Villa Belvedere, officially known as Giardino Vittorio Emanuele III, is the largest public garden of Acireale, located in the northern part of the town, in Piazza Indirizzo, at the end of Corso Italia.
Villa Belvedere was built in 1848, and took the name of Belvedere for the splendid panorama we can admire from its large balcony, located at the end of the main avenue.
From the balcony, the main attraction of the garden, we can see in front, below, the Timpa, the terrace of lava origin on which Acireale was built. To the left, we can observe the eastern coast of Sicily up to Taormina, and even Calabria during the clear days. To the right, we can see the same coast of Sicily, but this time to the south, up to the hills of Augusta.
On the left side of the garden, there is a gazebo which, in the summer, is used for musical events. Further on, there is a small sports field recently built.
On the right side of the garden, there is the basin with the marble sculptural group of Aci and Galatea, inspired by a work of art now found in the Zelantea Art Gallery. Further on, we can see the remains of Caffè-Teatro-Eden, a Moorish-style construction, where concerts and operettas were performed. Here, in 1905, Acireale saw the first screening of a motion picture.
Spread through the garden, we can find six busts of illustrious people of Acireale, who lived during the 19th and the 20th centuries.
HOW TO GET THERE
Villa Belvedere is located about 2.9 kilometers away from the Acireale railway station. The closest bus stop is in Piazza Indirizzo, a few 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.