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The Madonie park

The Parco delle Madonie

The Parco delle Madonie is one of those places that – given its magnificent panoramas, naturalistic beauties and artistic gems – tourists sojourning in Cefalù or nearby, cannot really miss. From the village of Sant’Ambrogio it is possible to arrange guided treks and tours on horseback or bicycle to the hills surrounding the area, which represents the southernmost hem of the Park, overlooking the Mediterranean Sea (for more information please contact Ms. Carmelina Ricciardello, Discesa Decano Martino 10, Sant’Ambrogio - Tel. 0921 999011 / 349 5763215).
For those preferring a more extensive visit by car, we suggest a couple of itineraries:

  1. From Cefalù’s ring road head towards Gibilmanna (SP 54bis), a pleasant village surrounded by green woods. From Gibilmanna continue towards Isnello, and then Castelbuono (SS 286), a lively touristic center renowned for its beautiful churches and excellent cuisine (in season, we strongly recommend you try the mushrooms). If you’d like to continue your visit to the innermost villages within the Park, continue on the SS 286 that will lead you to Geraci Siculo first, and then to Gangi (on the outer edge of the Park), where our itinerary comes to an end.

  2. From Cefalù take the A20 motorway towards Palermo. At Buonfornello interchange take the A19 motorway towards Catania. Leave the A19 at Scillato interchange and travel on the SS 120 leading to Polizzi Generosa. After visiting this ancient town, continue on the SS 120 towards Castellana Sicula, and then to the Petralie (Sottana e Soprana) where the itinerary ends.

Photogallery Madonie

A boar An hedgehog A red fox A couple of fawns

What to see

In GIBILMANNA, the beautiful Sanctuarydedicated to the Virgin of Gibilmanna (deeply venerated in this area) is definitely a must-see. Other interesting sights are the Museum of Popular Traditions.

Ruins of the Castle of IsnelloIn ISNELLO the Cathedral and the ruins of the ancient Castle both deserve a visit.

The Castle of Ventimiglia In CASTELBUONO there are numerous artistic beauties and interesting monuments. The matrice vecchia in Castelbuono We suggest visiting at least the Castle of Ventimiglia (ancient landowners and lords of the Madonie) where the recently restored Civic Museum is housed. Other interesting sights are the two churches ‘Matrice vecchia’ and ‘Matrice nuova’ and the fountain of Venere Ciprea.

Church of Santo Stefano in Geraci In GERACI SICULO, built over solid basaltic rock, are the ruins of the ancient ‘Maniero’ (Manor) Bevaio della SS. Trinità in Geraci, considered the principal defence of this large county. The Manor used to house several garrisons and was kept in readiness to withstand lengthy assaults. Picturesque is also the Bevaio (Drinking place) della SS. Trinità, a rectangular basin measuring about 20 meters in length and receiving the water poured by two lateral fountains.

Main Street in Gangi GANGI’S most interesting monuments are the Church of S. NicolaCathedral’s dome and tower in Gangi and the imposing Tower of the Ventimiglia, and the Church dedicated to S. Mary of the Angels, with its typical baroque features. You can also visit Palazzo Bongiorno-Li Destri dating back to the XVIII century.

In POLIZZI GENEROSA, we suggest you to visit the Church of S. Girolamo, spotting a peculiar octagonal plan, and the Church of S. Francesco, built around the XIV century and enclosing two chapels by famous Italian sculptor Antonello Gagini.

View of Petralia SopranaPETRALIA SOPRANA is the highest village on the Madonie – overlooking a wide area from the snowy tops of the Etna, to the city of Enna, to the mountains surrounding Palermo. Nowadays the village still keeps its medieval structure and churches and beautiful palaces belonging to ancient aristocracy line its crooked street – while small courtyards adorned with colourful flowers are hidden around every corner. Church of the Madonna of Loreto in Petralia Soprana We suggest you visit the Chiesa Madre dei SS. Apostoli Pietro e Paolo, whose external porch was decorated by the Serpotta family and whose interior contains numerous art works; the Church of SS. Salvatore, an Arab mosque later consecrated to the Catholic Church by Earl Ruggero. Also interesting are the boroughs of Miranti, Salinelle and Fiscelli. Finally, at the entrance of the village is the Villa Sgadari, one of the most interesting suburban residences in the Madonie.

Tourist information

For activities in the Park (hiking, horseback riding, guided tours, visits, culinary attractions), please visit http://www.sicilianexperience.com