The stage is divided into two parts: the first one, through the hinterland around Trapani and the Valle del Belice, is intricate, wavy and rolling. The second part is mostly on fast roads, with no urban areas along the route. Past Marsala, the course undulates through Castelvetrano, Santa Ninfa and Partanna, and then takes the trunk road that will lead the peloton through some mild undulations to the Valley of the Temples, just outside Agrigento, 4 km before the finish.
The final kilometres run entirely uphill at 5%, with peaks around 9% 2.5 km before the finish. The road is wide and well surfaced, with a succession of short straight stretches and mild bends. The home straight (250 m) is on 8 m wide tarmac.
start / finish
Marsala is a place that needs to be slowly savoured. From its baroque historic centre to its salt pans and the island of Mozia, discovering it with slow sips leaves a pleasant aftertaste of … wine. It is located in the westernmost point of Sicily, in the province of Trapani, and is famous in Italian history for the Landing of the Thousand. Its historical centre is small and intimate, and you can explore it on foot in a couple of hours. On 11 May 1860, Giuseppe Garibaldi and the Thousand passed through Porta Garibaldi. Together with Porta Nuova, they are the two historic gates still visible in the city.
Food & Wine
But when talking about Marsala, one immediately thinks of the world-famous fortified wine DOP, one of Sicily’s most renowned wines. Its intense aroma with hints of vanilla, burnt honey and roasted hazelnuts goes well with delicacies such as cassateddi with dried figs and mustazzoli in vino cotto. Any advice on what to order at the restaurant? Don’t miss the couscous, the pasta with sardines (pasta c’anciova), the busiate pasta with tuna sauce: the fish here is extremely fresh!
As well as being one of the oldest Sicilian cities, it’s also remarkable for having risen again from the ashes several times. Its showpiece is undoubtedly the Valley of the Temples which, with its ties to the classical world, displays one of the city’s most fascinating sides, together with extraordinary finds housed in the Museo Archeologico Regionale.
The city, founded in 581 BC by Greek colonists from Rhodes and Crete, became Akràgas in the following century. In the past, it used to be one of the most magnificent centres in the Mediterranean. In 1997, UNESCO therefore placed the Archaeological Area of Agrigento on its list of world heritage sites.
The remains of Agrigentum include the of the villas of the nobility and the orderly streets of the Hellenistic/Roman Quarter.
As you walk along the main street of Agrigento you can indulge in a little shopping in the boutiques and shops, not forgetting to try the famous gelato pecorino in the cafés and patisseries.
This is a delicately-flavoured ice cream made from sheep’s milk ricotta cheese. Its flavour is unique; it’s a genuine, little-known product typical of the Agrigento area.