Aci Castello is the first center of the Riviera of the Cyclops, so named for the rocks emerging from the sea and they seem thrown by a giant, legend has it that he was blinded Polyphemus against Ulysses to throw them on the run. Legend has it that he was blinded Polyphemus to hurl these rocks that were driven into the sea, against Ulysses on the run. The origin of this legend has traced the ways in which Homer defines Sicily, virgin and wild land inhabited by Cyclops, Lestrigoni; these verses in fact have led to the identification of the island Lachea and stacks, which are located close to the coast, with boulders that Polyphemus, blinded and furious, threw Ulysses and his team.
The village is very close to Catania, only 9 km away and is easily accessible by bus, so if you stay in the capital do not miss a visit to the picturesque Aci Castello here and spend a beautiful day in nature, on lava beach or on wooden jetties that are mounted during the summer. The visitor Aci Castello is a small seaside resort, lying at the foot of an ancient Norman castle. The sea is not the first attraction of Aci Castello, think that this landscape constituted by the castle and the sea coast, dotted with lemon trees, agaves and palm trees, it is one of the corners of Sicily more portraits by artists and therefore more famous abroad. For us Italians, these areas are familiar to the setting that Giovanni Verga here gave his famous Malavoglias, particularly in neighboring Acitrezza.
In the town of Aci Castello is a special protected area consists of islands and rocks of volcanic origin which are located a short distance from the coast are the Rocks of the Cyclops, fragments up to 70 m high made of basalt prisms. The protected area is larger than 600 hectares and is famous by the name of the Cyclops coast which also includes the village of Acitrezza.
Acitrezza located close to Aci Castello, is the country in which Giovanni Verga set his famous novel of Malavoglias (1881) and in which, in 1948, was filmed The Earth Trembles by Luchino Visconti and Antonio Pietrangeli. This film is considered a masterpiece of Italian neorealism and was built using the locals as actors. Many older people still talk about it willingly.
The largest of the rocks of the coast, once known as Lachea island, ended up being private property, but fortunately was donated to the University of Catania who installed a monitoring station for physical studies of marine biology. The rocks and the whole aera protected are in fact a small archipelago, with its animal and plant species, the seabed, at one time are especially rich in fish are still inhabited by sea bass, grouper, snapper, sole and tuna but interesting for biologists is mostly submerged vegetation, a microcosm of many species, with real meadows of Poseidonia.
Since the period of the 'Grand Tour' aristocrats and celebrities spent their days among its squares and streets: Oscar Wilde, Nicholas I of Russia, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Nietzsche (who here wrote his Also sprach Zarathustra), Richard Wagner, DH Lawrence, Wilhelm von Gloeden.