Castello Geraci Siculo
For this morning's ride, I left my field near Gangi bright and early, and rode west through the town of Gangi, continuing on until I reached the turnoff north into the Madonie mountains. From here, it was only a short ride to the mountain town of Geraci Siculo, where I found a lovely (albeit mostly ruined) hilltop castello ("castle") to explore. It was a tough ride to Geraci Siculo — the weather turned quite cold, and it got a bit rainy, plus there were quite a few minor uphill sections — but when I got there, I was rewarded with great scenic views, a quaint village atmosphere, and a bar that served an excellent hot chocolate for the morning break. Plus, after reaching the town, the weather improved, and it was all downhill riding.
Hilltop castle ruins at Geraci Siculo.
The castle at Geraci Siculo is quite old — about 1,000 years old, I think — and although there's not much left of it, the ruins are well-preserved, and the panorama from the top is still fabulous. Since I had plenty of time this morning, I decided to tie up my bike at the bottom of the hill, and to hike up to the castle on foot. There's a road that goes all the way up: but I chose to take a shortcut, and to scramble up a steep trail that goes straight up the hillside. Not sure if I was meant to do this — not sure if the ruins were open at all, really, as the main gate seemed to be locked — but there was nobody around to care, anyway. It was good fun getting to the top; and I had a nice time exploring the castle remains once I'd finished the climb.
Castle ruins atop the hill.
Scenic panorama from the top.