The seaside town of Acicastello is among the most famous and sought after of eastern Sicily. It maintains a unique charm with its clear waters of the sea heaving themselves onto ridges of lava stone in the shadows of the Normancastle from which the town takes its name.
In the summer it is full of tourists and many people from the nearby city of Catania go there on holiday. The evenings are always alive and bustling, with numerous restaurants and bars, specializing in preparing delicious seafood dishes.
The Castle is situated on a ridge of lava, dominating the surrounding square. Originally it was built by the Normans in 1076 on promontory lava entirely surrounded by the sea: it was the lava flow of 1169 that connected it with the mainland. It became the home of important lords of the past and used as a military prison.
Today it houses the Civic Museum, divided into three different sections: Paleontological section, mineralogical section and archaeological section. Of particular importance are some examples of sea lava, the pillows, and blocks of spherical basalt which display radial fractures caused by the contact of magma with sea water.
Lastly, you can also visit the botanical gardens, in which there are a significant number of cacti plants.
Such characteristic as to inspire the Odes of Homer for his Odyssey, Acitrezza, a village of Acicastello, is a small, very charming fishing village. The landscape is dominated by the 8 faraglioni (volcanic stacks), and lava cliffs that where formed before Etna.
According to the myth of the Odyssey written by Homer, it was the Cyclops Polyphemus who hurled these large boulders at the vessels of Ulysses. Acitrezza also hosted the setting of the novel Malavoglia by Giovanni Verga, the most important of the Italian Verismo. To this day, the House of Nespolo still stands, the dwelling, in which the humble fisherman’s family lived.
THE MARINE PROTECTED AREA OF THE CYCLOPI ISLANDS
The marine protected area of the Cyclopi Islands was established around ten years ago to protect the marine environment and the species that inhabit it. It runs from Acitrezza to the area of Cannizzaro, covering a total area of 659 hectares, within which are also the famous Faraglioni.
The wildlife and the marine flora both widely enjoy the area: it is possible to take dive tours within the reserve to admire the spectacle of the natural environment, which is characterized by volcanic effects below the water line, as well as typical specimens of marine fauna and over 300 different types of algae from the red, to the green, to the brown.
YOU HAVE TO TRY
For those who love fish, Capomulini, a few kilometers from Acitrezza, is a small fishing village that offers a variety of restaurants serving seafood, worth trying for those who are passionate about the cuisine.
For those who are not, it is definitely a good opportunity to become one!
ACI CASTELLO E ACITREZZA BY NIGHT
Both Acicastello that Acitrezza welcome tens of thousands of tourists, as well as food connoisseurs of the area, not only during the summer but throughout the year. The enjoyable sea breezes, in addition to the spectacular castle and the faraglioni of Acitrezza are the favorite of thousands of people during the beautiful Sicilian nights.
Here, some of the best restaurants in Sicily can be found. For younger people, the evenings are alive with discos and clubs on the sea, where you can drink and dance to the summer hits.
But the evenings can also be a little quieter: take a nice stroll and have some ice cream by the waterfront during the nights of a full moon, listening to the sea caressing the rocks, it is the ideal atmosphere for lovers.
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