“Sicily is more beautiful than any woman,” Truman Capote
Words and Images by James Startt
The many splendors of Sicily are known around the world and this Italian island in the heart of the Mediterranean has quite simply attracted travelers for thousands of years. Vineyards and olive orchards virtually cover the island and the sheer rustic beauty of the diverse landscape is a marvel. But if there is one aspect of the island’s diverse landscape that stands out above all else, it is surely Mount Etna. One of the world’s most active volcanoes, Etna continues to gurgle, belch, spit and erupt as it has done since the dawn of civilization.
Etna towers over the island and, in some ways, the Sicilians seemingly hold an ongoing conversation with it. Etna is constantly breathing fire from its mouth, serving a sort of warning that, while you can visit on occasion, one should never get too close or comfortable around her. Yet over the centuries Sicilians have edged up its slopes, with the many villages prospering around its lower ring. The village of Bronte for example is known around the world for its rare pistachios that sprout up from the lava fields, while the neighboring village of Malleto is known for its strawberries. Today, no less than five roads lead to within walking distance of the summit, five roads that offer a wealth of challenges to any aspiring cyclist…
To read about the rest of our adventures on Mont Etna and see all the photos go to Zipp x PELOTON: Part II – Mont Etna