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Catania and Acitrezza

Baroque meet Myth, discover them together in the Tour of Catania and the Cyclops Riviera

Tour Info

Duration About 8 hours
Departure Time Suggested at 9:00 am

Tour Description

The tour Catania Tour and Riviera of the Cyclop begins at the hotel were you will be picked up and be met by the driver who will drive you through the whole tour. We begin our drive to Catania where we stop at Piazza del Duomo built after the 1693 earthquake. At the center of the piazza there is the Fontain of Elephant the emblem of the city, built in 1736, assembled by Giovanni Battista Vaccarini. It portrays an ancient lavic stone elephant and topped by an Egyptian obelisk from Syene. The superstitions black elephant represents the a phonetic change of  Heliodorus, in dialect Liotru. The Cathedral of Catania, dedicated to S. Agata, was built by the Normans between 1070 and 1093, on the ruins of the Roman Achelliane baths. We can recognize  three parts, the original “Norman” the Swabian and finally “Baroque. Inside the church there is the tombstone of the famous composer “Vincenzo Bellini”. The Via dei Crociferi is one of the most luxurious street of the city. It is lined by magnificent baroque churches and eighteenth century noble palaces. The street takes its name from the Church of S. Camillo of Fathers Crociferi which is right at the end of the road. In particular, the Church of San Giuliano with its convex façade a significant example of the local Baroque. The Church of San Benedetto represents the decorativism of late Catania Baroque. The Church of San Francesco d’ Assisi of Immacolata was founded with the adjoining convent in 1329, it seems on the ruins of the Temple of Minerva. The Catania Roman Amphitheatre is an impressive ancient ruins lying between modern buildings, it has a vast underground network of passages and alcoves buit in the 2nd century AD. The Porta Uzeda built in 1500, name of the vieroy., in 1696 became the main entrance to the city. The Ursino Castle of the middle age, built in  XIII century on the coast, in 1669 an eruption of Etna modified the topography of the castle. The Basilica Colleggiata in 1393 received the title of Royal Chapel and in 1446 was made a College of Canons, the building suffered  a earthquake in1693 like many other churches in the city and was rebuilt in late Baroque style. The impressive Teatro Massimo  opened in 1890 with the representation of the famous “Norma” by Vincenzo Bellini, the style reminds of the theater of Paris opera, extensive use of wrought iron in the portico, a marble foyer, internally beautiful red plush and four tiers of boxes and painting ceilings by Bellandi depicts scenes from four of Bellini’s most well-known operas. We then make our way to Acicastello, we see the Castello Normanno which represents a historical testament- artistic and naturalistic of great value. It was built in 1076 entirely of lava rock, on a rocky outcrop of crystallized magma. The rock on which it stands is of particular geological interest, the liquid mass of volcanic magma torn apart by the forces of eruption and scattered creating the characteristic shapes of cauliflower. The Lachea Island and the Faraglioni of Acitrezza have a great historical and scientific importance as well as tourism and landscape, they are the oldest evidence of the first volcanic activity that generated after the Etna. Born as an old fishing village, Acitrezza is related to the great novel by Giovanni VergaThe Malavoglia”. Symbol of the town are the famous cliffs, huge black lava stones of the Etnache mythology that recounts were hurled by Polyphemus on the ship of Ulysses in escape. This Legend is named after the famous Riviera of the Cyclop which we will visit. Do not miss a break in one of the typical restaurants where you can enjoy the local specialties such as typical appetizers of products strictly coming from Etna, wide range of  pasta with pistachio, with sardines, mushroom, and  of course nothing better than a glass of  Etna wines produced from the best grapes grown on the volcano. After a fantastic day realized thanks to the Sicily tour “Catania tour and Riviera of the Ciclops” we return back to the hotel.