Sicily Road Trip Coastal Trifecta: Acireale, Aci Trezza + Aci Castello

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For the first few days we were in Sicily last summer, we stuck close to the coast. Not only did SVV live in these parts for three very formative years in his 20s, but honestly, who wants to be in the Mediterranean in July and not have easy access to water? The heat there was no joke. (Good thing I love the heat.)

Sicily sunset

Per the norm, I spent months prior perusing Airbnb, creating wishlists and bookmarking properties. Surprisingly, though, there weren’t a lot to be found on the rustic Italian isle (or at least not too many up to our standards). Instead, we based where we stayed at night upon where we could find a decent place. Because outside of Taormina—the ritzy resort town that was a wee bit (a lot) out of our price range—Sicily was a pretty low-budge destination.

Riposto bed and breakfastSicily cat

Which is how we found ourselves in Riposto the first day, at a quaint bed and breakfast I found via TripAdvisor; initially, we booked just a single night, but we found the place and its owners—who barely spoke a word of English, but tried oh-so-hard—just so charming, that we came back at the end of our trip and stayed another. And you just can’t beat 80 euro for a comfortable night’s stay and a full breakfast for two.

Riposto B&B

I’d like to think you would have agreed once you witnessed this view of Mount Etna at breakfast each morning.

Riposto B&B

Etna sunset

This location also enabled us to spend some time exploring the area around Aci Castello, where SVV once called home. Don’t you feel sorry for him? (As well you should.)

Aci Castello, Sicily

But first came Acireale, where we stopped to walk around and see some old, crumbling buildings. Fabulous remnants of multiple conquerors and their monuments to the gods, the sea and everything in between are everywhere to be seen. Churches with multiple layers of sects, burn marks and towering minarets above a Roman Catholic church are normal.

Acireale, Sicily Acireale, Sicily

Acireale, Sicily

As are the bones of saints yanked from their resting places multiple times per year to celebrate, and let’s be honest, grant wishes.

Acireale, Sicily

Acireale, Sicily

Acireale, Sicily

Acireale, Sicily

Volcanic rock seems to be the theme around these parts so bring good shoes to find that sheltered slab of cooled black basalt for the requisite sunbathing opps you’ll find along this relatively untouched part of Europe.

Next on down the coast after Acireale was Aci Trezza, the town bordering Aci Castello (honestly, I couldn’t really figure out where one Aci ended and the next began).

Aci Trezza

This fabulous little slice of turquoise coast seemed a popular swimming hole with the locals. Sicily is odd in that it’s a “beach” destination—without any (or rather, many) beaches. And unlike Hawaii, where there are beaches, they’re just made of ground up bits of volcanic rock, many of the Sicilian beaches are just straight-up rock outcroppings.

Aci Castello, Sicily

Finally, we made it up into the hills of Aci Castello to see if SVV’s three-bedroom villa was still standing. Indeed, it was there in all its glory, perched like a prince over the Mediterranean. He sure had it rough in the military, huh?

Aci Castello, Sicily

I wanted to go knock and see if we could get a tour, but he thought that would be a little creepy. I’d also like to point out that while he was living it up abroad in the Navy, I was … just starting high school. So yeah, there’s that.

Aci Castello, Sicily

Still, it was cool to see a peek into a past life of his that didn’t involve me. We even stopped in for lunch at the rotisserie at the bottom of his hill where he used to get lunch regularly. It was still every bit as delicious as it was back then, he claims.

Aci Castello chicken

Sicily seemed our first change to sit back, breathe and go about exploring with no agenda in mind. And after quite the ambitious itinerary in Rome and on our Adriatic cruise, this change of pace was exactly what we needed.

Aci Castello, Sicily

  • January 14, 2015

    An ex-boyfriend of mine lived on Sicily for quite a while in his early 20’s and he would never stop gushing about it. So lovely to finally see what was so enthralling about this little slice of the world.


    • January 25, 2015

      Same here! Scott has been telling me about it for a decade (literally), so I was happy to finally experience the magic in person =)

  • January 16, 2015

    If, no, WHEN I go back to Italy, Sicily is a must-see. I was bummed that I didn’t get there during my year studying abroad!

    • January 25, 2015

      Well, there’s always next time =) It’s so cheap once you get there! Far cheaper than the mainland.

  • January 16, 2015

    These photos are beautiful. The breakfast spot overlooking Mount Etna looks amazing! I can’t wait until I get back to Italy!

    • January 25, 2015

      Thank you! You definitely need to put Sicily on your next Italian itinerary if you haven’t already visited =)

  • January 18, 2015

    That is quite a view. Great find!

  • January 22, 2015

    Bloody fantastic! The photos are stunning. I can even imagine the heat and the lovely blue-green water. I’m not a big fan of beaches but Sicily and Mount Etna – wow! Your husband certainly “slummed” it in a rather wonderful place.
    P.S. €80 per night with a fabulous view and lovely grounds. Well done you!

    • January 25, 2015

      I know, right? Can you believe the U.S. government paid for him to live in a villa in paradise? If you’ve never been to Sicily, you should get down there from Germany—I bet it’s super cheap and easy!

  • January 23, 2015

    It’s like paradise.. Nice pictures…

    • January 25, 2015

      Yes, a sort of secret paradise that the masses have yet to discover =)

  • June 5, 2015

    Nice Place……..

  • October 11, 2017

    I can’t wait to go! Your pictures have me so excited!

  • April 6, 2019

    Thanks for the valuable info. I’m about to visit Sicily and I was looking for some tips 🙂

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