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Acireale (Catania Province) is located 16 km from Catania, alt 161 m, on a flat stretch of lava high above the Ionian Sea, area 40 sq km, pop. over 47,300, post-code 95024, tel 095. Economy: citrus and other fruit, with related industries; thermal station, mineral waters, stone quarrying, tourism.
The city was probably founded in the mid-14th century by inhabitants of the coastal area to be safe from pirate raids. Today the area is part of the "lemon riviera". The name Acireale was given to the town by Philip IV, King of Spain and Sicily, who made it a direct royal domain. After the earthquake in 1693, the city was rebuilt. The town developed considerably in the first decades of the 20th century and has rapidly expanded.
Acireale is also a thermal town (the thermal springs are named after St. Venera) and famous for its Carnival, one of the finest in Sicily. It is also one of the most important centers for the puppet theater. It is also the site of the Archives of the Acireale Diocese (Largo Giovanni XXIII, 3).
Of interest is the Municipio (1659), the Zelantea Library and Art Gallery in Via Marchese di San Giuliano, the Archaelogical Museum, and the Museum of the Risorgimento.
The Diocese Archives are located at:
Churches (Acireale Diocese) include the following:
Families researched in these records include the following:
On January 20 is the Festa of San Sebastiano. On July 24-27 is the Festa of Santa Venera. The International Bicycle Tour around Etna is in February. There is a major Carnival celebration here.
Some links to learn more about Acireale include:
My latest book on CD is titled Sicily - A Reference for Researchers and is now available. With a file for each town (plus many other files), it relates the history of Sicily as reflected in the photos, records and festivals of its towns. It contains over 2500 text and photo files and can be ordered at CD order.