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Pozzillo is a small fishermen village, a hamlet of Acireale and the last part of its municipal territory before entering Riposto. It used to be just another little rocky beach, till a few months ago everything changed. The British newspaper The Guardian found out this place and put it – the only Italian location – among the “top ten autumn holiday beaches”! Your beach “out of the season”. A little Cinderella becoming a tourist star!

Pozzillo also has a very romantic view over Mt Etna. The volcano is the background of the port and the village itself. Besides, it is not complicated at all, to get to Etna from Pozzillo. It can be your base for a tourist itinerary in autumn. You will certainly pass through lovely places usually crowded in the hot Sicilian summer days!

Pozzillo, a lovely tourist base to Mt Etna

Pozzillo exists since the 16th century. Back then, some fishermen built their houses on a lavic “pizziddu” (small point) where also a chapel dedicated to the Virgin Mary stood. Today, the village extends both around the port and up the hills. The people are both fishermen and farmers, mainly cultivating lemons. Pozzillo is not yet used to tourism, but it shall soon learn!

Tne Guardian’s article will lead many people there, from all over Europe. At the moment, tourists can stay at the only local B&B, or find one at the nearby – and larger – Stazzo beach. Having your base at Pozzillo means to enjoy autumn sea, with nice temperatures, and easily move to Mount Etna, if you like.

From Pozzillo to Etna

pozzillo and etna02
sunset along the way from Pozzillo to Etna

Less than 30 km separate the lavic coast of Pozzillo from Etna. To easily reach the great volcano, you can drive along the Provincial Road 92 which passes through the hills. An interesting first stop certainly is  Santa Venerina. This delightful village, with its elegant eighteen-century churches, is famous for its pastry and wine cellars. Here, a wine tasting is a must (one name above all: Murgo), but also the tasting of the excellent “muffin cakes”, a specialty of the Russo pastry shop.

Continuing the trip, you could get directly to Zafferana Etnea. But if you take the detour towards Dagala del Re you will arrive first in Milo. Here it is certainly worth looking out over the panoramic balcony of the main square, from which you can admire the east coast on one side, and Mount Etna on the other.

From Milo you go down again and you reach Zafferana at this point. From here starts the road that climbs up to the Sapienza Refuge. This is the starting point of the Etna cableway that leads close to the summit craters . After the visit to the top, as you go back to the coast, you can stop for dinner again in Zafferana, tasting one of the excellent “Sicilian pizzas”. Back to Pozzillo do admire the beauty of the moon rising over the sea !

What to do in Pozzillo in autumn

In addition to climbing Mount Etna and visiting the wine territory, you can do several things  in Pozzillo. Although the village is very small and still poorly equipped for tourism, there are some specialties already known around the world.

For example, the local cuisine favours recipes based on octopus, swordfish and olives. The white olives in brine, with the typical preparation of the place, have also appeared in some well-known gastronomic critics’ articles. So do not miss a lunch based on these specialties, but since there are not many restaurants in Pozzillo, you should move to nearby Stazzo.

Renting a boat or a small motorboat to travel the few miles that separate Pozzillo from Aci Trezza could be a good idea. You will sail along the coast, admiring the lava walls of the Timpa di Acireale Natural Reserve, the stacks and the seaside villages – as delicious as nativity scenes – such as Santa Tecla or Santa Maria La Scala. You can also go diving, to admire the characteristic local seabed. Finally, you can simply stay in the village and admire the sunset on Etna, from the extreme tip of the port’s pier. From the pier you can enjoy also splendid shows in case of eruptions.

How to get to Pozzillo

Reach Pozzillo by following the State Street 114 which connects Messina with Syracuse. From Catania, pass Aci Trezza and Acireale and continue towards Giarre. If you come from Messina, follow the signs towards Acireale.

At the village of Mangano, a roundabout will show you the detour to Pozzillo. Following the road, between expanses of lemon groves and greenhouses, you will get to the place. You will recognize it, among other things, also by the nice red bell tower of the main church of St Margherita (19th century). (all photos by G Musumeci)

Autore: Grazia Musumeci

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