THE RIVIERA OF THE CYCLOPS AND TAORMINA
Sightseeing, Cultural, Meal included
A full day discovering the architectural and natural wonders of the Ionian Coast to the north of Catania: majestic cliff stacks, picturesque towns and ancient monuments, including lunch in a typical restaurant.
What we will see
- Centre of Catania
- Aci Castello and Cyclops Stacks
- Aci Trezza
- Taormina: Greek theatre, Palazzo Corvaja, Odeon and Cathedral
- Lunch in a typical restaurant
What we will do
- We will begin our excursion with a panoramic coach tour of the centre of Catania before continuing on to Aci Castello, a town that grew up around a Norman castle, from which it takes its name, built on rocks made of lava that jut out into the sea.
- We will explore the town's streets before arriving in the square that is home to the Chiesa Madre church, built from volcanic stone. A spectacular lookout point provides an opportunity to admire the stunning panoramic views that stretch along the Riviera of the Cyclops. According to Homer's Odyssey, its towering rock stacks were boulders thrown at the fleeing Ulysses by the Cyclops, Polyphemus.
- We will then briefly visit Aci Trezza, a small town located ten kilometres to the north of Catania along the Ionian Coast. It boasts a long maritime tradition and is an extremely popular destination during the summer. Famous for its breathtaking landscape, it was here that Giovanni Verga set his masterpiece I Malavoglia
- We will then carry on up the coast to Acireale, near Mount Etna, located on a lava field among an expanse of citrus groves. Well-known for its churches, the town's beauty and imposing buildings ranging from Sicilian Baroque to the Neo-Gothic style are astonishing.
- On the way to Taormina, we will stop for lunch in a typical restaurant before continuing our tour of the attractions of the Ionian Coast.
- Our afternoon is devoted entirely to visiting Taormina. Starting in Piazza San Pancrazio, our first stop will be the ancient Greek theatre subsequently converted into a Roman amphitheatre in the 2nd century BC and currently used for open-air performances thanks to its unique acoustics.
- We will admire the austere façade of Palazzo Corvaja, the town's most important building, which dates back to the 15th century and was once home to the Sicilian parliament.
- Finally, we will see the Odeon, a small theatre used for musical and literary performances, a real gem of Roman architecture, and the Duomo, nicknamed the fortress cathedral thanks to the severity of its medieval architecture and the battlements decorating the perimeter.
What you need to know
- We recommend that you book early because only a limited number of places are available.