This itinerary wants to reveal the hidden beauty through the streets of the Brancaccio neighborhood: the royal palaces of Norman kings, the remains of the gardens of the Conca d’Oro, but also the recent history of the city, made of oppression, ransacking and then redemption from the mafia, thanks to the example of Blessed Fr. Don Pino Puglisi. The journey continues towards the convent of Santa Maria di Gesù and ends at the huge cypress planted by St. Benedict.

The route starts from the Admiral’s Bridge, which is included among the Arab Norman UNESCO sites, and gets to the nearby church of San Giovanni dei Lebbrosi of the same period. Through Corso dei Mille and Via Giafar the route gets to the Castle of Maredolce, one of the ancient palaces of the Norman kings. After the visit of Maredolce, the journey heads towards the Convent of Santa Maria di Gesù, at the foot of Mount Grifone. After visiting the cloister, the church and the other rooms of the convent, we will start the easy route that arrives at the Cypress of St. Benedict, the huge centuries-old tree born from the miraculous rooting of a stick that St. Benedict had placed in the ground.

Distance: 8 km

Duration: 6 h (stops included)

Degree of difficulty: medium/easy (urban path except for 1 km from the convent of Santa Maria di Gesù to the cypress of St. Benedict, on unpaved and forest roads)

Elevation: 260 mt (ascent and descent)

Program

9.15 am – Departure from the “Ponte dell’Ammiraglio” tram stop Line 1 (Corso dei Mille) and visit of the Admiral bridge and the nearby Norman church of San Giovanni dei Lebbrosi. Visit of the Castle of Maredolce and the Convent of Santa Maria di Gesù.

12.30 pm – nature trail (easy) from the convent to the Cypress of St. Benedict and packed lunch.

In the afternoon, return to the same street, with stop at the places of the Blessed Pino Puglisi, and return at 15.15 by tram.

Meeting at 9.00 am at Piazza Ponte dell’Ammiraglio at the tram stop L1 “Ponte dell’Ammiraglio”

We suggest you to take the line that leaves from the Central Station (frequency: 9 minutes)

Return at 3 pm to Central Station by tram (line 1 from the stop “Missori”). Tram frequency: 9 minutes

Notes: packed lunch