Aci Trezza

Aci Trezza, Sicily

© Piero Fontana –

Under the administrative jurisdiction of Aci Castello, the fame of this little town on Sicily’s Ionian coast has definitely overtaken Aci Castello’s. And this is, above all, thanks to a certain masterpiece of the Verismo literary movement and to Giovanni Verga, the author whose novel I Malavoglia was, in fact, set in Aci Trezza.

Aci Trezza today is much bigger than the little fishing village of the Casa del Nespolo (open to the public and seat of the Verga museum). Now it is a beautiful seaside resort with a great many attractions. It is perfect for families and much loved by young people who crowd out its lively but not overly chaotic evening events. Full of pizzerias and bars, the town was created in the eighteenth century and there are many traces of a more remote past in the ruins of the ancient bastions which once protected the beach and the port, one of the most attractive of the coast with a number of sailing clubs.

Aci Trezza is a place of great vitality. One of its many events is the Padellone in July, a fish festival which holds a Guinness World Record for the largest mixed seafood fry-up in the world. The town’s small but much loved carnival with its classic grotesque floats is popular with Sicilians in particular. The U Pisci a Mare pantomime, a re-evocation of an ancient propitiatory fishing rite, is another interesting event.

Symbol of Aci Trezza and its crystal clear sea are the Faraglioni dei Ciclopi, rock stacks that legend has it have been there, just off the town beach, since the giant Cyclops Polyphemus hurled them against Ulysses as he escaped by ship. The nearby island of Lachea also makes an appearance in the Homeric epics and is now a nature reserve and an ideal place to observe natural formations such as its curious basalt and clay structures. Tradition has it, in fact, that this is Odyssesus’s famous island of the goats.

The beach

Aci Trezza has just one beach but it is a really good one. A black volcanic beach made of gravel, it has equally dark cliffs and a magnificent sea bed which contrasts beautifully with the clear Ionian sea of Sicily‘s east coast. And the Faraglioni dei Ciclopi are just in front of the beach too.