Stage: 45% asphalt – 55% gravel/dirt road
The final stage starts at the rural village of 1230 inhabitants, Joppolo Giancaxio, founded by Baron Calogero Gabriele Colonna, Duke of Cesarò, towards the end of the 12th century, once he obtained the royal permission (licenza populandi) to build a new settlement on the fiefs of Realturco and Giancaxio. The names of the ancient farmsteads in the area of the present village remind us of their Arab origins: Rahal, the village of the Turks; jan + qasr, the castle of Jan. Since Joppolo’s independency from the nearby town Raffadali in 1927, the village was an arena of the peasants’ rebellion against the feudal system. Although they fought hard for their rights, the farmers’ uprising ultimately failed.
The trail continues south-southeastwards past farmland on flat and hill terrain and reaches the junction between the highway SS118 and the secondary road SP1. The trail follows the secondary road until it reaches a path on the left that leads towards the river Akragas and then straight on to Agrigento and its Cathedral. The scent of the Mediterranean starts filling the air and the last climb through the suburban park leads to the via Duomo, overlooked by the Cathedral dedicated to San Gerlando and San Giacomo, which protects the city since the arrival of the Norman Counts. The founding document of the diocese entrusted the new Christian entity to the Cluniac Gerlando. The Magna Via Francigena culminates in an overwhelming panorama of the Mediterranean sea with its long beaches described by Pirandello, amazing views of Agrigento’s Cathedral with its tower, and the monumental UNESCO site of the Valley of the Temples. A journey of 180km through history and nature following the rhythm of your own pace.