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Photos of Carnevale Celebrations in Acireale, Sicily

Posted on April 9th, by Peter Parkorr in Italy, Picture Perfect, Sicily. 1 Comment

Acireale is a small but pretty town in Sicily, not too far up the coast from Catania, the nearest big city.

This town is known mainly for two things; the legend of the Cyclops, and for having one of the best Carnevale celebrations. I’m sharing some Acireale Carnevale photos today and talking a little about life in Sicily too.

Aci Castello Coast View Photo Sicily

A view along the coast at Aci Castello near the Norman Castle

The legend of the cyclops is actually based in nearby Aci Trezza, where prominent basalt rocks jut out of the sea near the coast. These are supposedly where rocks thrown by the Cyclops at Ulysses landed in the sea, in competition for the love of a nymph.

LLegend of the Cyclops Aci Trezza Sicily

The basalt rocks of legend along the Ionian coast

I also heard that five rocks which stick out of the sea in a rough semi-circle are said to be the hand of a submerged giant, although geologists will tell you that this is actually the remnants of one of Sicily’s first volcanic craters – the first bits of Sicily to rise out of the Mediterranean due to a bulge in the tectonic plate here.

Another short way down the coast is the photogenic Aci Castello, home to an old Norman castle.

I passed through the coastal towns here and visited Acireale for an evening while I was Wwoofing in Sicily, for ‘il piu bel Carnevale di Sicilia’ – the most beautiful carnival on the island.

Pretty Italian Building Aci Castello Sicily

Italian flags flying on a pretty building in Aci Castello

Enjoy some photos of Carnevale in Acireale along with a couple of others taken during a sunny few weeks in the winter of 2012. Keep your eyes peeled for the horse meat steak and the Cedrone fruit!

Normann Castle, Aci Castello Italy

Castello Normanno, The Norman Castle, built in 1076


Graffiti Sicily We Like Indian Food

Someone in Sicily likes Indian food! Glad to hear it.

 Acireale Carnevale photos, Sicily

Evening Sunset Skies over Acireale Carnevale Sicily

Sun sets as Carnevale lights up


People Celebrating Fancy Dress Acireale Carnevale Sicily

The normally fussy Italians get into fancy dress for Carnevale!


Fairground Rides Skyporn Sunset Acireale Carnevale Sicily

Fairground rides are all part of the Carnevale fun


Acireale Carnevale Sicily Il Piu Bel Carnevale Sign Lights

The Most Beautiful Carnival In Sicily (Il Piu Bel Carnevale Di Sicilia)


Crowds Acireale Carnevale Sicily Sicilia

The streets of Acireale are full of bodies and giant carnival floats


Angry Donald Duck Acireale Carnevale Sicily

The cast of characters at Carnevale are bizarre – like Uncle Scrooge!


Weird Italian Political Caricatures Acireale Carnevale Sicily

Berlusconi and his alien freak show. With dancers, of course.


Sarkozy Obama Models Acireale Carnevale Sicily

Obama and Nicolas Sarkozy on a camel…


Dog Float Meets Bull Acireale Carnevale Sicily

Twins Dating Twins Acireale Carnevale Sicily

Two pairs of twins celebrating Carnevale on a double date!

Street Performer Acireale Carnevale Sicily

Interesting costume…

 Don’t forget the Italian Food

An Italian celebration would not be complete without great food and drink! This Roman tradition never got buried, with cheap delicious options at the fairground for hungry revellers. This is also where I ate my first horsemeat in Sicily and didn’t realise until much later. It had a strong flavour and is cut thinly because it’s a little tougher than beef. They like simple earthy flavours in Sicily so horse steak is usually brushed with only olive oil and maybe rosemary, before being barbecued for a couple of minutes and served in a fresh crusty bread roll. So good.

Italian Barbecue Feast Acireale Carnevale Sicily

The Italians really know how to do festival food – steak, sausages, grilled vegetables and fresh bread.


Raw Horse Meat Sicily Acireale Carnevale

Lots of horse meat steak ready to be cooked up!


Cidrone Fruit Food stall Acireale Carnevale Sicily

The sculpture should have given me a clue about the horsemeat! And this was my first sighting of a cedrone – the giant lemon looking thing.


Horse Meat Steak on Grill Acireale Carnevale Sicily

I ate my first horsemeat steak in Sicily completely unawares. Tasted good!


Weird Facebook Puppets Acireale Carnevale Sicily

A freaky facebook and google float. No idea what the theme is!


Bill Gates Windows 7 Puppet Acireale Carnevale Sicily

Bill Gates and Windows 7 sit smugly above some kind of ‘broken person’ – a statement about the effect of social networks from what I could gather


Pirates and Sharks Acireale Carnevale Sicily

Pirates and sharks joins sides to celebrate

Strange Caricatures Puppets Acireale Carnevale Sicily

Bob Marley and a psychotic looking 4-armed suit


After enjoying the Carnevale celebrations, I drove back to my WWOOF host’s place, a few kilometres up the slopes of Mount Etna. I stopped along the way a couple of times to play with some nighttime photography and got a couple of nice shots.

Lemon Trees Night Landscape Acireale Carnevale Sicily

The dark sea and lights along the coast of Sicily, with some of the abundant lemon trees growing in the rich volcanic soil


Black White Colorsplash Tail-Lights Long Exposure Photo Acireale Carnevale Sicily

Trying out longer exposure photographs on a quiet winding road with my tripod


That’s all of my photos from Acireale Carnevale for now, other photos from Catania, Sicily, and the rest of Italy coming imminently!

Peter Parkorr