The Cyclops River and Faraglioni of Acitrezza

by Aldo Torrisi, 09/04/2015

Riposto is a town of nearly 14,000 inhabitants located on the coastline at the feet of the volcano Etna.
The Mother Church which is clearly standing out by the sea is dedicated to Saint Peter inside there are interesting 1800’s paintings, such as those depicting the Immaculate Conception, the Virgin of the Holy Rosary and St. Sebastian.
The city history is closely related to the neighboring Giarre. Only in 1841 this town became an autonomous municipality. Its name derives from the tithes paid to the County of Mascali. The old village, founded by colonists from Messina (hence the cult of the Madonna della Lettera), grew around a number of storehouses, and in the 19th century become, thanks to its highly strategic location, an important commercial port, notably for wine exportation.

After Riposto we notice several villages  located nearby the sea. Pozzillo well-known for its mineral springs. Stazzo and S.Tecla where we notice an ancient Garritta (little tower) on the top lava rocks between the two villages. You might perceive a slowly rising of lava rocks creating high cliffs, from here starts the Timpa which is a stratification of ancient lava flows erased by the sea. We can see S.Maria la Scala picturesque fishermen village where walking along the Chiazzette (old path-way with large steps) is the best way to discover this small town. The little church of S.Caterina with suggestive panoramic terrace and the last village of Capomulini placed on a large gulf with ruins of ancient tower.

It’s a small fishermen village of 5.000 inhabitants dominated by the Rocks of the Cyclops, pointed mass of black lava rising up from the waters. The Odyssey tells that this stones by the sea are the huge rocks that the giant Polyphemus threw at Ulysses who had blinded him by thrusting a flaming stake into his only eye; after Ulysses could escape with his companions by clinging to the bellies of rams belonging to the Cyclops. Beside we notice the larger rock called Island of Lachea, todays hosting a biology research station run by the University of Catania. Acitrezza was chosen by the writer Giovanni Verga to set his celebrated novel I Malavoglia. The little harbor with multi-colored typical fishermen boats, seems inhabited by the ghosts of his fictitious characters; so easy to imagine Maruzza and the other members of the Malavoglia family, waiting here anxiously on the shore, ceaselessly searching the horizon for the Provvidenza with his cargo of lupins. Here Luchino Visconti created his film La Terra Trema (The Earth Trembles) that draws Verga’s novel I Malavoglia.

Acicastello is a bigger village on the picturesque Riviera dei Ciclopi which lies to the north of Catania. The city is about 19,200 inhabitants and part of nine cities in the area sharing the prefix “Aci”. In the second half of the twelfth century the town was razed by a disastrous earthquake which forced the population to take refuge in neighboring localities. The Castle was completely carved on black lava stone,  a fortress from Norman origins nestled on this rocky spur by the sea. This place has been fortified since the Roman Age, when it hosted the Rocca Saturnia. Destroyed it was rebuilt by Tancredi in 1189. Under the Bourbons, around 1787, the castle was used as a prison. From the top we have a breathtaking view over the Faraglioni and the Lachea island. The castle houses the small City Museum, collecting archaeological relics and mineral specimens. There are 2 Legends about this area: Acis and Galatea – Daughter of Nereus, the sea nymph Galatea fell in love with the shepherd Acis, son of God Pan. Unfortunately, she caught the eye of Cyclops Polyphemus as well, the enemy of Ulysses.  As the nymph rejected him, he, jealous and hatred, killed the young shepherd. Zeus, moved to pity by the pain suffered by the young Nereid, transformed her lover into a river (today’s Akis) that flowing towards the sea, the realm of Galatea, enables the two to meet for ever more. The nine Aci – According to a legend, the body of the young shepherd killed by Poliphemus was dismembered into nine parts, upon which the nine Aci-cities were built:Aci Bonaccorsi, Aci Castello, Aci Catena, Aci Platani, Acireale, Aci S. Filippo, Aci S. Antonio, Aci S. Lucia and Aci Trezza. This stretch of Sicily’s Eastern coastline is also known as the Cyclops’ Coast.

The coast stretching from Riposto take the name of “Timpa”, because of the sudden raising of the rocky crops of lava flows with a variety of amazing spots, high rocky walls – some reaching 100 meters  – and caves, formed by marine erosion. Acqua Ranni – with a famous lava cleef –, Santa Maria la Scala, Santa Tecla, Stazzo and Pozzillo are among its most frequented sea resorts. The whole province is characterized by a rich flora, mainly the Mediterranean bush. Once arriving in Capomulini we notice the rocks of Faraglioni standing out from the sea. These rocks formed thousand years ago from submarine eruption during mount Etna rising. Today all the area is a Marine Protected Reserve for the importance of Fauna and Flora

We invite you to select your suitable boat to enjoy this itinerary
All selected boat have 2 crew member, regular licenses, security amenities and comfort.

Once you’ve selected the boat that meet your expectation ask for booking availability on your suitable date.
Boarding point: Port dell’Etna of Riposto. Available timing for this tour:
Morning from 09.30 to 1.30 pm / Afternoon from 2.30 pm. To 6.30 pm / Full day from 10.00 am. to 6.30 pm.
Our boat tour refers to a private and exclusive rental of the whole boat for the indicated itinerary and conditions. Our boat tours are inclusive of: Skipper and hostess, fuel for the displayed itinerary, port delivery and boarding service, open bar, beach towels, insurances and taxes.
For full day tour extra lunch with following solutions:
– Catering on board with seafood menu
– Local restaurant reservation for à la carte menu

Deposit requirements: Once confirmed availability of the boat we ask for 30% deposit of the total balance prior to confirm any reservations. These deposits may be refundable based on the hereafter description of weather conditions. Final payment:  Balance must be paid by bank transfer 15 days prior departure
In case of short reservation period, balance on departure day by credit card or bank money transfer.

The adverse weather conditions that prevent a safe and enjoyable navigation are the following :
MOTOR BOATS :                              Wind speed up to 20 knots – Sea waves 4-5 Douglas rate
SAILING BOATS AND GULLET:   Wind speed up to 20 knots – Sea waves 3-4 Douglas rate

In case of adverse sea conditions as listed before, we will previously inform guests and ask for another available day according to their permanence in Sicily to guarantee the booked boat tour.
If sea conditions are safe and acceptable departure is guaranteed ” Rain or Sun .”
The cancellation policy are as follows:
– 30% of total reservation is not refundable 15 days before departure.
– 50% of total reservation is not refundable from 14 days to 7 days before departure.
– 80% of total reservation is not refundable from 6 days  to 24 hours before departure.
– No refund for no show.

All listed boats are equipped with regular navigation licenses and qualified staff in possession of nautical licenses and rescue courses as required by regional and Italian laws.
All listed boats have regular insurance policy for damages to persons transported due to extraordinary events (boat collision, shipwreck) and subordinate to the negligence of the master and / or staff on board.
Once on board we always inform about rules and behavior instructions for a safe navigation. All accidents occurred on board for non-observance of these rules won’t be covered by insurance contract policy.

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    • marina di ragusa maps Discover the legendary Cyclops River of Acitrezza with one day boat trip. Boarding and departure will be from Porto dell’Etna in Riposto. The tour navigate on south direction along the seaside of Mount Etna and its characteristics lava rocks landscapes. The coastline is full of small fisherman villages: Torre Archirafi, Pozzillo, S.Maria la Scala, S.Tecla, Capomulini. We stop for swimming time besides the marine protected area of I Faraglioni di Acitrezza with overlooking on the carved castle of Aci Castello.
    • Conditions :

      Once we receive your detailed enquiry, we will send you a proposal within 24 hrs. If you decide to book with us you’ll have to reply our proposal within requested details. Once we receive your confirm and requested additional details, we issue a proforma contract to fill and return signed to proceed with a 20% deposit to secure your reservation. This amount has to be paid with credit card or bank money transfer within receipt to be send max. 2 days after receiving our contract.

      Once your initial deposit has been made, we will send you a confirmation e-mail with your receipt number and final tour details. Balance payment can be made directly on site with credit card or cash.

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