Acireale and its magical carnival


Catania | SicilyVillas in Sicily near Acireale >>

When Acis, a simple shepherd boy, and Galatea, a Nereid sea goddess, fell in love, the giant Polyphemus fell into depression. Depression turned into jealousy and then into rage until Odysseus' famous one-eyed foe could stand it no more. He hurled an enormous chunk of Mount Etna at the unforuntate Acis, killing him instantly. Grief-stricken Galatea, unable to live without her lover, transformed Acis' mortal remains into a river that ran from the foothills of the volcano into the sea below, where they were once more united in watery communion.

The river Acis gave its name to a series of towns that were later founded on its banks: Aci Castello, Aci Trezza, Aci Catena, Aci San Antonio, Aci Bonaccorsi and Acireale. Although now underground, the river reappears as a spring at the sea-front fishing village of Santa Maria La Scala, where the locals refer to its waters as "u sangu di Jaci" or the blood of Acis.

Myths and legends aside, Acireale today is a bustling commercial satellite town just 5km north of Catania and a short drive from Taormina. From its lofty position above the sea it offers stunning views not only of the Ionian Sea but also of Mount Etna behind.

The centre of the old town is Piazza Duomo, home to some fine baroque buildings including the Cathedral, the Basilica dei Santi Pietro e Paolo, the town hall and Palazzo Mod?. But it is not architecture that most people come to Acireale for... the main attraction is the Carnevale!

But it is not architecture that most people come to Acireale for... the main attraction is the Carnevale!

The Carnevale di Acireale

The Carnevale di Acireale is one of Sicily's most spectacular cultural events and one of the largest and most frequented carnivals in Italy. With its dizzying array of allegorical floats, dancing schools, concerts and confetti parades not to mention lashings of food and wine, the Carnevale di Acireale offers fun for all the family and a fascinating insight into how Sicilians have a good time!

It's a really excellent excuse for a trip to Sicily in February/March and we have plenty of excellent villas to stay nearby! 

Villas in Sicily near Acireale >>

Mouse X
Mouse Y
Mouse Speed
Mouse Direction