The open-air museum of Acireale
With its churches, historical buildings and decorated flooring, Piazza Duomo is the beating heart of life in Acireale. You are sure to be immediately struck by the flooring, which was renovated in 2009 thanks to a project brought to fruition by architects Vito Messina, Paolo Portoghesi and Aldo Scaccianoce. The concentric black circles on a white background recall the shape of the rose window that dominates the façade of the Cathedral of Maria Santissima Annunziata. Dating back to the 15th century, the cathedral houses works by renowned artists, including Pietro Paolo Vasta and Francesco Patanè.
Its neo-Gothic façade is contrasted by the Baroque façade of the Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul. Completing the square are the Town Hall and the Modò Palace, which boasts stunning Baroque balconies and once housed the Eldorado Theatre.
Piazza Duomo also sets the stage for some of the most spectacular events in Acireale, including the Carnival, with its masks and parade of allegorical and grotesque papier-mâché floats, and the feast day of Santa Venera, the patron saint of the city.