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The city of Aci Castello is on the eastern coast of the island of Sicily, and - as you might guess from the name - there’s a castle in the city that was once the center of the historic city and is one of the main attractions in the area to this day. Aci Castello can be a great day trip from nearby Catania.

The namesake castle in Aci Castello was built by the Normans in the early part of the 11th century, but civilization here goes back even further. The castle itself was built on the remains of a fort that dated from the 7th century. Today, the castle is an impressive tourist attraction, sitting as it does on a rock outcropping that juts into the sea. It’s a dramatic position for a castle, and you’ll understand why it’s such a popular spot to photograph.

In addition to the historic castle, Aci Castello (sometimes written Acicastello, all one word) is also home to some nice beaches. The best beaches are in a neighboring town, Aci Trezza, which is easy to reach from Aci Castello. Aci Trezza is a popular summertime beach resort town. Just off the coast, you’ll see columnar islands known as the “Isole dei Ciclopi,” or “Cyclops Islands.” There are a couple of local legends about the Cyclops who is said to have lived here, and those islands are said to be boulders the Cyclops threw into the ocean. This coastline is, in fact, called the Cyclops Riviera.

Aci Castello is a short 5.5 miles from the city of Catania, so it’s a great day trip to escape the bustle of the bigger city. You can also visit Aci Castello as part of a longer day trip driving the Cyclops Riviera; Aci Castello is roughly 33 miles from Taormina. It’s best to have a car to get around this area.

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