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Acireale

Trip Planner Europe  /  Italy  /  Sicily  /  Province of Catania  /  Acireale
Acireale is a coastal city and commune in the north-east of the province of Catania, Sicily, Italy, at the foot of Mount Etna, on the coast facing the Ionian Sea. It is a diocese, famous for its churches, including the Neo-Gothic St. Peter's Basilica, St. Sebastian's Basilica in the Sicilian Baroque style, and the 17th century Acireale Cathedral, and a seminary, for the training of priests. Acireale is also noted for its art and paintings: the oldest academy in Sicily, the "Accademia dei Dafnici e degli Zelanti", is located here.HistoryAccording to tradition, the city's origins trace back to Xiphonia, a mysterious Greek city now completely disappeared. In Roman times, there existed another Greek town, Akis, which was involved in the Punic Wars. In Ovid's Metamorphoses, there is a great love between Acis, the spirit of the Acis River, and Galatea the sea-nymph. According to mythology, the tears of Galatea after the death of Acis gave birth to the Acis River, Fiume di Jaci, flowing past Acireale (the ancient Akis or Acium).
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