LogoLogo

Acireale, Province of Catania, Sicilia

The town, a well-known spa resort and harbor at the foot of Mount Etna, appears with a Baroque aspects. It is built on a terraced cliff 102 m. above sea level, in the middle of an area intensely cultivated with citrus fruit trees. It is the second largest town in the province of Catania.

Info

  • Population: about 57,000 inhabitants in 2010
  • Zip/postal code: 95024
  • Dialing Area Code: +39 095
  • Patron Saint: Santa Venera, celebrated on 26 July
  • Frazioni & Localities: Aci Platani, Balatelle, Capo Mulini, Guardia, Mangano, Pennisi, Piano d'Api, Pozzillo Superiore, Pozzillo Inferiore, San Giovanni Bosco, Santa Caterina, Santa Maria degli Ammalati, Santa Maria delle Grazie, Santa Maria la Scala, Santa Maria la Stella, Santa Tecla, Scillichenti, Stazzo

History - Antiquity

Acireale with the other towns and villages of the area whose names begin with Aci derived, according to a legend, from a Greek colony called Xiphonia, no trace of which has ever been found. Virgil and Ovid told about a mythical foundation on the place where the handsome, young shepherd Aci, loved by nymph Galatea, was killed out of jealousy by the cyclop Polyphemus. Certainly it existed in Roman times with the name of Akis.

History - The Middle Ages and Modern Times

In the Middle Ages the area was fortified, and the fortress is still visible at Aci Castello, and the name was changed to Aquilia, from the abundance of mineral waters. Under the Normans the Sanctuary of Valverde was established.

On 11 January 1693 it was largely destroyed by the eruption of the Etna, which claimed hundreds of victims, and was reconstructed in the Baroque style.

What to see

    The riviera of Acireale
  • The Cathedral
  • The Basilica of Santi Pietro e Paolo
  • The Zelantea Library
  • The church of San Camillo
  • The church of San Sebastiano
  • The Villa of Santa Venera
  • The Thermal facilities.