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Acireale


Description

The old town of Akis was founded by the Greeks, and it is certain that during Roman times the town took part in the second Punic war. Earthquakes and lava flows destroyed the old town, which was rebuilt on the plateau where it stands now. The city features splendid Baroque architecture, to be seen especially in the Town Hall, in the Cathedral (decorated inside with fine frescoes, and hosting also an 1843 sundial) and in the Churches of St Peter and St Paul and of St Sebastian. The aristocratic palaces are graced with elegant wrought-iron balcony.

 

Around Acireale you will find some lovely fishing towns, like Acitrezza, known for the rocks of the Cyclopes (Faraglioni dei Ciclopi), jagged black lava rising from crystal-clear water. The Odyssey relates that these rocks were hurled by Polyphemus against Ulysses. Next to the rocks sits the island Lachea, now a biology research station; Aci Castello is a seaside village on a stretch of coastline dotted with lemon trees. In the main square you can visit the Castle, a Norman fortress built with blocks of black lava, which today houses a small museum with a collection of archaeological artefacts.

 

"SunTripSicily" tips: enjoy the lovely view on Mount Etna and on the Ionic coast from the public garden “Villa Belvedere” and hike in the “Riviera of Lemons” reaching the “Timpa”, a cliff sloping down to the sea, green with luxuriant Mediterranean vegetation.
In February you can live up the main attraction in Acireale that is the "Carnevale"! It is one of Sicily's most spectacular popular events and one of the largest and busiest carnivals in Italy. With its dizzying enormous allegorical floats created by the local craftsmen, dancing schools, concerts and confetti parades not to mention lashings of food and wine, the “Carnevale di Acireale” offers fun for all the family and a fascinating insight into the way the Sicilians have a good time!