Mountain Biking among the ruins of Noto Antica
Mountain biking among Noto Antica
The earthquake in the Val di noto
At 9.00 pm on 9 January and 9.00 am on 11 January 1693, two violent earthquakes struck the inhabited centers of the Val di Noto, leaving death and destruction everywhere. According to estimates, the energy released reached a magnitude of 7.5, placing this earthquake in first place among the most violent earthquakes ever recorded in Italy and 23rd among the most violent in the world.
The devastation was total, so much so that 45 cities were erased from the face of the earth. Some were rebuilt on the ruins of the original ones, others were rebuilt on sites other than historical ones. Noto belongs to this group and was rebuilt in another place, leaving some ruins that are an extraordinary testimony to a dramatic and violent event but which today represent a tourist and cycling destination of excellence.
history of Noto Antica
Noto Antica was abandoned and the inhabitants moved to 12 km further downstream in today’s Noto. What they left behind is an entire city that today is a mysterious and fascinating archaeological site.
The site, already inhabited in prehistoric times, became particularly powerful in the Greek period and, later, during the Arab period as a stronghold. For this reason, since 1989 the Archaeological Park of Noto Antica has been established, which guarantees the preservation of a place that bears witness to Sicily’s past.
The road that crosses the ancient city is therefore closed to traffic and it is possible to explore it by bike in freedom and security.
Ruins of monuments and houses
Cycling Route from Noto to Noto Antica
The bike route from Noto to Noto Antica that we have developed is a looped cycling route that starts from Noto modern, runs along the Statale that leads up to the ruins of ancient known and then returns, through an isolated and fun Provincial Road up to city of Noto.
Max elevation: 419 m
Min elevation: 99 m
Total climbing: 684 m
Total descent: -684 m
The itinerary is not particularly complex but requires a fair athletic preparation and a bike of average quality. It takes place mainly on paved road and dirt road but there are steps on dirt where you have to pay attention.
It is convenient to plan at least half a day for this excursion because it is impossible to cover the entire itinerary without stopping at least 100 times to take pictures to share with friends bikers, also just outside the city of Noto Antica there is an equipped area where it is You can take a break and prepare something to eat while enjoying the coolness of the pine forest.
iMPORTANT THING IS TO REMEMBER
Visiting Noto Antica is not just a way to enjoy a fascinating and unique archaeological site in the world. Pedaling to Noto and Noto Antica also serves not to forget that rebuilding the places after a disaster like an earthquake can be an opportunity to make a unique place and improve the living conditions of the people who live there. The reconstruction is not a “nuisance” but a possibility given by the destiny of creating a unique new city, while retaining the memory of those who died during a dramatic event.
tHE gps tRACK
These are the traces of the ring itinerary from Noto to Noto Antica and back. This article is not a guide but only a suggestion to pay the utmost caution in taking a spectacular but challenging route, with very challenging stretches. Always use common sense, equip yourself with all the necessary safety devices and …. Have a nice trip!
More Cycling Routes
The longest and famous sicilian Pilgrim Route from Palermo to Messina. 180 miles on secondary roads and dirty tracks to discover stone villages and towns that tell a story of over a thousand years.
A trip on the Eurovelo 6, a stone’s throw from the sources of the Danube, through one of the most bizarre climatic zones in Europe.
The Ciclabile di Siracusa was built on the track of a now abandoned railway and has returned to Sicily one of the most fascinating and evocative corners.