Pages Menu
TwitterRssFacebook
Categories Menu

Posted by on May 31, 2013 in cycling and bike pics, miscellaneous | 0 comments

Garibaldi and his “mille”, a ride to the Pianto Romano near Calatafimi

Garibaldi and his “mille”, a ride to the Pianto Romano near Calatafimi

I love riding my bike in the area near Segesta, but even though I’ve been there countless times, there are still some roads left to discover. So yesterday I decided to go in the direction of Segesta and explore a new route.

I took the SS113 in the direction of Trapani and crossed the railroad close to the train station of Calatafimi – Segesta :

The railroad near Segesta

The railroad near Segesta

and followed the road in the direction of Calatafimi.

The road to the town of Calatafimi

The road to the town of Calatafimi

The railroad in the hilly terrain near Segesta

The railroad in the hilly terrain near Segesta

I passed Calatafimi and turned left on the SS188. This road (5.6% average with max. 10/11% gradients) leads through the hilly countryside with many vineyards to the small village of Vita. When in Vita, there are several options to go back in the direction of Calatafimi. I chose the SP61, which is a smaller country road (asphalted though). On the descent you can see the town of Calatafimi in the distance:

The town of Calatafimi in the distance

The town of Calatafimi in the distance

The SP61 leads to the Pianto Romano, a hill where on May 15th 1860 a great battle between Garibaldi and his “mille” (Resistance Army) and the Bourbons took place. The battle, which eventually was won by Garibaldi, was decisive for the organization of Sicily and the unification of Italy. On the Pianto Romano, a few kilometers from Segesta and Calatafimi, they built a monument commemorating the soldiers and Sicilians who gave their lives to the unification of Italy, the Sacrario di Pianto Romano. The obelisk can be seen from miles away.

The Garibaldi monument at Pianto Romano

The Garibaldi monument at Pianto Romano

Here’s my Ridley Helium SL next to a wall with the text: “On May 15th 1860 Garibaldi’s “mille” (army of a thousand men) and the Sicilians who immediately rushed to their side in the town of Calatafimi laid the first stone of a united Italy”.

My Ridley Helium SL near Garibaldi Monument

My Ridley Helium SL near Garibaldi Monument

I took a photo of my bike and the Sacrario di Pianto Romano to give you an idea of the size of the monument:

The Sacrario di Pianto Romano

The Sacrario di Pianto Romano

Just when I wanted to leave, I was approached by the monument’s caretaker who offered to open the doors of the Sacrario for me. I left my bike in front of the entrance and the caretaker started to talk about the battle and showed me lots of pictures and paintings. He explained that not all of the “mille” were men, but that there was also one woman amongst them, called Federica. She was in love with one of the men and decided to join Garibaldi’s resistance under the name of Federico. Besides her lover and Garibaldi only a few people knew Federico was a woman, so her disguise had clearly worked… There’s no happy end to this story, because Federica was one of the 33 people from Garibaldi’s “mille” who died in battle. You can find her picture in the monument, where she is mentioned as Federico Antognoli:

Federica Antognoli

Federica Antognoli

Here’s the caretaker, next to a drawing of Garibaldi quoting his famous words “Qui si fa l’Italia una o si muore!” (This is where we unite Italy or we die.)

The caretaker of the Garibaldi monument

The caretaker of the Garibaldi monument

I greeted the caretaker and descended towards Calatafimi, where I turned right in the direction of Alcamo.

Near Segesta in the direction of Castellammare del Golfo

Near Segesta in the direction of Castellammare del Golfo

Instead of following the SS113 back home I went to Castellammare del Golfo and took the SS187 which passes through Alcamo Marina, where I took the last picture:

The Golfo di Castellammare

The Golfo di Castellammare

Ride: 84 km. total ascent 1300 m.

Post a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This