As always happens, geology shapes the territory and influences its development. Like the rest of south-eastern Sicily, Acireale suffered heavily from the catastrophic effects of the 1693 earthquake, which destroyed almost every part of it. This earthquake was one of the most energetic and destructive ever recorded in historical times in Italy, so strong that it moved some portions of the majestic Simeto river by as much as 2 metres.
In Acireale, the lava stone typically used in the Etnean area to construct buildings for its hardness and resistance, acquired further value thanks to the skill of the artisans who embellished it with baroque motifs, just like in the Val di Noto with white stone. Today you can admire the magnificent entrance portals of the noble Acesi palaces adorned with masks and corbels with anthropomorphic figures, acanthus leaves and geometric figures. The reconstruction of the city also introduced the use of white Hyblaean stone, which enriches the local architecture by creating a wonderfully scenic contrast with the black of the lava stone.