Thursday, November 6, 2008

An everyday kind of afternoon in Acireale



Acireale is the biggest of the nine 'Aci' towns in the area, and probably the most beautiful. It has an amazing historic center (its baroque churches are the stars), a strong cultural identity, and few of the problems that you find in Catania (mainly DIRTY and CHAOTIC), although parking can be a drag.

There is much to explore here, but I have a very specific itinerary in mind right now. Actually, I am thinking about the events of our recent family outing, a rare treat to have hubby join my son and I during our weekday afternoon jaunts.

Hubby's sweet craving directed this outing--translation, granita time! Acireale happens to have some of the best granita-producing pasticceria that we know about. It also has a lovely park, Villa Belvedere, conveniently nearby our pasticerria. Even though I have been to Acireale numerous times, I had never entered this park before this outing, only driven by it many times thinking 'I should go there' as it is visible from the Strada Statale which passes right below it. I also had no idea that this park has a fabulous playground, cozily nestled among the greenery and a nearby fountain.

The outing couldn't have worked out better. We parked right in front of the park and spent a good while exploring its playground, walking along the path down to the fish pond, and taking a peak at the lookout point to admire the stunning coastal view. The park isn't huge, but it is big enough and with an interesting enough layout to entertain a toddler for a good long while, not to mention the adults.

From here it was less than a ten minute walk to our pasticerria of choice, Condorelli (just east of Piazza Europa, see above link for map). We indulged in almond and pistachio granitas and confirmed our belief that they make an excellent granita. Husband's sweet tooth was satisfied, I was thrilled to have discovered another great playground within driving distance from home, and the little one, well he was as content as could be, especially after a few nibbles of chocolate flavored granita.

On a slightly different note, we also checked out the adorable children's clothing boutique, Du Pareil Au Meme, that we happened to stumble across on our walk (on Corso Umberto, just south of the park). I knew it existed from a friend (after admiring her daughter's clothes) but was completely surprised to find it right there on the way back to the car. Fun, colorful, well-made and affordable cloths for babies and bigger kids sum up this boutique's style, and I swear I would wear some items myself if they came in grown-up sizes. Just too cool and funky to resist (especially the girl's stuff, of course).

So here's to a few more reasons to like Acireale.

And for a bit of useless trivia, in my internet research I discovered that this year's Miss Italia is from Acireale!


1 comment:

  1. Hello!
    I enjoy so much reading your writings... Sicily must be such an enchanting land (apart from its huge problems...) I like to see it from a foreigner's point of view, you probably notice more than any italian. Thank you so much for your KIND words you left on my blog, I am glad I can be of some inspiration... I hope we can continue to keep in touch!

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