Acireale and the Cyclops Coast

Acireale and the Cyclops Coast

The origin of Acireale is traditionally linked to the legend of the Cyclops, the giants that inhabited the Ionian coast, and the myth of the shepherd Aci and the nymph Galatea, whose love was hindered by the Cyclops Polyphemus: indeed, the Cyclops fell in love with the nymph and for this reason killed Aci throwing a giant boulder on him. On his deathbed, the shepherd was transformed into a river that flows into the sea in a spring called "the blood of Aci". Near the river Akis, the Romans founded a town whose remains have not been identified with certainty. In the territory of Aci Catena, however, one can visit the remains of a Roman statio, a rest area with a building known as thermal baths of Santa Venera al Pozzo, currently Archaeological Park. History meets myth in the places of the Cyclops Coast, the towering basalt rocks called "faraglioni", in fact, would be the rocks thrown by Polyphemus against Ulysses running away from him, according to the story of Homer's Odyssey.

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