Stage: 30% asphalt – 70% gravel/dirt track
This alternative route allows you to bypass the long section of asphalt roads and reach the city of Piana degli Albanesi by a public service bus. Piana degli Albanesi is an Italo-Albanian city called Hora e Arbëreshëvet in Arbëresh, the original language of this proud Greek-Albanese community that fled to Sicily during the 15th century after decades of resistance against the Ottoman occupants. Piana is the major city of the Albanian Eparchy in Sicily and it is well worth a visit. Although it is not an official partner of the project, it has a strong partnership with its neighbor town Santa Cristina Gela, Sëndahstina, which despite being smaller was mentioned much earlier in documents as the “Lands of Costantino” on the Roman consular road that linked Agrigento to Palermo. Without a doubt both towns have many things in common, their Greek-Albanian origins that allowed the colonists to revive the territories that had been abandoned in the earlier centuries, an enigmatic and fascinating language, which is safeguarded by the senior speakers and the Italian constitution, as well as a passion for fine sweets, such as the ricotta-filled cannoli that are renowned all over Sicily. The nearby lake Lago di Piana is within easy reach via comfortable paths and a great spot for a short but wonderful lakeside break.
Back on your way, you leave Piana and after two kilometers you enter a path that reaches the small town of Santa Cristina after about three kilometers.