The city of a hundred bell towers and the Carnival
Acireale is famous for its Carnival, considered the most beautiful in Sicily and among the best in Italy, but it has plenty more to offer besides. In this city in the province of Catania, at the foot of Mount Etna, life revolves around its splendid Baroque historic centre, partly rebuilt after being destroyed in the 1963 earthquake.
Don’t miss the Church of San Sebastiano, considered to be the most beautiful in the city. The façade is typically Baroque, while inside it is decorated with beautiful frescoes by Paolo Vasta. The cathedral, with two identical bell towers either side of the façade, is worth visiting. We also recommend exploring the Basilica of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul: its façade, flanked by a high bell tower, is built out of white stone from Syracuse.
The true pride of Acireale is its Carnival, which every year attracts thousands of people from Italy and abroad. During this great festival dating back to the 16th century, floats decorated with flowers and allegorical and grotesque figures in papier-mâché parade through the streets, in particular Corso Italia, Corso Savoia, Corso Umberto and Piazza del Duomo, accompanied by music, confetti, flowers, masks and traditional puppets. On Shrove Tuesday, marking the end of Carnival, you can enjoy the floats awards ceremony, fireworks and the burning of the “Re Carnevale” (Carnival King). Flower-laden floats return to parade through Acireale on the last weekend of April for the Carnival of Flowers, while during the Summer Carnival in August, the allegorical floats once again parade through the streets.