The trail is easy and pleasant, all on paved road and mostly flat on the city bike lane along the coast.
The trail is recommended for tourists or cruise passengers who want to visit the Northern coast of Messina.
We start from the fountain of Paradiso, traditional meeting point for cyclists and bikers, and we head to the North coast. We will pass by the seaside villages of Contemplazione and Pace. In Pace, you will find the church of Santa Maria della Grotta, built in 1622 with a central plant surrounded by arcades and surmounted by an imposing dome, and the boat “A Paciota”, a wooden goiter in 4 or 8 oars famous for being the only one of its kind which was used in the past for coastal fishing, in particular that of tuna. Thanks to its agility, the boat was also used for rowing competitions among the fishing villages of the city of Messina. The most famous race,”U Paliu”, is still played today. There are two editions of the Palio every year: on 15 August and on the occasion of the celebrations for the Madonna delle Grazie, which generally takes place on the second Sunday of September.
We continue our ride and we pass by the villages of Sant’ Agata and Ganzirri, the latter famous for the homonymous lake. The area was once marshy but today it has become one of the most picturesque areas of Messina with its bodies of water rich with fascinating flora and fauna. According to the myth, before the lake was formed its place was occupied by a glitzy town with white stonewalls and beautiful architectural constructions called Risa. Today, the village of Ganzirri is very popular for the breeding of mussels and the numerous typical seafood restaurants surrounding the lake.
With the lake behind us, we can see in the distance the famous Pylon, a 232-metre-high free-standing steel tower that was used to carry a 220 kilo-volt power line across the Strait of Messina. After the removal of the power lines, the pylon remains with protected status as historical monument and is used for meteorological measurements. The Pylon represents a main tourist attraction, especially at night when it reflects the lights placed at itsbottom forming a very impressive cone of light.
On reaching the village of Torre Faro, we have the opportunity to leave the bikes and take a walk on the beach in the north-east tip of Sicily with a stunning view on the Strait of Messina where, according to the Greek poet Homer, Odysseus was confronted with Scylla and Charybdis, the mythical sea monsters sited on opposite sides of the Strait of Messina between Sicily and the Italian mainland.
Before getting back in the saddle, we have the opportunity to taste a good granita with brioche at the famous Bar Eden.