Timpa of Acireale (Natural Reserve)
A vast promontory created by repeated volcanic eruptions in various time periods, that fall to the Ionian Sea with steep, vertical walls. La Timpa is in good part inaccessable and impervious. From the village of Santa Maria la Scala it is possible, right at the end of the delicious lungomare (heading south), to enter the two foot paths most characteristic of the Timpa.
- Heading south, often walking on the rocks and still close to the sea, you walk about 5 kilometers, until the village of Capomulini. At the beginning of the walk is the spectacular Grotta delle Colonne, Cave of the Columns, where the walls have beautiful basalt columns, among the most beautiful in the world, and the result of special lava cooling. The Etna basalt stone is one of the most precious used in local architecture.
- Going to your right (ask) you can climb up to Acireale crossing an extremely striking path with testimony to the past, these are called the Chiazzette, that in Sicilian means: little squares. This is because during this walk, some of the bends are like small piazzas, designes for rest from the walk. Built at the end of the 1600, it was the only road connecting Acireale and the fishing village of S.Maria La Scala. Seven zig-zagging ramps end at a landing equipped with seats. At the end of the fifth bend, there is a a building in the shape of an embankment, the Fortezza del “Tocco”, from where a canon would be shot, to signal danger, at the sighting of pirates, for which Sicily had a particular “weakness”.
During the migratory season, with good binoculars, you can see herons and large birds of prey.