The great journey in Sicilian history
Would you like to discover Sicily on foot, slowly and intensely? The Via Francigena is a fascinating route, ideal for diving into the landscapes and history of Sicily. Depending on the time available, you can choose to go through only some of the 22 steps or do the whole route. We can support you with logistics, transport and accommodation booking.
The Via Francigena, or "chemin des Francs", is an old road network that has had different uses. Used by knights from Normandy, to drive out Muslims and Christianize Sicily. The Vie Francigene were traversed by the pilgrims going to Rome, often from France. These were the paths of the riders crossed to the ports of embarkation to go to the Holy Land.
The route starts in Palermo, near the church of Santa Cristina la Vetere, along the Pilgrim Route. Then it goes to Messina by a route that can be divided into 22 stages. The Via Francigena crosses the Sicilian Apennines. It starts on the Madonie, in the province of Palermo.
Next the Nebrodi, which extend from west to east of the island. Until Peloritani, between the Straits of Messina and Etna. It's a route between sea and mountain, crossing villages, fields, mountains and castles.
Beauties of the capital of the Arab-Norman culture, to the beaches of Aspra. From the most beautiful villages of Italy, Gangi and Montalbano, to the Norman castles perched between Madonie of Caccamo, Polizzi and Petralia. Villages in the Nebrodi forests, like Floresta and Cesarò, at the first capital of Grand Conte Ruggero, Troina.
The Via Francigena of the Sicilian Apennines
To connect Marsala, Palermo and Messina at the time of the ancient Romans there was the road Valeria. The Valeria consular road is mentioned by the Greek geographer Strabo in his "Geography" (Book VI). Its construction probably began in the years following the end of the Second Punic War. it relied Lilybee (Marsala) to Messina via Palermo, on 240 Roman miles.
The road was called Valeria in honor of the consul Marco Valerio Levino, who in 210 BC was appointed governor of Sicily. From the control of Rome to that of Byzantium, the coastal road retains its importance. Until the Norman knights called it "Strada Regia" or more precisely Via Francigena.
Because of Saracen attacks, this road to the coast will become less and less secure. So a variant will be used passing through the mountains, crossing Madonie, Nebrodi and Peloritani. The Via Francigena by the mountains always connects the inhabited centers and the castles of the Tyrrhenian coast of Sicily. Write us to know more. We will be happy to help you organize your trip in Sicily.
The stages of the Via Francigena on the Sicilian Apennines
- 1: Palermo – Bagheria (km 26,7)
- 2: Bagheria – Eremo S.Felice, Caccamo (km 24,35)
- 3: Eremo S.Felice – Caccamo (km 11,8)
- 4: Caccamo – Montemaggiore Belsito (km 16,7)
- 5: Montemaggiore – Caltavuturo (km 22,7)
- 6: Caltavuturo – Polizzi (km 12)
- 7: Polizzi – Petralia Soprana (km 15,6)
- 8: Petralia Soprana – Gangi (km 12,3)
- 9: Gangi – Nicosia (km 22,4)
- 10: Nicosia – Troina (km 22,8)
- 11: Troina – Cesarò (km 18,9)
- 12: Cesarò – Maniace (km 10,7)
- 13: Maniace – Randazzo (km 14,7)
- 14: Randazzo – Floresta (km 17,6)
- 15: Floresta – Montalbano (km 17,3)
- 16: Montalbano – Novara Sicilia (km 24,4)
- 17: Novara Sicilia – Castroreale (km 22,4)
- 18: Castroreale – S.Lucia del Mela (km 17)
- 19: S.Lucia del Mela – Monforte (km 17,2)
- 20: Monforte – Rometta (km 8)
- 21: Rometta – Calvaruso,Villafranca (km 16,4)
- 22. Villafranca – Messina (km 22)
To better know the Via Francigena through the Sicilian Apennines and prepare your trip well, you can buy this book: Da Palermo a Messina per le montagne
You can also contact the following association: Cammini Francigeni di Sicilia.