4 Best Sights in Acireale, Sicily

Aci Castello and Aci Trezza

These two gems on the Riviera dei Ciclopi (Cyclops Riviera), the coastline between Acireale and Catania, fill with city dwellers in summer. Heading south from Acireale on the litoranea (coastal) road, you'll first reach Aci Trezza, said to be the land of the one-eyed Cyclops in Homer's Odyssey. Aci Castello has its own fish houses plus the imposing Castello Normanno (Norman Castle), which sits right on the water. The castle was built in the 11th century with volcanic rock from Mt. Etna.

Belvedere di Santa Caterina

Lord Byron (1788–1824) visited the Belvedere di Santa Caterina to look out over the Ionian Sea during his Italian wanderings. Today, the viewing point is south of the old town, near the Terme di Acireale, off SS114, and is a tranquil spot for photos or quiet reflection on one of the several benches positioned toward the water.


With its cupola and twin turrets, Acireale's Duomo is an extravagant Baroque construction dating from the 17th century. In the chapel to the right of the altar, look for the 17th-century silver statue of Santa Venera (patron saint of Acireale) by Mario D'Angelo, and the early-18th-century frescoes by Antonio Filocamo.

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Santa Maria La Scala

A half-hour walk (or a very twisty drive) from Acireale's center, this picturesque harbor, with lava stone steps leading to the water, is filled with fishermen unloading brightly colored boats. Inexpensive lunches are served in the many restaurants along the harbor; your fresh fish dish is priced by weight.