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Let’s find out what to see in the Madonie park, between nature, small villages and good food. In this article you will discover an itinerary that takes into consideration the most beautiful and fascinating places in the park.

Tip from Topsecretsicily: If you wish, you can book aguided nature discovery trek.

1. Collesano

Collesano, Madonie
View of the village is Photo by Carlo Columba CC-SA 2.5

The village today has fewer than 4,000 inhabitants. In the past, however, in medieval times it was an important feudal center. It is recommended to visit the Norman castle , today only a ruin but very fascinating and with an exceptional panorama. The church is also worth visiting Santa Maria la Vecchia which is the oldest in the country and the Basilica of Santa Maria La Nova of the fifteenth century, where there is an ancient wooden cross of the sixteenth century. Also not to be missed is the St. Peter’s Basilica. Furthermore, going towards the church of Santa Maria la Vecchia, you will find yourself in the Borgo Bagherino , a very special and fascinating place.

Finally, for lovers of four wheels, to visit the museum Targa Florio dedicated to car competition.

Borgo - Collesano
Borgo Bagherino Photo by Massimiliano Meli – Google Maps

2. Isnello

Isnello, Madonie, Sicily
Isnello – Saphir, CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons
Isnello, Madonie

The journey from Collesano to Isnello alone is already very impressive. In fact, you pass through very dense woods and oaks, of which Sicily was very rich in the past.

Once in the village, which he thinks has less than 1,500 inhabitants, he visits the little one Gibilmanna sanctuary built in the 1500s. In addition to the beauty of the sanctuary itself, the view of Cefalù and the coast from up there is priceless.

Also recommended is a visit to the church of Santa Maria Maggiore from which it is possible to enjoy a beautiful view of the town. In the evening, from up there, the village seems to be a small nativity scene, illuminated by many small street lamps. Unmissable!

In Isnello you also have the opportunity to touch the stars with your finger. In fact, at the astronomical observatory LAG Hassin , you can use the telescopes and see the stars and planets like you’ve never seen them before.

Gibilmanna Isnello Sanctuary
Gibilmanna Isnello Sanctuary

3. Castelbuono

Castelbuono Castle, Madonie
Castelbuono Castle Matthias Süßen , CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

The town is to be discovered by walking through its small and suggestive streets. Absolutely not to be missed the castle medieval, built in 1316 by Francesco I of Ventimiglia and the very ancient clock tower , where it is also possible to observe the mechanism of its functioning.

Tip from Topsecretsicily: Book a wine tasting in the heart of the Madonie Mountains

Castelbuono Castle
Formica rufa , CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons
Castelbuono bell tower
Bell tower – Lover at Italian Wikipedia , CC BY-SA 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

4. Geraci Siculo

Geraci Siculo, Madonie
Davide Mauro , CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons
Geraci Siculo Chapel
Chapel Genzi. , Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Here you can visit the remains of the Ventimiglia castle , built in 1072 and the adjacent chapel built later. Not much remains of the castle, but the atmosphere and landscape are absolutely worth a visit.

Geraci Siculo Castle
Castle ruins Mediaterra , CC BY-SA 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

After seeing the castle you can go down towards the historic center very characteristic, where it will be nice to walk around and discover churches and the cathedral .

Geraci Siculo Castle
Castle ruins – Giuseppe Fazio , CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons
Mother church. Geraci Siculo
mother church Genzi , Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

5. Gangi

Gangi was elected as the most beautiful village in Italy in 2014. The village is really suggestive, sometimes it is even difficult to explain it in words, just watch the video below. In Gangi it is nice to get lost in its small streets and visit the many small churches and the Ventimiglia tower .

6. Petralia Soprana

Petralia Soprana, MAdonie
Filippo Piazza , CC BY-SA 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons
Loreto Church, Petralia Soprana
Loreto Church trolvag , CC BY-SA 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons
Church of S. Maria di Gesù and convent, Petralia Soprana
Church of S. Maria di Gesù and convent Ysferaviola , CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons
Petralia Soprana, Piazza Duomo
Piazza Duomo trolvag , CC BY-SA 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons
Petralia Soprana
Piazza San Michele trolvag , CC BY-SA 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons
Petralia Soprana, municipal building
Municipal building trolvag , CC BY-SA 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

It is the highest town in the province of Palermo, 1147 meters high. From here it is also possible to make excursions on foot, by raft, trekking, canyoning, all through the agency Madonie at a slow pace , which promotes sustainable naturalistic and cultural tourism in the Madonie park.

In Petralia Soprana there is a lot to see. The churches not to be missed are there Mother Church and the Church of Santa Maria di Loreto . The first, from the 14th century, is located in the heart of the historic center of the village, with a beautiful white stone portico that opens onto a square. The Church of Santa Maria di Loreto is also very fascinating, full of paintings and close to a wonderful panoramic point, where you absolutely must stop.

Also worth visiting is the salt mine, one of the largest in Europe still active. You will find yourself walking among many sculptures, carved in blocks of salt. A truly special experience.

Salt mine - Petralia Soprana
Salt mine – Petralia Soprana

7. Petralia Sottana

Pertalia Sottana, Madonie
Dedda71 , CC BY 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons
Petralia Sottana
I, Azotoliquido , CC BY-SA 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Also in Petralia Sottana it is absolutely worth taking a tour of the historic center and visiting the churches. Among the most beautiful and of undoubted value is the church of Santa Maria della Fontana ; the baroque church of Saint Francis , the church of the Misericordia with an ancient bell tower of 1175 and the mother church of the seventeenth century.

Petralia Sottana
trolvag , CC BY-SA 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

In Petralia Sottana there is the Madonie Adventure Park . Here you can spend a different day, in fact you can climb trees, play archery, sleep on tents suspended between the trees etc.

Church of the Misericordia Petralia Sottana
Davide Mauro , CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

8. Battle Plan

Battle Plan, Madonie, Sicily
Peppesev , CC BY 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Here we are at the last stage, Battle Plan . From here to 1600 meters high and you can enjoy the view of the Aeolian Islands, the sea, the Madonie and Mount Etna. Really amazing. You will find yourself in a very quiet place among the woods, lunar landscapes, mountain pastures and animal and plant species typical of the area.

Interactive map of the Madonie – Points of interest in purple

Typical products of the Madonie

How not to mention cheeses, cured meats, olive oil and wines such as Merlot, Nero D’Avola, Cabernet, Chardonnay and Savignon. However, there are also many other very special specialties.

1. The Badda bean

It is a two-colored bean cultivated for over 2 centuries in Polizzi Generosa. It is small and rounded in shape, the Sicilian word badda means ball and has an aftertaste of chestnut and almond. It also doesn’t cause the typical bloating like many beans do.

2. Sicilian black bee thistle honey

It is a honey produced by a subspecies of bees, which live only in this area of Sicily, the black bees (Native to Africa).

3. Manna of the Madonie

It is a dessert derived even from the bark of the ash tree. By cutting a piece of bark a bitter liquid comes out, which however becomes sweet in contact with the air.

4. Siccagno tomato

It is a dry-grown tomato, without water, in the villages of Valledolmo, Sciafani Bagni, Alia Vallelunga and Villalba. Since the plant is not irrigated, it produces few and small tomatoes which are however very tasty and rich in vitamins

5. Leaf through the Madonie

It is a dessert with 400 years of history. It is made up of shortcrust pastry filled with cheese (tuma), pumpkin, egg whites, chocolate, sugar and cinnamon. It is found mainly in Polizzi Generoa, Petralia Sottana and Castellana Sicula.

You will find many of these products in pastry shops and shops in the area. The Madonie park is part of the province of Palermo. Here you can find some tips on what to eat in Palermo and surroundings , here instead you find the typical Sicilian dishes.

What to see in the surroundings

The Madonie park is located in the province of Palermo. Here you will find listed the places to visit in Palermo and surroundings .

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