In pictures

Catania’s volcanic coast // In pictures

Aci Castello on the Catania coastline, Sicily

For a coastal city, it’s strangely easy to spend time in Catania and forget the sea is even there. Most of the city’s seafront is filled with its busy harbour, but you don’t need to go far to get a taste of sea air. Just north of the city are a string of former fishing villages, where dark volcanic rocks formed by Mount Etna’s eruptions meet the clear turquoise waters of the Ionian Sea. Off the coast at Aci Trezza you can see three tall, rocky outcrops known as the Cyclops Islands. The legend goes that they were formed when the king of the Cyclops threw giant rocks at Odysseus.

Another relic of battle – this one maybe a bit more historically accurate – lies at Aci Castello, where a towering rocky cliff is topped by Norman castle carved out of the same lava rock. It dates back to 1076, with a strategic position guarding the Messina Straits. This part of Sicily’s coast might not have the classic golden, sandy beaches, but it has more than its share of drama, history and legends.

Catania's volcanic coastline, Sicily
Catania's volcanic coastline, Sicily
Aci Castello on the Catania coastline, Sicily
Aci Castello on the Catania coastline, Sicily
Aci Castello on the Catania coastline, Sicily

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North of Catania in Sicily are a string of coastal castles and fishing villages where volcanic rock from Mt Etna meets the turquoise Ionian sea – like Aci Castello, where a towering rocky cliff is topped by Norman castle - ontheluce.com

Many thanks to Celebrity Cruises for hosting me in Sicily. All views and opinions are, as always, my own.

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20 Comments

  • Reply
    simaroseblossom
    June 2, 2014 at 8:05 pm

    Beautiful!

  • Reply
    Alison
    June 2, 2014 at 8:45 pm

    I’ve really enjoyed your posts on Sicily! Another place in want to visit.

    • Reply
      Lucy Dodsworth
      June 3, 2014 at 10:00 pm

      Thanks Alison, I really fell in love with it, must get back out there soon and see more of the island.

  • Reply
    timelessitaly
    June 3, 2014 at 12:12 am

    Lovely waters! I can see why Odysseus and the Cyclops fought over it…

    • Reply
      Lucy Dodsworth
      June 3, 2014 at 10:03 pm

      Gorgeous colour aren’t they, it was a beautiful day so would’ve been great for a dip!

  • Reply
    swo8
    June 3, 2014 at 2:00 am

    It so picturesque there. I thought the volcano was still acting up.
    Leslie

    • Reply
      Lucy Dodsworth
      June 3, 2014 at 10:02 pm

      It is – apparently Etna is one of the most active volcanoes in the world. I have to say I’d be nervous living so close!

      • Reply
        swo8
        June 3, 2014 at 10:36 pm

        Me too. The price you pay for all that beauty.
        Leslie

  • Reply
    Sluníčko
    June 3, 2014 at 9:15 am

    So many beautiful pictures – thank you for sharing! 🙂

    • Reply
      Lucy Dodsworth
      June 3, 2014 at 10:04 pm

      Thanks so much, the landscape out there was so beautiful – and such a variety too!

  • Reply
    Gerard
    June 3, 2014 at 1:51 pm

    Your pictures are beautiful! Thank you for sharing.

    • Reply
      Lucy Dodsworth
      June 3, 2014 at 10:07 pm

      Thanks Gerard, it was lovely to get just a taste of the beauty of Sicily!

  • Reply
    Packing my Suitcase
    June 8, 2014 at 4:07 pm

    What an amazing place!!! I love places like these, I hope to go sometime!!! 🙂

    • Reply
      Lucy Dodsworth
      June 11, 2014 at 4:34 pm

      Thanks, I’d never seen anything like it before, really liked the contrast between the black cliffs and the blue of the water.

  • Reply
    thebritishberliner
    June 11, 2014 at 6:10 am

    Sicily looks wonderful. Look at those cliffs. Lovely!

    • Reply
      Lucy Dodsworth
      June 11, 2014 at 4:35 pm

      It was fantastic, I really want to get back and see more of it soon!

  • Reply
    Jessi
    July 4, 2014 at 12:18 am

    Sicily looks so beautiful! It’s definitely on my [huge] list of places to visit. Great photos!

  • Reply
    Vlad
    August 4, 2014 at 12:50 pm

    Catania has never been on my radar, but wow, your stunning photos have definitely made me want to pay a visit.

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