Giro 101, from Catania to Caltagirone, the first Italian stage

Giro 101, from Catania to Caltagirone, the first Italian stage

The starting point in the shadow of Mount Etna, the finish in the city of ceramics:  from baroque Catania to Arabic Caltagirone. This is Stage 4 of the 2018 Giro d’Italia:  198 km of bends and hills that punctuate a carefully devised, picturesque route winding through the countryside of Catania, Syracuse and Ragusa, crossing two UNESCO World Heritage sites.

This is a land where tradition, innovation and sustainability have always been entwined. Here the enterprising spirit of two local women – Enrica Arena and Adriana Santonocito – led to the establishment of Orange Fiber, a business which creates high quality textiles from the by-products of citrus production, one of the 100 success stories of the circular economy included in the book published by Enel and the Symbola Foundation.

Catania is also home to the Enel Innovation Lab, the technological centre situated at Enel Green Power’s fabbrica 3SUN facility, which is not only a laboratory where innovative renewable energy technologies are tested, but also the largest production plant of photovoltaic panels in Europe, which is destined in 2019 to become the first in the world to produce the high performance technology, the bifacial HJT type panel, in line with the recent Development Plan.

This synergetic interaction makes the Sicilian city a meeting place for excellence, and home to a growing campus of innovation, an accelerator for young entrepreneurs destined to stimulate further research into the energy sector.

The final stretch is at Caltagirone, Qal’ at al Gharun (“Fortress of Jars”) to the ancient Arabs. Here the cyclists will pay homage to the city’s pride and joy, the Staircase of St. Maria del Monte, symbol of the most famous ceramics in the world.