Roccamena e Santuario di Tagliavia
The route begins and ends in the village of Roccamena (500 m), in the upper valley of the Belìce river
(between the right fork and the left fork of the Belice), but it takes place mostly in the township of Monreale and partly in Corleone. Utilizing mostly low or almost no-traffic roads, mainly asphalted, but also dirt farm roads, the route takes us to the Sanctuary of Tagliavia, located at almost 300 meters high.
Interesting for the continuous climbs and descents, the path requires good physical effort for the elevations, its length and the recurrence of rough tracts and is suitable for MTB bicycles, although it can be run by road bikes, despite the fact that presence of some dirt roads with bumps and potholes. The route crosses extensive cultivated areas, with very few homes and there are almost no public services or facilities; the crops are grain and forage, with different colors depending on the season, but there are also extensive wine-growing areas.
The territory crosses open views of the valleys of the tributaries of the Belìce river in a hilly environment with backgrounds of the mountain ranges of Rocca Busambra and Alto Belice. Of historical and cultural interest are the center of Roccamena, founded in 1796/97, the early 19th century Sanctuary of Tagliavia, the former 1886 Palermo-Corleone railway line, and the Borgo Schirò, reachable along the SP4 road, built in the 1930s, in a design linked to rationalist architecture that recall the paintings of De Chirico.
The route begins with a long stretch of descent from the center of Roccamena along the SP133 and SP27, to the Sparacia bridge on the Belìce Destro [right fork], then continues eastward in a progressive climb to the Sanctuary of Tagliavia, along the stretches of the provincial roads SP91, SP4, SP42. After joining the SS118 the route continues
slightly downhill along the bicycle route from the former Palermo-Corleone railway. At the Ponte Drago bridge you cross the river Frattina (left fork of the Belice) and then westward along the Strada Consortile Road 18 which connects to the SP4bis near Borgo Schirò. Once the SP27 is reached, the route continues uphill to Roccamena.