Castello di Aci

Aci Castello, Italy

The Castello Normanno ('Norman Castle'), or alternatively the Castello di Aci, is situated on a rocky outcrop jutting out into the sea. Its precise date of construction is uncertain, but it was important to the development of its region during the Middle Ages. During the War of the Sicilian Vespers, it was subject to Roger of Lauria. It was besieged more than once, and was briefly controlled by the Spanish. It is currently a museum.

The town of Aci Castello developed around the castle, which was built in 1076 by the Normans upon the foundations of a 7th-century Byzantine fortification. In 1169, Aci Castello started to expand after an eruption of Mount Etna made the towns in its vicinity uninhabitable. The castle later became the property of the Bishops of Catania.

In 1296, Roger of Lauria, admiral of the Aragonese fleet during the War of the Sicilian Vespers, was granted the fief of Aci and its castle as a reward for his faithful service to King Frederick III of Sicily. When relations between the two men soured and di Lauria transferred his loyalties to the Angevins, the castle was besieged and captured by King Frederick and di Lauria stripped of his fiefs. In 1320, the castle and Aci were taken from Roger's descendant, Margaret of Lauria and given to Blasco II de Alagona. Whilst the latter was away defending Palermo from the attacking Angevins, Bertrando di Balzo sacked Aci in his absence.



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Founded: 1076
Category: Castles and fortifications in Italy

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4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Vix N (15 months ago)
What a place! If you speak Italian I surely recommend to do a guided tour as the gentleman showing us around and telling the story of the castle was just hilarious. Beautiful viewpoint, well taken care of place. Definitely worth a visit.
Olga D (2 years ago)
Aci Castello is one of the numerous historical landmarks of Sicily, and while I feel that any historical place should get 5 star rating as it reflects what has already passed and thus can't be changed, decorate or improved, I still assigned 4 starts only. The reason is that the Castle of Aci is relatively small and is not impressive in terms of beauty or grandeur. Its majesty lies in centuries long history, however what your eyes see is mid-size castle with small museum inside. Although what is stunning here is the ocean view on one side and the village on the cliff on the other side, so you won't leave the place without nice shots for sure.
Daniela Di Benedetto (2 years ago)
Fantastic spontaneous visit led by local poet and storyteller Davide. Thank you for those magic moments in one of the nicest places in the world!
Markella Kourkoulou (2 years ago)
Incredible castle totally worth the visit. Offers a great panoramic view. Tickets for adults are 3.5€ and 4.5€ for the castle and the museum combined.
Marta Pratt (2 years ago)
Fantastic place for a dive into the history of the city of Catania. The museum inside is pretty small, but the castle and the view are simply astounding. Highly recommended.
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