Travel advisory

Please be aware of any coronavirus (COVID-19) travel advisories and review updates from the World Health Organization (WHO). Due to the unprecedented volume of travel disruptions, refunds may take up to 30 days to process.

AcirealeItaly

It may be small, but beautiful Acireale has a wealth of superb architecture, fine views toward Mount Etna and one of Italy’s liveliest carnivals.

Just a short drive north of Catania and perched high above the coast, Acireale remains noticeably quieter than many other nearby towns. Exactly why this is true is hard to understand, as the town has charming squares lined with classical Baroque architecture, thermal baths and a pleasant beach for swimming nearby. The serenity disappears during the spring, when Sicily’s biggest carnival comes to town.

Start your visit in the Piazza del Duomo close to the city center. Here you’ll see groups of locals enjoying the cafés or shopping at market stalls near exquisite Baroque structures. On the northwestern side of the square is the 17th-century Acireale Cathedral. Admire the towering twin spires and explore the interior to find several chapels decorated with intricately painted murals. Continue your walk around the piazza and you’ll pass the Basilica dei Santi Pietro e Paolo and the Palazzo Municipale. Both buildings display traditional Baroque design features including stunning carvings and portals.

A short walk south will take you to another pretty square, the Piazza Lionardo Vigo. The main draw here is the fantastic Basilica di San Sebastiano. See statues of figures from the Old Testament on the main façade and look inside at the colorful frescoes that recount the life of Saint Sebastian.

After a morning of sightseeing, spend an afternoon at the beach. A short stroll downhill will take you to the village of Santa Maria La Scala. Swim in the warm waters or eat freshly caught fish from a restaurant overlooking the Mediterranean Sea.

If you are here in February, you’ll have a treat. This is when the Carnevale di Acireale takes place. The carnival runs for three weeks and is one of the largest in Italy, featuring colorful floats, live music and dancing.

Besides carnival week, summers are the busiest time in Acireale, though the warm Mediterranean climate means you can expect fine weather from March until the end of October.

Top Hotels in Acireale

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
ibis Styles Catania Acireale
ibis Styles Catania Acireale
4 out of 5
Via Madonna Delle Grazie 98A/B, Acireale, CT
$66
per night
Apr 1 - Apr 2

Situated near the beach, this hotel is within 2 mi (3 km) of Timpa Natural Reserve, Piazza del Duomo, and Palazzo Comunale. Church of the Holy Apostles Peter ...

4.5/5Wonderful! (273 reviews)

"property is too modern for the location..this is not a negative but an observation..Location is the problem..only one restaurant within walking distance Il Rustico,,excellent..Nice mall across highway for shopping....Hotel is best for those passing thru or with a vehicle.. Stay was enjoyable with ..."…"

Reviewed on Sep 30, 2019

ibis Styles Catania Acireale
Grande Albergo Maugeri
Grande Albergo Maugeri
4 out of 5
Piazza Giuseppe Garibaldi 27, Acireale, CT
$105
per night
Apr 4 - Apr 5

Located in the heart of Acireale, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Acireale Cathedral and Puppet Theatre and Museum. Acireale Station is 28 minutes by ...

4.4/5Excellent! (145 reviews)
Convenient location

"Location is really good, close to Piazza Duomo, only few minutes walk. Lots of restaurants nearby. Triple room is pretty good, but wifi is sometimes stop in my room. Breakfast is just ok, not much choices. The man receptionist is very nice and helpful. He find me the way to Mt. Etna and Taormina ..."…"

Reviewed on Dec 28, 2019

Grande Albergo Maugeri
Best Western Hotel Santa Caterina
Best Western Hotel Santa Caterina
4 out of 5
Via Santa Caterina, 42/b, Acireale, CT
$99
per night
Apr 10 - Apr 11

Situated in the historical district, this romantic hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Timpa Natural Reserve and Piazza del Duomo. Palazzo Comunale and Acireale ...

4.3/5Excellent! (362 reviews)

"Very enjoyable stay. Staff was so helpful on w. Food was good at the restaurant, rooms very clean"…"

Reviewed on Oct 11, 2019

Best Western Hotel Santa Caterina

Popular things to do in Acireale

Acireale Cathedral
Image for Acireale Cathedral

Acireale Cathedral

4.5/5(39 reviews)

You can learn about the history of Acireale when you stop by Acireale Cathedral. Discover the area's volcano viewpoints and local cheese shops.

Piazza del Duomo
Image for Piazza del Duomo

Piazza del Duomo

4.5/5(11 reviews)

Elegant fountains, a superb cathedral and fine shopping and dining make Catania’s main square a great place to spend some time. 

Catania Beach
Image for Catania Beach

Catania Beach

4/5(41 reviews)

Nothing says vacation like spending a lazy day at Catania Beach, a popular beach in Catania. While in this walkable area, find time to visit its shops.

Isola Bella
Image for Isola Bella

Isola Bella

4.5/5(74 reviews)

Nothing says vacation like spending a carefree day at Isola Bella, a popular beach in Taormina. Wander the area's seaside or simply enjoy one of its top-notch restaurants.

Greek Theatre
Image for Greek Theatre

Greek Theatre

4.5/5(168 reviews)

Visit this ancient theater to admire Roman ruins, watch internationally acclaimed musicians and enjoy stunning views across the Bay of Nexus. 

Taormina Cable Car
Image for Taormina Cable Car

Taormina Cable Car

4.5/5(61 reviews)

On this quick and practical lift system, appreciate the picturesque views as you soar above the beaches and coves of Mazzarò and spot the historic landmarks of Taormina.

Top activities in Acireale

Catania: Exclusive Walking Food Tour
Image for Catania: Exclusive Walking Food Tour

Catania: Exclusive Walking Food Tour

$84
Per adult
Syracuse, Ortigia and Noto
Image for Syracuse, Ortigia and Noto

Syracuse, Ortigia and Noto

100% of travellers recommend
$100
Per adult
Etna Wine Tour
Image for Etna Wine Tour

Etna Wine Tour

74% of travellers recommend
$131
Per adult
Wine and Local Delicacies Tasting at a Sicilian Palmento
Image for Wine and Local Delicacies Tasting at a Sicilian Palmento

Wine and Local Delicacies Tasting at a Sicilian Palmento

$40
Per adult
Cooking Class with Chef Stefano in Taormina
Image for Cooking Class with Chef Stefano in Taormina

Cooking Class with Chef Stefano in Taormina

80% of travellers recommend
$135
Per adult
Sicilian Cooking Class in Taormina
Image for Sicilian Cooking Class in Taormina

Sicilian Cooking Class in Taormina

$97
Per adult

Reviews of Acireale

4.6

Top Destination

5 - Excellent
4
5 - Excellent 80%
4 - Good
0
4 - Good 0%
3 - Okay
1
3 - Okay 20%
2 - Disappointing
0
2 - Disappointing 0%
1 - Terrible
0
1 - Terrible 0%

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Sep 29, 2019

I booked this hotel by mistake. I wanted a hotel in downtown Catania and ended up in a property more than 25 miles from the city center. In some ways, it was a terrible mistake as we didn't get to see much of Catania. However, the hotel was great!

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Mar 25, 2019

Beautiful little town.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Mar 19, 2019

We liked Acireale for the past history antic buildings and modern parts of it. The piazza Duomo cathedral his an art that every body love to see.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Mar 14, 2019

In Acireale, we were in touch (we felt) with real Italy, not the tourist zone one experiences in the most-visited places. We loved it. It's also convenient for visiting Etna, Messina, and other places on the east coast.