In the 14th century, some families from the Aci Castello area moved further north, where the village of Acireale was born. The place where the people settled is the current Piazza del Duomo.
In 1596, the square was enlarged, and some buildings were demolished. Several shops were built around the square, and Piazza del Duomo also became the central market of the town.
The pavement of the square was changed in 2009. The work was entrusted to the architects Paolo Portoghesi and Vito Messina, and to the engineer Aldo Scaccianoce.
The flooring of the square has a well-defined geometry, with concentric circles divided into 12 sectors for the first two rings and 24 sectors for the remaining ones. In the center of the square, there are six circles intertwined with each other according to a hexagonal geometry, with the coat of arms of Acireale in the center.
To the north of the square, we can find the Cathedral of Acireale, dedicated to the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The original layout dates back to the 15th century, but the structure was remodeled a few times in the following centuries.
Near the Cathedral, there is the Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul, built in 1550 and rebuilt in 1608. The church has a beautiful Baroque facade, designed by Pietro Paolo Vasta in 1741. The interior, with a single nave, was renovated after the earthquake of 1818.
Next, to the south, there is the Municipal Palace (Palazzo Municipale), or Loggia Giuratoria, built in 1659, and rebuilt between 1783 and 1785 on a design by Costantino Larcidiacono.
HOW TO GET THERE
Piazza del Duomo is located about 2.1 kilometers away from the Acireale railway station. The closest bus stop is right in the square, 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.
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