8. Racalmuto > Joppolo Giancaxio

Municipalities: Comitini, Grotte, Joppolo Giancaxio
Trail lenght: 18,7 km
Max. height: 583 mt.
Elevazione minima:: 239 mt.
Difficulty: Hard
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Stage Description

Stage: 35% asphalt – 65% dirt/gravel track
Slope: 26,5%

After a welcome break in these towns of the province of Agrigento, with their friendly locals and genuine hospitality, the journey continues along a minor road (strada provincial SP) that leads to the archaeological site of Petra di Calathansuderj with a typical Arabic name. This limestone crag is approximately 30 meters high and full of chamber tombs and caverns. According to the findings, its origins date back to the Neolithic era and span the Byzantine period when the Petra became a complex of rooms and galleries constructed on several levels. This makes us believe that the rock was used as a checkpoint along the trade routes leading to Agrigento and the site maintained this role over the centuries under the Arab, Norman and Hohenstaufen rule. The trail continues uphill and reaches an altitude of 570m. The hilltop overlooks the village of Comitini and offers views across a vast area with 24 towns and villages. The panorama stretches from the astronomical observatory to the mining area with its sulfur mines that remind us of the difficult lives of hundreds of Sicilian mineworkers who made Italy’s labor history. Following the trail, you reach Comitini where you can visit a few churches, fill up with fresh water or stay overnight at one of the accommodations of the network.

The route continues from Comitini towards the highway SS189. Pay attention when you cross the road, continue through the railway underpass and follow the track that climbs towards Aragona, biggest town in the area, where you should fill up with water or stop for a meal and even visit its Baroque churches. There are several valuable examples of religious and secular architecture along the way towards the SP road, which leads you past endless fields until you reach the drover’s road that goes straight to Joppolo Giancaxio, the last town on the way to the final destination of the Via Francigena.

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