Everything You Need To Know About Fornazzo – Rifugio Citelli bike route – Side Bartali / Coppi

This is a “historical” track, not surprisingly dedicated to two masters in the history of Italian cycling.

The technical details of the route are clear: 13.5 kilometers at a 7% average gradient necessary to achieve a difference in height of 923 meters make this itinerary one of the most popular climbs for professional cyclists to practice their workouts.

This is due to the presence of constant slopes, favorable sunny conditions and the configuration of the asphalt which, thanks to the presence of a long slight slope, allows you to recharge before the next climb that moves back towards the Citelli Refuge.

We are in fact on the north side of Etna, a completely different scent, color and landscape than that of the Sapienza Refuge in Nicolosi, more rarefied if you like, but also more panoramic, overlooking the bay of Taormina.

Leaving the built-up area of ​​Fornazzo, a small lava stone village that seems almost preserved in time since the nineteenth century, the first section is quite challenging, marked by slopes of around 8%.

Leaving the dwellings of the village behind us, however, the ascent is characterized by a constant slope, made softer, halfway, by a stretch of a slight slope at 2% for about 2-300 meters. We now enter the coolness and scents of a dense chestnut wood, up to an altitude of 1,600, where we will see the famous 2002 lava flow that connects this slope with the rise of Linguaglossa-Piano Provenzana.

We will thus find on the left the direct junction to the Citelli Refuge, a base point for visits by those who desire to discover the Sartorius Mountains, the craters formed in 1865 that take their name from the German geologist Wolfgang Sartorius von Waltershausen, who spent much time studying them. From the crossroads, the Citelli Refuge is about a kilometer and a half uphill, with an average gradient of 8.5%.

At the end of the road, the view opens at breakneck speed onto the blue of the Ionian Sea, gently embraced between Etna, Taormina and Catania.


13,93 Km

Gain Elevation

923 mt

Maximum Altitude

1.750 mt


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