|Regions in Italy Sicily Province of Catania Aci Castello|
Province of Catania, Sicily region, Italy
Aci Castello is an agricultural town not far from Catania, including also in its territory the smaller center of Aci Trezza, famous as the setting of Verga's I Malavoglia.
The town rises over a picturesque gulf, just below a rocky cliff formed through thousands of years by the magma from undersea eruptions, on which rises the imposing Norman castle. Aci Castello was always a fishermen's port, but it used to attract through the centuries poets and artists, thanks to the unbelievable beauty of its natural landscape.
Altitude: 15 m a.s.l -- Population: about 18,000 inhabitants -- Zip/postal code: 95021 -- Phone Area Code: 095 -- Patron Saint: San Mauro celebrated on 15 January -- Frazioni & Località: Aci Trezza, Cannizzaro, Ficarazzi
What to see
In the area called Timpa Rosa there are traces of sepulchres inside the local grottos, going back to 2,000 years BC. In Homer's Odyssey this was the land of the Cyclops, and folk legends say that the faraglioni in the sea of Acitrezza are the rocks thrown by the blinded cyclop against Ulysses.
There is still another legend connected to the Cyclop Polyphemus: jealous of the nymph Galatea, who loved the handsome shepherd Aci, he killed the youth with a huge rock; the gods, moved by the despair of Galathea, changed the murdered Aci into a river that crosses the valley and gives name to eight towns, then flows into the arms of Galatea, waiting for him in the sea.
In Roman times there was a settlement in the area called Acium. There was below the castle a settlement under the Arab domination called Al Yag. It was hit by two ominous earthquakes in 1169 and again in 1693.
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