Santa Maria la Scala is a fishing village clinging to the black lava cliff, a perfect backdrop for the colourful boats of fishermen, and the sea of the acesi (people of Acireale). Nestled between the lush vegetation of the Timpa Reserve and the Ionian Sea, this seaside village is the cradle of mythological nymphs that tell plenty of legends and love stories.

timpa panorama gagliano

Panorama from La Timpa – ph Giovanna Gagliano

Things not to be missed: a tour of the town, perched around the square, and the Scalo Grande (port call); a sea stroll through the sea to explore the geological site Grotta delle Colonne, spectacular basalt columns that tell us about the history of Etna; a stop for a scrumptious fish meal and then up to Acireale, climbing the eighteenth-century Chiazzette trail.

Sentiero delle Chiazzette - ph Giovanna Gagliano

Chiazzette trail – ph Giovanna Gagliano