Enjoy a comfortable and exclusive shore excursion from the Messina Port. Our driver and luxury vehicle will pick you up as you disembark your ship and bring you on an unforgettable private tour to visit Acireale, Catania, and the Cyclops Riviera.
Your first stop on this tour will be the ancient city of Acireale whose foundation is lost in time but rich in legend. The name Acireale in fact comes from the shepherd Aci who fell in love with Galatea who in turn is loved by the Cyclops. In jealousy, the Cyclops kills Aci and in the place where he is murdered, a river was born. Acireale is the modern name given this city by the King of Spain in 1642. Many of the monuments in Acireale that you will see today on your shore excursion from Messina are from the Baroque period.
Visit the Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul on your tour, a beautiful Baroque church first built in 1550, that contains many important works of art, and the most important church in Acireale, the Basilica Collegiata of Saint Sebastian. The Cathedral is also from the same period and should be visited in order to see the works of art by the native artist Pietro Paolo Vasta. Enjoy a walk along the Corso Umberto, the most important street in the city where you can admire many important palaces.
Before leaving Acireale and continuing your shore excursion to Catania, make sure you taste the delicious water ice “granita” together with a brioche pastry. Acireale, like many places in Sicily, is well known for its wonderful cakes and pastries.
Your driver will bring you to tour Catania, one of the cities with the most varied landscapes in Italy, including coastline, plains, and mountains. Situated at the foot of Mount Etna, Catania has been destroyed seven times by the volcano and earthquakes in the course of written history. For this reason, there are very few remaining traces of the Greek and Roman periods in the city. Nevertheless, on your shore excursion you will be able to see the remains of the 2nd century Roman Theater and Amphitheater, the Odeon from the 3rd century, and the thermal baths, as well as the aqueduct. From the Norman period, you can tour the Aci Castello and the Cathedral of Saint Agatha, although the main part of the church was rebuilt after the earthquake of 1693. A rare example of the Sicilian Baroque style can be seen in Catania and you should definitely have a walk along the Via Dei Crociferi on your shore excursion to see one of the most beautiful streets in Catania before continuing your car tour along the Cyclops Riviera.
Enjoy this car tour along the Cyclops Riviera, this legendary coast made up of lava stone from Etna’s numerous eruptions, and a deep, limpid sea. Your shore excursion will take you to the important towns along the way, like Acireale with its beautiful historic buildings and the quaint fishing village of Aci Castello, or Aci Trezza and Aci Catena.
When your tour is finished, your car and driver will bring you safely back to the Port of Messina to board your ship.