only four along the entire highway.
Now the descent towards the sea begins and the wheat fields slowly disappear.
KM 57.9 Here is the Scillato exit which allows you to reach all the beautiful villages of the Madonie mountains.
The vegetable fields begin and you start to smell the sea.
KM 39.2 History surrounds us: up there on the left the remains of the Greek city of Himera.
And here is the sea, we are on the other side of Sicily.
We are 20 kilometers from the splendid Cefalù, but we go in the opposite direction, towards Palermo.
The road runs alongside the sea.
KM 25.7 Here is Termini Imerese, once a very important Roman city. There are the ruins of a beautiful aqueduct of the times.
Gradually the shape of Monte Catalfaro appears on the top of which there are the ruins of Solunto, a city of Phoenician and Roman Sicily.
And now here is Monte Pellegrino, the mountain of Palermo, “the most beautiful promontory in the world” as Goethe said.
We arrived in the beautiful Sicilian capital, with strong Arab outlines.
Ciao , Ciao A19.