Catania is a city of many facets, able to give the visitor excitement for a few glimpses of the urban landscape. The growth of the city of Catania is linked, for better or for worse, the relationship with the Etna: taking advantage of fertility, succumbing to the casting, bending the lava stone material for building houses. Today, Catania is presented as a large urban area, consisting of a beautiful old town (its baroque was included in the World Heritage of 'Humanity), rebuilt after the devastating 1693 earthquake Catania was born more than two millennia before: the' historic settlement dates the oldest Greek colonies in Sicily, when the calcidesi founded Naxos, circa 729 BC, the first plant of Katana. In 476 B.C. was re-founded by Hieron I, tyrant of Syracuse, who deported the inhabitants to Leontini (Lentini current) and populate it with the settlers Dorians and calling Aitna. Subject for three centuries the Greeks, in 461 the inhabitants of Catania reconquered the city, they drove out the settlers and restored the original name. In 263 B.C. was conquered by the Romans, whose imperial rule greatly increased the city, and is evidenced by the buildings survived to the present day: the 'Amphitheatre in Stesichorus Square, the theater and the' Odeon between the western part of Via Vittorio Emanuele and Via Greek Theatre , the remains of St. Pantaleon hole in the yard and four bath complexes. Christianity will spread rapidly; among his martyrs during the persecution of Decius and Diocletian, stands St. Agatha, patron saint of the city, and Sant'Euplio. The barbarian invasions of the late 535 AD, shook the whole of Sicily, and thus also Catania, leading to the decline of the city. Of the three centuries of their domination few traces remain. The Saracens conquered it in '875, leaving a' footprint in relation campaigns, opening new connections (they date from the "trazzere" that intertwine on 'Etna) and inserting new crops. But it was the conquest of the Normans, led by Roger d 'Hauteville,

who since 1060 Catania returned to its former glory. He began work on the construction of the Cathedral (1071). Unfortunately, in 1169, an earthquake devastated the city, contributing to the economic crisis registratasi the end of that domination, susseguita from the Swabian.

In 1239 Frederick II had the castle Ursino on the edge of 'village and close to the sea, thought of as the defensive system of the coast. Under the Aragonese dynasty, Catania was the scene of misfortunes had the White Queen of Navarre because of the ambitions for the succession to the throne by the Grand Justiciar Bernardo Cabrera, Count of Modica. With the election of Ferdinand as King of Aragon, Sicily was declared a province of the kingdom of Aragon. The widow queen Bianca was confirmed "vicarious". Sicily, therefore, was no longer an independent kingdom, but only a viceroy, and remained so.  The Catania consoled themselves with some privileges granted to them by the White Queen. With Alfonso the Magnanimous, the successor of Ferdinand I, came the founding in 1434 of the first university in Sicily, the Siculorum Gymnasium. In 1669 a 'huge lava flooded the western districts until flowing into the sea, while, in 1693, a catastrophic earthquake reduced the city to a heap of ruins. An intelligent reconstruction redesigned Catania criteria "modern", with streets wide and straight. The remaining buildings were demolished half feet and was built on layers of rubble, raising the level of a few meters of the city and reaching us as we know it today. 




Acireale (Sicilian: Jaci Jaciriali or [3]) is an Italian town of 52,792 inhabitants [4] located in Sicily. Of uncertain origin, today the urban layout is typical of late-medieval cities of Sicily. It is located in the middle of the Ionian coast of Sicily, 15 km from Catania. Its inhabitants are called acesi (jacitani in Sicilian). It is the seat of the diocese of Acireale City's most populous province (after Catania), Acireale is famous for its Carnival, for the Baroque and its spa. Nearby Mount Etna, it includes in its territory a number of fishing villages with marina, including Santa 

Maria la Scala and Capo Mulini. always acireale The city's name comes from Greek mythology, in which there was no place for a deity called Aci. He was a shepherd whom fell in love with Galatea, which in turn was in love with the cyclops Polyphemus, who crushed the rival under a rock. Shepherd was born from the blood of a river [5] Akis called by the Greeks, now "gone" underground. The name of the city has undergone a slow evolution thus: Jachium became under the Byzantines, the Arabs and Al Yag then Aci Eagle (or Aquilia) with the Spanish. In the fourteenth century the city was settled in the current territory (formerly stood near the castle of Aci, Aci Castello today) with the name of Aquilia Vetere before, and New Aquilia later. The name Acireale was attributed to the city, according to tradition, by Philip IV of Spain only in 1642 [6]. A capital "semi-perfect" Piazza Duomo in the early twentieth century the center of trade routes and populated by wealthy nobles and wealthy craftsmen for centuries, Acireale was often closer to assert itself as the capital, especially in relation to other houses nearby which provided both minds that funding. However, the history of the city is characterized by growth and the crisis would be better defined as capital "semi-perfect". Acireale was never capital (except for a brief period in the sixteenth century, with the Alagona) and almost eloquent testimony of this paradox can be brought Cathedral, built in the majestic Late-Baroque style centuries before the city was elevated to the seat of the Diocese , churches, palaces and all its historic center or the same reacquisition of demanialità operated with an onerous taxation of merchandise, which took place between the other two times. It is said that Acireale and other Aci drew its origin from Xiphonia, a mysterious Greek city now completely disappeared.

The poets Virgil and Ovid made ​​up the myth of the founding of the love story of Acis and Galatea, who was killed by her jealous cyclops Polyphemus. In Roman times, was born in the same territory a town called Akis, and that historically participated in the Roman-Punic wars. In the Middle Ages the village was consolidated around the castle of Aci and only in the fourteenth century a dozen families moved further north, where he was born Aquilia (Aci Eagle) or Aquilia Nuova, the first stable point of today's city. The sixteenth century was important for Aquilia Nuova, where he consolidated a strong merchant class that brought great wealth to the city and settled various guilds and religious orders, leaving an imprint so indelible that even today is often referred to as "the city of a hundred bells." "Acireale is a kind of medieval Avignon seat and corporations of all possible orders, and convents and religious schools and colleges, and even of six Catholic high schools (as well as a state) ..." (Carlo Levi Traces of Memory, page 98. ) in 1528, Emperor Charles V erected in the village. In the seventeenth century, the territory of Aquilia lost many territories (now universitas, ie cities) but got its present name, thanks to the intervention of King Philip IV in 1642 The January 11, 1693 the city was partially destroyed by the earthquake, which shook throughout the south-eastern Sicily. In 1848 he was one of the main centers of the uprisings in Sicily. In 1873 with the opening of the spa Santa Venera and the opening of the annex Grand Hotel des Bains, Acireale became a spa of some notoriety. From 1861 it was the capital of the district of Acireale, then abolished, as all districts of Italy by the Fascist regime in 1927, the title of City Gets Presidential Decree of 30 November 2005 Today, it is known for the Carnival of Acireale, which attracts visitors from Sicily and Calabria due to the presence, in addition to grotesque allegorical floats and masked groups in the parade, floats adorned with flowers, typical acese prerogative.