Acireale is one of the most enchanting towns in Sicily, known as the pearl of the Ionian Sea, nestled between the sea and the mountains.
From a geological point of view, in Acireale we can observe an additional stage in Etna’s evolution. In fact, the city stands on a tectonic escarpment known as a “ Timpa ”, consisting of imposing sub-vertical slopes overlooking the sea.
The Baroque Piazza Duomo in the centre of the city is connected to the sea by a path that goes from Via Romeo down to the “Sentiero delle Chiazzette”, which the timpa leads down to, offering visitors an unexpected view of the sea even from the first few metres.
On this route, now used by tourists and the Acesi people to reach the sea and the small hamlet of Santa Maria la Scala, there is a small defensive fort called Fortezza del Tocco, which protected this ancient route when used for maritime trade. Today the fort is home to excursions organised by the Italian State Forestry Corps and Legambiente to discover the flora and fauna present on the timpa.