Aci Castella and the Cyclops Riviera

Aci Castella Travel Blog

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Today we had planned a grand tour of many areas around Mt. Etna. Our guide showed up at 8:30 am to pick us up at the City Lounge.


His name was Paolo and was driving a Mitsubishi Pajero 4X4. We made a quick stop to pick up some shoes to hike in. We had only brought sport sandals to wear. He had a pair in my size but, not in Robs. We made two more stops, so we had a total of 7 people in the vehichle. We had an Italian couple and a pair of sisters from Barcelona. Neither pair spoke much English. The guides English was passable. I had hoped that the day would be fun.


We drove north of Catania along the coast.

Our first stop was Aci Castella. It was built in 1076 by the Normans high atop a lava rock with very steep cliffs with the Ionian Sea on three sides. It has a great location but, I wouldn’t want to be there during storms. Paolo told us that many people dive from the cliffs in this area of Catania


As we drove through Aci Castella, I caught a glimpse of an unusual church tower with Baroque design with an eastern flair (onion dome).


As we drove north, we stopped briefly to catch the view from the other side of the city. We could see the castella, the church, and the beautiful coast.


Comtinuing along this coast, the Cyclops Riviera, we can see the three islands (Isole dei Ciclopi). They are made of lava and have a myth surrounding them. They are to have been the three rocks that the Cyclops threw at Odysseus in “The Odyssey”. They look like sculptures in the water. We went inland from here, up into the mountains. As we climbed the mountain, we had a great view of the islands, the castella, and the town. I took a close-up of the islands as they are stunning.


We continued on and witness again what has been a regular occurrence, seeing a beautiful cathedral where a wedding is in progress. September must be a really popular month for weddings in Sicilia.

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Aci Castella
photo by: delsol67