Acireale Tourist Attractions
LocationThe port of Acireale, which is well-known both as a spa and conference town, as well as a trading center, is situated on the steep coastline at the northern end of the "Riviera dei Ciclopi".Temple of Castor and Pollux in AgrigentoHistoryThe town is the successor to the Greek colony of Xiphonia, which was founded in 731 B.C. The present-day town derives its distinctive appearance from the Baroque buildings in the Piazza del Duomo. Acireale is famous for its puppet theater (Via Alessi 9), which operates all the year round, its carnival and its crib, dating from 1736, which is displayed in a lava grotto during the Christmas season.CommunicationsSS 114/A 18 Taormina-Catania; railroad station.FestivalsIn July there are dramatic performances honoring the town's patron saint, Santa Venera.
The Piazza del Duomo in the town center of Acireale is dominated by the cathedral, which dates from 1597-1618, but which apart from a Baroque doorway displays a new neo-Gothic façade. Inside there is a meridian (1843) and in the Capella di Santa Venera a silver statue of the town's patron saint (1651). Next to the cathedral on the right stands the Chiesa dei Santi Pietro e Paolo with its façade of pillars (18th century) and the Baroque Palazzo Comunale (1659).
In the Piazza Vigo in Acireale, which adjoins to the south, the Chiesa San Sebastiano (17th century). Its richly ornamented facade, is immediately striking; the interior boasts frescoes by Pietro Paolo Vasta (1697-1760).
To the left of San Sebastiano in the Palazzo Pennisi di Floristella an important collection of antique coins is stored.
There are more collections in the Pinacoteca dell'Accademia Zelantea, in the Via Marchese di San Giuliano 15, which can be reached from the Piazza del Duomo along the Via Cavour turning right at San Domenico. The following can be seen: old theological, philosophical and scientific manuscripts, a collection of historical books, paintings from the 17th and 18th centuries, archeological finds (including a bust of Caesar) and coins, etc.
Santa Venera Thermal baths
In the southern part of Acireale, close to the railway station, are the thermal baths of Santa Venera, a classical building dating from the 19th century. Sulfurous and radio-active springs are used to provide thermal treatment for rheumatism, skin diseases, etc.
The public park of Villa Belvedere in the north of Acireale, with its view across to Mount Etna and the east coast, should not be forgotten.
Santa Maria La Scala, Italy
Bathing is possible at the fishing village of Santa Maria La Scala (1km/0.5mi to the north), at the beach at Santa Tecla (4km/2.5mi to the north), and at Stazzo and Pozillo.