Things to do
Walk the hills of Madonie Natural Park and your reward will be soul-stirring views. In spring, it’s carpeted with wildflowers. When winter draws in, the mountains become ski runs. And throughout the year you can hope to catch the maretta phenomenon – when wispy clouds wrap around the foothills like candyfloss. For a gentler look at the landscape, see how it’s tended at Masseria Susafa. The estate produces its own olive oil, harvesting the fruits here each autumn just as it has for hundreds of years.
Polizzi Generosa and Susafa are circled by hazelnut groves and, in August each year, the region celebrates these golden little nuts with a dedicated festival. As well as Sicilian recipes, costume parades and folk music add to the flavour of this rural region. Venturing further north brings you to Castelbuono, one of the last remaining places to produce manna – nectar of the gods made from the sap of native ash trees.
Dipping into the old buildings of Polizzi Generosa and the farmhouses of Susafa takes you back to Norman Sicily. Pause at the Chiesa Santa Maria Maggiore to gaze at its beautiful triptych. Then see how many of the other 21 churches you can fit in during your visit.