The fishing villages of the Riviera
Acireale includes numerous and distinctive fishing villages with a marina.
Santa Maria la Scala. A charming fishing village, untouched in its original maritime architecture, for centuries it was the harbour of Acireale, with which it was connected via the enchanting ancient “chiazzette” mule track. Through this path people used to carry goods on the mules’ backs up and down the track. From the main square (where is the homonymous Church), following the coastal route you reach the large square Miuccio. Here stands the Testa dell’Acqua (“Head of Water”) mill, whose gears were driven for centuries by the waters of a spring that flows right here. Further North, you get to the marina, full of fishing boats. From here, you can carefully walk on the ballast positioned in order to protect the seaport and, past the watchtower from the Second World War, admire the bay of Grotta delle Colombe (“Doves’ Cave”), where you will find fascinating columnar basalts.
Santa Tecla. An interesting seaside village located among citrus groves, at the foot of a wild Mediterranean ridge, olive and almond trees. The flourishing citrus gardens that still surround it have contributed to awarding the coast of Acireale with the title of Lemon Riviera. You can admire the watchtower (Garitta) built on a small lava promontory overlooking the sea, on the left of the marina. Its clear, deep sea is a popular destination for swimmers in summer and scuba divers in the other seasons.
It is worth visiting other seaside villages such as Santa Caterina, a suggestive panoramic terrace on the Timpa reserve. Overlooking the sea, it shows the stunning gulf which goes from Taormina to Syracuse; Pozzillo, a typical fishing village nestled among flourishing lemon groves and impressive lava cliffs. It is well-known for mineral water springs; Stazzo, a welcoming coastal village nestled among citrus groves and high black cliffs of lava; Capo Mulini, an ancient Greek dock which widens into a gulf from where you can admire Lachea island and beautiful sea stacks.