Places to visit
It is the ninth most populous municipality in the metropolitan area of Catania and boasts one of the largest territories, characterised by a checkerboard layout. The large territory is home to a vast industrial area that hosts the fifth largest shopping centre in Italy, Etnapolis, and the largest amusement park in southern Italy, Etnaland. Famous for its celebrations in honour of the patron saint of the city, Santa Lucia, who on December 13th is solemnly celebrated with floats decorated by each neighbourhood, real “theatres on wheels”, where images, colours, lights and characters send forth a timely messages of devotion, focused on the life of the martyr.
Historically it represents the “Porta dell’Etna” (Gateway to Etna) and is a mandatory stop for all tourists on their way to visiting the Volcano. There are ski slopes for winter sports, a panoramic cable car up to an altitude of 2500 m. and it is even possible to reach the mouth of the volcanic crater, accompanied by authorised guides. It stands out in the local area for its numerous eateries including pizzerias, pubs, restaurants and taverns, which in recent years have made the town even more famous. Important sites intended to preserve and pass on the traditions, uses and customs of the people include the Volcanological Museum of Etna and the House Museum of rural civilisation.
Illustrious example of he Sicilian Baroque declared a Unesco World Heritage Site. Piazza del Duomo overlooks the scenic streets, with its characteristic Elephant Fountain, the true centre of the historic city. La Pescheria, an ancient fish market, deserves to be visited for the evocative and fascinating folklore that permeates the atmosphere as you wander among the fishmongers’ stalls. A convenient and fun tourist train provides a daily service around the city to take you to Baroque palaces, churches, squares and archaeological sites. For those who love the sea, the Catanian coast, characterised by the alternating of sandy beaches with rocky volcanic coastline, leaves you spoilt for choice.
Acicastello and Acitrezza
Two authentic pearls by the sea. The first, the Aci Castle, which overlooks the square in via del Porto thanks to its privileged position on top of a lava ridge. The second, a true nature-lover’s paradise, famous for the stacks, or Ciclopi islands, an archipelago born from intense volcanic activity. Their creation oscillates between reality and Homeric legend. The whole area of the stacks forms part of the Island of Lachea and Faraglioni dei Ciclopi nature reserve. It is here that the author Verga set one of his most illustrious works, I Malavoglia. The “Casa del Nespolo” Museum allows visitors to immerse themselves in the history of the town, its traditions and the life of its fishermen.
Thanks to its enchanting position on the sea, its scenic beauty, and the vast historical, cultural and archaeological heritage in which it abounds, Taormina is one of the most famous tourist resorts on the island. A place of great charm and beauty, the splendid Sicilian town has seduced poets and writers, attracted famous travellers, and welcomed celebrities of international fame. Visitors come from all over the world to see its Greco-Roman theatre, stroll along its medieval streets, admire its breathtaking views, taste its excellent gastronomy, relax in the sun of its marvellous beaches.