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The Scala dei Turchi

30/03/2022

Five landmarks of the 2022 Giro di Sicilia EOLO: episode 3

Running 171 km from Realmonte to Piazza Armerina, the third stage of the 2022 Giro di Sicilia comes with a very wavy profile. There are no major climbs, but a steady succession of ascents and descents all the way to the finish.

It could be a great opportunity for classic hunters, but also for GC contenders aiming at getting a head start on their rivals before the summit finish on the last stage.

The Scala dei Turchi is a white limestone cliff dropping steeply over the sea, and the most popular tourist spot in Realmonte, near Agrigento, the stage start location.

Its name, which roughly translates as ‘the Turkish Staircase’, probably originates from the Saracen, Arab and Turkish pirates that used the natural terraced steps to climb the cliff and raid the coast.

Just like many other iconic locations in Sicily, the ‘Scala’ has been masterfully described by Andrea Camilleri in “Montalbano’s First Case and Other Stories”, the first book of his best-selling series starring the popular Inspector.

The Scala dei Turchi has a sinuous and irregular shape, with smooth edges and roundish lines. Looking at it from the side, it somehow resembles the profile of this stage – wavy and seemingly uncomplicated. For this same reason, though, it could be a golden opportunity for some cycling pirate raids.

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