1. Acireale: Private Sicilian Baroque and Art Walking Tour
The guided tour of Acireale, made famous by the beautiful scenic floats that embellish it during Carnival, is a journey through history and tradition in a town located a short distance from the Etna volcano and the sea, starting from the heart of the ancient city and its most representative church. The tour begins by visiting the Maria Santissima Annunziata Cathedral dedicated to the cult of Santa Venera, patron saint of the town. Suggestive are the frescoes that cover the columns and the ceiling, a jewel of the Sicilian Baroque with two bell towers overlooking the beautiful Piazza Duomo where the main buildings of the city are located, such as the Palazzo Comunale. A few steps away we continue the visit by discovering the Opera dei Pupi Museum which contains the different types of typical Sicilian puppets, the history of their origin and performances, and a small theater. On the main street we discover another jewel of the Baroque, the seventeenth-century Basilica of San Sebastiano on whose facade we can see an elegant balustrade and statues of characters from the Old Testament. Inside, too, there is a lot to admire, starting with the huge Latin cross and numerous frescoes on the life of the saint, as well as an impressive treasure museum that includes very ancient relics and works of Sicilian manufacture. Walking through the alleys you can smell the typical sweets, the cannoli stuffed with ricotta with honey zeppoline and you will come across several historic baroque buildings, a symbol of power of the noble Sicilian families; you can also admire one of the most important buildings such as the Zelantea Picture Gallery with inside a library with precious manuscripts, an eighteenth-century carriage, a collection of Greco-Roman finds and evocative collections of fossils, coins, minerals and fossils, as well as paintings of the Guercino and etchings by Van Dyke. The guided tour ends by admiring the view of the Sant 'Anna lighthouse and the splendid beaches of the La Timpa Nature Reserve, the wild volcanic coast with cacti and rocks on the beach, a unique setting that makes it one of the most iconic places to visit in Acireale.