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|Monte Pellegrino, Palermo|
In his book “Travels in Italy”, Goethe described Monte Pellegrino as the most beautiful promontory in the world.
While that may be a exaggeration, he wasn’t far off, it’s is one of the most beautiful places to visit near Palermo. It has its share of problems with rubbish but lately I’ve seen large efforts to clean it up and it’s pretty spotless. I’m not sure how long that will last.
While most people choose to go on a bus, taxi or car to reach the peak, Ruari and I always do it by bicycle. (Ok, I admit that I’ve walked up it a couple of times..shameful I know..)
The mountain itself is around 600m high and the climb is 7.2km long and has an average slope angle of 4.8% with a total climb of just over 340m. It offers superb views of Palermo and the “Conca d’oro” (Golden Valley – due to the cultivation of oranges). The mountain is famous for the sanctuary of Saint Rosalia, the patron saint of Palermo. There is a celebration called the Festino which is held every year on the 15th of July and on the 4th of September there is a related event: a traditional walk barefoot from Palermo up to Monte Pellegrino.
|The half way “rest point “|
Once you get to the top you have to walk up some steps that were actually cut out of the rock and you will reach the sanctuary. It was built in 1625 and houses a church and a convent. The church goes about 25m into a cave.
Overall this is a really enjoyable trip. It doesn’t take too long to complete, it’s a great way to escape the Palermo traffic and the views are superb. If you visit Palermo this really is a must!