The cyclepath of Siracusa: short but unforgettable!
The cyclepath of Siracusa
The ancient railway Targia - Siracusa
This railway stretch was inaugurated in 1871 and abandoned in 1998 and connected the industrial area of Targia with the city of Syracuse running along the railway line of Messina-Syracuse.
The Syracuse – Targia railway line has never been particularly loved by the citizens of Syracuse, since along the coast it cut the city in two, away from the sea which has always been a source of leisure and wellbeing.
Above all for this reason, but also to remedy the problems linked to a tortuous and irregular route, on 21 June 1998 it was definitively replaced by the new variant, which develops largely in the tunnel and has a much more linear and regular development.
The old railway track and the entire rolling infrastructure was quickly dismantled in order to cancel the shame of that “wall” between the city and the sea, but the area remained in its place without any use for the city and so cumbersome.
The cyclepath Rossana Maiorca - Siracusa
In 2008 the old and now useless railway track is chosen for the construction of one of the most fascinating cycle paths in all of Sicily despite its short extension (only 7 km).
The Rossana Maiorca Cycle Path starts from the War Memorial dedicated to the soldiers who lost their lives in the Africa Campaign. From the first part the old railway sediment has been replaced by a compact layer of beaten earth, in perfect condition, and suitable for any type of bike.
Along the bike path you can leave the main track and use the side paths to visit some of the bays on the coast. The crystal clear sea, the platforms from which you can take a dip or lie in the sun, make the journey unforgettable and fun, perfect for a bike ride during the summer or spring holidays.
Among the main attractions you can visit the Scoglio dei Cappuccini, the Scoglio Due Fratelli, the ruins of the Station of Santa Panagia at the beautiful Tonnara di Santa Panagia, one of the most fascinating corners of the whole itinerary.
The Tonnara di Santa Panagia, rises in a small natural loop where the Greeks had built the port of Troglio. Inside the tonnara you can take a bath using the ancient quay looking the one way towards the Gulf of Troglio and the other towards the Byzantine oratory of Santa Panagia and the remains of the tonnara itself.
Stretching your gaze towards the promontory behind the tuna fishery, there are also the remains of the Dionysian walls and a series of stone quarries dating back to the Greek period, as well as some bunkers from the Second World War which are certainly of historical interest.
A path of this charm, a stone’s throw from one of the most touristic cities of Sicily is certainly a resource to be used as an attractor. Unfortunately during our visit we met very few cyclists but, as we have reported, the cycle path is used intensively by the Syracusans who run it to train both jogging and cycling.
We spent a few hours in total relaxation, following a very short but certainly unforgettable itinerary, taking a bath in extraordinary and fascinating places from the crystal-clear sea, despite the proximity to the city and the oil refining plant at Priolo Gargallo.
The itinerary of the cyclepath
Max elevation: 28 m
Min elevation: 11 m
Total climbing: 78 m
Total descent: -80 m
Plan at least half a day for this excursion because it is impossible to travel the entire itinerary without stopping at least 100 times to take pictures to share with friends bikers, the proximity to the city of Syracuse allows you to use the train to move to Catania or use the car.
What's matter is to reuse
The disused railway infrastructures can be used to create extraordinary cycling routes like that of Syracuse. Greater attention to the needs of all citizens can also occur with this type of investment. In fact, reusing and redeveloping an area of value such as that crossed by the Rossana Maiorca cycle path returns to the citizens a territory that had been subtracted for decades for almost exclusively industrial and commercial use. An area that could become “no man’s land” has been transformed into an opportunity for leisure and work for both citizens and tourists who visit it each year.
This is the trace of the itinerary that develops on the Rossana Maiorca Cycle Path in Syracuse. This article is not a guide but only a suggestion to pay the utmost caution when traveling on a spectacular and not very demanding route, but which always requires you to follow it with the common sense and prudence necessary, equip yourself with all the necessary safety devices and …have a nice trip!
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