Riviera dei Ciclopi

This fascinating part of Sicily is thirteen kilometres long situated in the northern part of Catania. It links the small villages of the Ionian Sea, going from the town of Acicastello to the town of Acireale, passing by the small fishermen village of Acitrezza, also known for Legends and Myths such as the Homeric one of Polyphemus and Ulysses, and also for having been the scenario of Giovanni Verga's novel “I malavoglia”.

All the area is living mostly of tourism and fishing with streets surrounded by pubs, restaurants, and nightclubs. AciCastello was built around the Norman castle during the XI century and from the central square you can admire "I Faraglioni"(Three enormous piece of lava) If you like to browse around, you can lose yourself in the small streets and get a refreshing granita in front of some historical building of the XVII century.

Due to the Mediterranean climate, people are used to swimming from April until the end of October. This allows the villages, especially Acitrezza to welcome people to dive into the Protected Marine Area (A. M. P.) almost in every moment of the year! You can choose between eight itineraries for your scuba-diving experience, obviously guided if you prefer, by professional divers. Or, if you love soaking in the sun, it takes just 25 minutes (more or less), to get on a small (fisherman) boat and visit this colourful landscape where you can relax on the rocks that measure 70 metres high.

This nine towns have all their names starting with "Aci": Aci Castello, Aci Trezza, Acireale and so on. You wondering why?

Let's go back to the legends again then: Aci was the name of a shepherd who fell in love with the nymph Galatea, daughter of two Gods of the sea: Dorides and Nereus. Because of this love who made him jealous and refused, Polyphemus, the giant, threw a big rock from the Volcano towards Aci, killing him as revenge to Galatea.

Because of Galatea crying all the time, the Gods tried to alleviate her pain transforming Aci in a river (still named this way), flowing from the mountain to the stretches of beaches where they used to meet up, so she could swim into the water and touch him again.

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