In theory we are facing the shorter slope, 13.5 kilometers at 7% average slope, but there is a small detail: the beginning of the climb starts at an altitude of 827 meters and the village of Fornazzo is certainly not supported by a plateau. So it's all true that the "official" climb is 13.5 kilometers but unless you get off the bike from the car right at the foot of the climb, to get there you must have already covered another drop, an important difference in height.
This is one of the most popular climbs by professional cyclists who periodically come to train on Mount Etna because it has a regular slope, because in the morning it is always illuminated by the sun and warmed by its warmth and at its feet there is a long false slope that allows make the right recoveries before the next repeated climbing up again towards the Rifugio Citelli.
Even more famous than the climb is the fountain of fresh water that is located at its base, also half of citizens of the nearby districts that use it to fill their cruets to bring home, a supply of freshness is a must at the foot of the climb.
The first kilometer is quite severe, always rises above 8%, while when it is already out of the village of Fornazzo the climb takes a steady slope, softened only halfway by a stretch of flatland to 2% of about 2-300 meters. At that point the road enters the dense chestnut vegetation and emerges at an altitude of 1.607 meters in the famous lava flow of 2002 that connects this slope with the rise of Linguaglossa-Piano Provenzana.
At that point turn left at the junction for the Rifugio Citelli, a stone wall in lava stone set in the scenario of the Crateri Sartorius. Climbing to the Citelli will still cost 1.7 km climb to 8.5% average slope, on top of the road ends but the view that opens from the terrace of the shelter will repay you with further effort.
Comune di Ragalna
Comune di Nicolosi
Comune di Pedara
Comune di Zafferana
Comune di Milo
Comune di Linguaglossa
Comune di Sant'Alfio