The Cyclops Riviera and lemons
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THE LANDSCAPE

The name of a shepherd called Acis, in love with Galatea, graceful nymph who lived in the woods on the slopes of Etna, and ‘the main theme of this territory located near the lava coast and steep in the Ionian sea. In addition to community centers already ‘mentioned, also the villages of Acitrezza, Aci S. Philip and Aci Platani, remember the name of the young man, killed out of jealousy by Polyphemus, which was transformed into the river by the mercy’ of Neptune in order to still meet with the ‘love. The Cyclops Riviera and ‘characterized by a lava coast, has arisen with the many eruptions of Etna, overlooking a deep and transparent sea. The coast line is arched in the vicinity ‘of Acireale, where it reaches a height of 120 meters above sea level, taking the name of “Timpa”. After back to back down, always with his rough appearance blackish, and is remembered as the Riviera of the lemons because of the extraordinary spectacle offered, especially in the winter season, the lush citrus groves visible on the roadside. It is therefore meet the localities of S. Maria la Scala, S. Tecla, Stazzo, Pozzillo and finally, when the huge lava blocks have given way to a shoreline of pebbles, also of volcanic matrix, we arrive at Torre Archirafi and the city ‘of Giarre and Riposto.

 

S_SEBASTIANO.jpgHISTORY, ARCHITECTURE

The most ‘important cities’ in this area, Acireale (real’ cause state property and not enfeoffed), extraordinarily rich in ecclesiastical buildings, not ‘the most’ ancient, ’cause it formed’ in the fifteenth century. Piu ‘and dated’ history of Aci Castello, perhaps built by the Saracens, certainly made functional in the Norman era and involved long the warlike events of Etna Volcano. The abundance of water in the hills, and in particular the source of Reitana, in the territory of Aci S. Philip, favors’ in past centuries the construction of a dozen water mills, located at short distance from each other along a “twill mastra” (a master channel) and made it lively and populated the area thanks to their activities’ milling. The “twill” ended in Capomulini, other fishermen village and today resort ‘resort.

SMSCA.jpgNATURE HIKES

The territory offers boat tours along the coast and fascinating diving. There are four protected areas: Integrated Natural Reserve “Lachea Island and the Cyclops Rocks” preserves the volcanic formations linked to the first submarine eruptions in the Gulf “pre-Etna”, dating back to about 500,000 years ago. The Marine Protected Area “Cyclops Island” protects the seabed. But the area also offers hiking, to visit the hidden paths of Timpa , also a protected area. A simple walk to the affordable and ‘the descent from the Suffrage of Acireale district in the seaside village of S. Maria la ScalaAlong the road of “chiazzette”, on the fishermen and washerwomen footsteps of bygone centuries. In the area of ​​S. Gregorio the Natural Reserve “Immacolatelle and Micio Conti”, interesting complex of lava caves, with peculiarities’ natural, archaeological and historical.

pisci.jpgFOOD AND WINE TOURS

The maritime vocation of most of the settlements in this area makes it ‘the fish and other specialties’ seafood (shellfish fine and exquisite shellfish) monopolize the’ menus and restaurants. Cooked in the most ‘various ways (stewed, fried, baked, grilled), require the use of white wines from neighboring slopes of Etna. A specialty ‘not to miss, offer both the most’ famous, both in small bars and ‘granita, prepared in a variety of flavors: almond, coffee’, peach, mulberry, pistachio. From Acireale Riposto, the immediate hinterland produces excellent citrus fruits, in particular lemons and and ‘developed for decades, the production of liquors obtained with essential oils of their skins.

Acireale

(M. 161, pop. 50,200) require the visitor at least a walk along the Corso Vittorio Emanuele to admire the monuments that gradually meet: St. Anthony of Padua, the Town Hall, the Church of S. Sebastiano, to the Duomo and beyond, but many others are civil and ecclesiastical buildings worthy of being searched through the narrow streets of old Town.

 

VALVERDECHI.jpgAci Castello

(M. 15, pop. 18,300), fishing village, is visiting the ancient medieval manor house, which includes a Museum with archaeological finds from the Paleolithic to the Middle Ages and a collection of minerals. From its terraces you can see the fraction of Acitrezza, before which emerge from the sea stacks, high and sharp black basalt cliffs along the island Lachea.

More ‘inside, but always prominently sea, San Gregorio (m. 321, pop. 10,400), Acicatena (m. 170, pop. 27,100), Aci Bonaccorsi (m. 760, pop. 2,550) and Aci S. Antonio (m. 302, pop. 15,400) towns where urban expansion contrasts the areas occupied by luxuriant and fragrant citrus groves. Notable in Aci S. Antonio Mother Church and the patrician palace that was the Riggio. Valverde (m. 305, pop. 7,250) and airy and tidy town ‘known for the Sanctuary of Madonna with the eighteenth and Hermitage of St. Anna.

Giarre

(m.81 pop. 26,400), and Riposto (.8.ab.14.000), once belonging to the County of Mascali, share the fate of so accostante live with each other by not being able to distinguish the boundaries, so that during a couple of decades of the twentieth century they were merged under the name of lonia. But consuetidini have entrusted them with two distinct functions: Giarre economically piñata at sea and home to fishermen and sailors.

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