Minimal travels for intrepid girls

A Boat Trip Around Aci Trezza

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It’s finally summertime and right now Italy is burnt by the daily average of 35-40°C. Although I love this season (or better because I love it), I often dream of spending it outside a 9-5 office. One of the things I daydream about is going on a boat trip, sail away from the mainland. A few weeks ago I had the chance of doing it for real during my trip in Sicily. I had actually planned to visit Taormina, but the G7 Summit took place there, preventing everyone else the access to the city (many thanks). But I’m good at finding backup plans, so I just took a bus from Catania to Aci Trezza. And I’m glad I did it.

aci trezza sicilia acitrezza sicily fisherman village boats pier sea seaside

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Aci Trezza is a small town on the Ionian Sea, a former and current fishermen village. It is famous among Italian people because the writer Giovanni Verga set his novel I Malavoglia (“The House by the Medlar Tree”) right in this place. This realist classic is usually studied during high school in Italy; if you are interested in its plot and themes check this link.

aci trezza sicilia acitrezza sicily fisherman village boats pier sea seaside

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Going on a boat trip around the coast of Aci Trezza is a great way to fully enjoy its seascape and get a feeling of this local traditional activity . If you walk by the pier you will certainly find several fishermen willing to take you on a boat tour to the caves, coves and inlets along the coast. However, if you don’t feel safe about jumping on the boat of a stranger or you don’t trust his fare, you can always turn to the official boat companies who work locally. My advice is to ask the owner of your B&B or AirBnB host (like I did), they will know where to send you.

aci trezza sicilia acitrezza sicily fisherman village boats pier sea seaside

 

Aci Trezza’s landscape is popular for the rock pillars emerging from the sea in front of its coast. They have a volcanic origin (you can even see the famous Mount Etna from there on the clear days). According to the legend, these great basalt stones were thrown at Odysseus by Polyphemus to stop his escape. In fact local people also refers to them as the Cyclopean Isles.

aci trezza sicilia acitrezza sicily sea seaside rock pillars faraglioni stones basalt stacks

aci trezza sicilia acitrezza sicily sea seaside rock pillars faraglioni stones basalt stacks

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During the boat trip you will pass very close to these spectacular sea stacks, getting to see how the stone has been transformed by thousands of years of action by the waves and the wind. The biggest among the rocks is Lachea Island, a nature reserve which hosts a station for biological studies of the University of Catania.

aci trezza sicilia acitrezza sicily sea seaside rock pillars faraglioni stones basalt stacks isola lachea island

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The seascape from the boat is just beautiful; I enjoy watching the colours of the waters change second by second, reflecting the moody sky. The salty breeze brushes my face and my arms as we sail far from the coast. It is a moment of grace and freedom.

aci trezza sicilia acitrezza sicily sea seaside rock pillars faraglioni stones basalt stacks seaside seascape

aci trezza sicilia acitrezza sicily sea seaside rock pillars faraglioni stones basalt stacks seascape boat sailing

aci trezza sicilia acitrezza sicily sea seaside rock pillars faraglioni stones basalt stacks sailing boat island

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I love being in contact or close to any body of water: the sea, a lake, a river, a pool, a bath… Guess I’m particularly sensitive to thalassotherapy (from the Greek words thalassa, meaning “sea”, and thérapeia, meaning “therapy”). I worship the stories involving someone who sets sail and travel the oceans: Moby Dick, Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, Around the World in Eighty Days… And now sailing has become one of my favourite things.

aci trezza sicilia acitrezza sicily sea seaside rock pillars faraglioni stones basalt stacks seaside seascape

aci trezza sicilia acitrezza sicily sea seaside rock pillars faraglioni stones basalt stacks seaside seascape

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You can sail a few hundreds meters south from Aci Trezza and find the castle of Aci Castello. This Norman fortress of the 13th century rises on a volcanic rock surfaced from an underwater chasm. Sailing close to its dark and massive structure is just impressive.

aci trezza sicilia acitrezza sicily sea seaside rock pillars faraglioni stones basalt stacks seaside seascape castello norman castle northmen fortress

aci trezza sicilia acitrezza sicily sea seaside rock pillars faraglioni stones basalt stacks seaside seascape castello norman castle northmen fortress

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When I returned to the mainland in Aci Trezza I wanted to have a bath in the sea, so I began walking along the coast. Beyond the pier, I found a stretch of rocks descending towards the sea in front of the stone pillars. The landscape was amazing and the water very clean, so I just sat on a rock enjoying the place. I remember a group of British pupils dive into the water without hesitation, and a Sicilian young couple behind me argue about their relationship (they left after a few minutes, luckily). In the end I took a fresh and fulfilling swim in the Ionian sea, and that was the cherry on top of a beautiful day.

aci trezza sicilia acitrezza sicily sea seaside rock pillars faraglioni stones basalt stacks pier boats beach

aci trezza sicilia acitrezza sicily sea seaside rock pillars faraglioni stones basalt stacks beach summer

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Even if you suffer from seasickness or simply don’t want to dive, you can always enjoy the seaside promenade of Aci Trezza and the number of restaurants serving fresh fish. The Church of St. John Baptist overlooks a small square which opens directly towards the sea.

aci trezza sicilia acitrezza sicily sea seaside promenade pier boats

aci trezza sicilia acitrezza sicily sea seaside promenade pier boats

aci trezza sicilia acitrezza sicily sea seaside promenade flowers church saint john baptist

aci trezza sicilia acitrezza sicily sea seaside promenade flowers church saint john baptist

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How to get there

After getting to Catania through our dear Ryanair, take bus 534 from Borsellino Square up to the end of line (Aci Trezza). Don’t forget to have breakfast at the stalls in front of the station as the locals do: ice cream and brioche, as big as my head!

aci trezza sicily sicilian breakfast brioche gelato ice cream croissant

 

One Comment

  • Tom says:

    It seems like you had a fantastic day! The pictures look beautiful and i always love a bit of ancient mythology 🙂 I bet you can get fantastic seafood there as well <3

    I'm really looking foreward to visit Italy next year again 😀

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