Monte Cuccio

The route will take us from the edge of the outskirts of Palermo to the summit of Mount Cuccio, imposing limestone massive that dominates the city from its 1050 m elevation and is part of SIC “Raffo Rosso, Monte Cuccio and Vallone Sagana “. Formerly known as “Acute” for its characteristic form, it is predominantly made of Triassic, white and floury dolomite stone.

The massif is covered by prairies of Ampelodesmos mauritanicus grasses, with pastures in the flattest valleys, where colluvial deposits have accumulated. Great views can be enjoyed both from the summit of Mount Cuccio and other overlooks along the way. The itinerary begins at the EOS equestrian center in Boccadifalco and heads towards Baida, a hamlet whose origins date back to an ancient Saracen farmstead. Later, a Benedictine monastery was built here, whose original cloister is integrated into the complex of the Church and Convent of St. John the Baptist.

Continue on the road to S.Martino alle Scale and at the 3rd turn you will find an unpaved forest road (at the equestrian center you will be able to get informationabout the entrance to the forest area). After about 400m, at an abandoned old mill, we leave the road for a path that rises on the northwest side of the mountain, crossing some sparse woodlands, where the remains of recent fires can cover parts of the trail. You arrive at the Abbeveratoio Montagna watering trough, with water all year round. From here, follow along the valley which stretches towards the west, reaching the location of Piano Montagna, where there is a reforested pine grove, a forest-ranger building and a rest area. At the fire pond nearby there is a watering hole, but only in winter. From here, with a dirt road, you can reach the summit of Mount Cuccio, which towers over the area of Palermo area and the Conca d’Oro basin.
The route continues through other summit valleys of the limestone massif, with panoramic views to the west (Isola
delle Femmine island, Sferracavallo, airport). Then you reach the Portella Sant’Anna pass where there are remains
of a military structure for observation of the port of Palermo. From here you turn left towards San Martino alle
Scale and at the 2nd turn you leave the main dirt road going straight along a path half-way up the hillside. After crossing the Vallone d’Inverno [winter valley] the path takes us to a small pass between Mount Cuccio and Mount
Cuccitello, then descends along narrow bends to the abandoned mill where the itinerary reconnects with the
first stretch and then takes us back to the starting point.

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