I debated whether to include this in the top ten or not. Just 5km north of Catania and a short drive from Taormina the town of Acireale doesn’t really offer anything unique in terms of architecture or atmosphere than any other small Sicilian towns nearby. However this small town has become famous for its carnival. It is one of Sicily’s most spectacular cultural events and one of the largest & most frequented carnivals in Italy. With its dizzying array of floats, dancing schools, concerts and confetti parades not to mention lashings of food and wine, the Carnevale di Acireale offers fun for all the family and a fascinating insight into how Sicilians have a good time! The carnival normally runs around January – February or March however we visited in August for Notte Bianca (its a night when all the shops in Acireale and other towns stay open until midnight) and they had the floats and carnival then. If you plan on visiting to see the carnival I would check out Acireale Commune Page via Google first!
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211 Kms from Acireale
Palermo, the regional capital of Sicily, is one of those cities with its own very distinct, almost tangible atmosphere, a place of mystery where reality often outperforms the traveller’s imagination and preconceived stereotypes. Visiting Palermo is still somewhat of an adventure in a world where so many places have become tourist-friendly to a fault. You won’t find many restaurants with menus translated into 5 different languages, you may have trouble communicating in English in many places, and some parts of the old town center have remained untouched since they were bombed during the war.
204 Kms from Acireale
We went back to the hotel after a short visit in Valletta, where we didn’t find what we were looking for. And it was time for some relaxation after hours of driving and walking around in the heat. We ended the day with an hour on deck chair by the hotel pool before we took a few drinks before dinner at Batubulan Sunset Grill, a good restaurant by the sea, where we got a great view over the beautiful sunset.