independent, cozy loft, located along the picturesque seafront of Santa Maria la Scala, a characteristic fishing village of the land of the Aci, at the foot of the promontory "La Timpa". Just cross the road to find yourself already on the seashore.
The captain's house, literally on the sea, consists of a single room with a sofa chaise lounges / bed, kitchen with fridge and stove, bathroom with shower set in the rock, washer / dryer, a central space from which, both sitting at the table is relaxing on the comfortable sofa, you can enjoy the wonderful movement of the waves crashing on the rocks.
In front of the captain's house you can take advantage of a convenient parking available for our guests.
The considerable thickness of the walls, dug into the rock, typical of ancient buildings, guarantees a pleasant indoor temperature even in particularly sultry periods. the arch at the entrance in the original lava stone increases the charm of the house and gives the sensation of staying inside a cave.
Activities and attractions
1. The Chiazzette trail is the most accessible for those who would like to visit the beauties of the Reserve. In the past, the trail started from Piazza del Duomo, across via Romeo (at that time, Via della Marina) and the neighborhood of Madonna del Suffragio, then heading down the track to the picturesque fishing village of Santa Maria La Scala. Today, coming from via Romeo, you need to cross the recently constructed bridge on the SS114 to walk through the tiny street (now Via Tocco) and enjoy the beautiful views offered by the Ionian coast.
Winding through seven hairpin turns, the trail allows us to easily overcome the 150-metre height difference separating Acireale’s upland plain from the coast below. Rearranged on an existing route in the seventeenth century, the path has been enriched with special arched retaining walls and ramps up to six metres wide. For over two centuries it was the most important and historical road connection between Acireale and the village, rich in fresh water springs and home to a marina.
At the entrance of the trail (off the SS 114), to the right of a short flight of steps beside a short slide rises a shrine devoted to the Sacred Image of Mary. The little cobbled path is adorned with specimens of Robinia pseudoacacia, what is left of about 400 trees that, in a double line, shaded the ancient strada della Marina.
On the first “square” you can see a monumental Plane tree specimen, estimated to be over 150 years old.Past the bend, continue on the first ramp of Chiazzette, on whose background you can see La Fortezza del Tocco (“The Tocco Fortress”): a stronghold built in the first half of the seventeenth century, now home to the visitor centre of this protected area. Looking out from it, you will be amazed by the wide stretch of coast in front of you.On the fourth ramp is the chapel devoted to SS. Crocifisso della Buona Nuova, dating back to the early nineteenth century.From the seventh to the final ramp you can walk along two alternative trails: going straight, you reach the square of the charming seaside village; taking the path on the right (called Via Miuccio), you reach the homonymous beach.The path leading to the main square of the village, where is the Mother Church, is the original one: downstream, it goes along the village and, upstream, it sides the buttresses of the Timpa, along which are the entrances of a few houses.
2.The Gazzena district is undoubtedly one of the most interesting areas from a naturalistic and landscape point of view.Following the signs for the former Perla Jonica hotel, you reach via Urna and then, on the left, Via Dei Maceratoi, from where you turn left into the dead-end road to reach the bar pointed out in the planimetry. From there you walk through a typical countryside alley (rasula) to an abandoned warehouse built on the high ground, next to which is a northward path leading to another long and well-preserved rasula, sided by a typical irrigation canal (twill).Walking all the way towards east, you can observe a ruined building which hosts a well and the remains of a steam machine, used for lifting water to irrigate the citrus grove and vegetable gardens located in the underlying and overlying plains. Since all the arable land has now been totally abandoned, you can observe the revival of the original Mediterranean scrub.Walking past the well, you overlook the first step of Gazzena: here the ground presents two parallel fault scarps that create as many degrading ledges.Staying at the top ledge and walking along the margin towards north for almost 100 metres, you reach an abandoned farmhouse flanked by a peopling of Sumacs, once used for the leather tanning process. From here begins the descent down a steep and winding path where, on a lava stone slab, can be seen engraved symbols and the inscription: “Arcangelo Calanna did good to this land in the year of our Lord 1868”. After crossing the plateau, you can look out on the verge of the second fault line from where opens up the precipice of the marine timpa. The view is unique and exciting: lava boulders, clefts and inlets, halophyte vegetation and crystal blue sea. Parallel to the edge of the escarpment is a path running along the ancient dry stone wall with typical “paralupo” stones.Continuing along the path, you reach the slightly uphill plateau which leads to a building (Casazza), recently restored and surrounded by Downy Oaks. Alternatively, it is possible to reach this building through a rasula semi-hidden by vegetation, which develops on the edge of the first step at a height of about 60 m above sea level.
3. The Acquegrandi (Acquaranni) trail crosses one of the most intact stretches of Acireale’s Timpa. Its entrance is located next to the little church of Our Lady of Good Help (rebuilt between 1769 and 1773), which opens on the homonymous lane; a narrow, rural path accessible from the village of Santa Caterina or from Santa Maria delle Grazie, bordered by tall lava rock walls covered with Ivy and Smilax bushes.On the church façade appears the inscription Auxilium Christianorum and on the northern side you can see a small paved lane. Between high dry walls covered by Hackberry, Eucalyptus, Alaternus, domesticated Olive Trees and arborescent Ivy starts the path leading to Acquegrandi. After walking through an open metal gate, the little road becomes an uneven lane, flanked by a stonework which supports an irrigation canal. After coming across a monumental specimen of Downy Oak, you get to a slight slope which overlooks the escarpment below, offering a wide view of the sea: to the right, the Acquegrandi beach and, to the left, the slopes of Timpa di Don Masi, where can be found Downy Oaks, Wild Olives and peopling of Arundo pliniana. It is also an excellent birdwatching spot.At the time of pirate raids, one of the lookout points of the whole coast was located near the plateau, enriched by specimens of Carob Trees and Olives. There is also a memorial stone devoted to Matteo Mustica, a young scuba diver from Catania who died of embolism in the underlying water.
To reach the sea you need to walk along a steep and challenging trail with stone steps which, crossing the escarpment with points of considerable difference in height, is immersed in a beautiful landscape rich in typical vegetation (Elm, Hackberry, Alaternus, Euphorbia, Prickly Pear, Prickly Asparagus, Dianthus Sylvestris) and geological formations of utmost
4. Ancient railway line trail:
It is a segment of the state single-track railway line which was built in the second half of the nineteenth century and deactivated in the Sixties, following the construction of the new double track in the tunnel upstream of it.The disused segment starts from Grotte and ends at Mortara, close to Santa Maria Ammalati, next to the new railway.The whole trail, about 3 km long (that is, the whole extent of Santa Tecla’s Timpa), is perfectly flat and runs partly enclosed among high lava stone walls, partly through four tunnels and, over extended stretches, it gives wide views of the plain below.
Rentalia Reference num: 804515
Pets not allowed
Multi adventure activities
Via molino, 24
95024 Santa Maria la Scala Catania (Italy)
2 m to the beach, 3 m to the city center, 3.5 km to the airport, 10 m to supermarket
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