The church was built before 1554. The date was deduced after the discovery of a plaque with the sepulchral inscription of Petra Castagna, nephew of Pope Urban VII, who died on September 1, 1554, and was buried there.
During the pontificate of Clement VIII, the convent was closed. In 1621, during the pontificate of Gregory XV, after the Carmelites of Catania began the reform of the Carmelite Order, the convent and the church were renovated and reopened.
The earthquake of January 11, 1693, caused the partial collapse of the structures. The terrible event was followed by the reconstruction of the convent and the enlargement of the church.
ART AND ARCHITECTURE
The church has a Baroque facade completed in 1786, bordered by pilasters for the entire height of the structure, decorated with columns and divided into three superimposed orders of decreasing dimensions.
In the first order, a pair of Ionic columns with Corinthian capitals support a massive architrave that surmounts the only portal of the church.
In the second order, a second pair of columns of lava stone delimits a false window embelished by a clock, surmounted by a broken arched tympanum.
In the third order, four smaller lava columns support the arched bell-gable, with volutes on the sides and large ornamental stone vases placed on the front and side buttresses.
The church has a single nave, with the side walls marked by pilasters with three arches on each side, intended for altars.
The presbitery is bordered by a balustrade. The central niche is decorated with pairs of twisted columns, surmounted by a broken arched tympanum. The gilded wooden case contains the 18th-century statue of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.
HOW TO GET THERE
The Church of Santa Maria del Carmelo is located about 1.5 kilometers away from the Acireale railway station. The closest bus stop is in Piazza Agostino Pennisi, about 350 meters away, on the bus Lines 1, 2, 3 and 4.
However, the buses have a very low frequency in Acireale, it’s difficult to find the timetables and often there are delays and sudden cancellations of journeys, so the best solution to get to the railway station is a taxi.