The basaltic stacks off Porto di Aci Trezza and Lachea, called Faraglione Grande and Faraglione Piccolo and four other large rocky outcrops in an arch around the coast represent the area the encloses the natural wonders of this Marine Protected Area, which is one of the most important areas of contact between marine life from the Ionian and the Thyrennean seas. The sandy seabed between Porto di Aci Trezza and Lachea Island has sea grasses like Posidonia Oceanica and Cymodocea nodosa. On the rocky shores you’ll find Cystoseira algae in waters up to 30m deep. In the darker areas you’ll find coralliferous colonies with sponges, red and yellow violescent sea-whip, beautiful bryozoans like Sertella septentrionalis and false coral (Myriapora truncata), and crinoidea like Antedon mediterranea with its long and thin plumes. It’s easy to spot large fish like groupers, Mediterranean perch, sea bream, moray eels and colourful parrotfish (Sparisoma cretese). There are underwater archaeological sites at Casa del Principe, I Panettoni, Punta Aguzza and Capo Molini. You can rent a place on a fishing boat for a fishing trip.

The Marine Protected Area

Founded in 1989, the Marine Protected Area is off Aci Castello (Catania), and covers an area of 622 hectares. In the zone A integral reserve you may only swim in the waters to the west of Isola Lachea and around Punta Cornera to 30m from the coast. Non-resident boat access in zone B general reserve and zone C is only allowed along special routes established by the Capitaneria if the boats in question are not fit with ecological devices. In zone C partial reserve you may not drop anchor between the port of Aci Castello and the smaller rock stacks. Webcams are operational along the coast between Acitrezza and Capo Molini. New rules and regulations are currently being approved.

Useful Contacts

Consorzio di gestione
Municipio di Aci Castello
via Dante, 28 – 95021 Aci Castello
tel. 095/7117322
Centro visite di Acitrezza
via Provinciale 226
tel. 095/7117322
Capitaneria di Porto Catania
tel. 095/7474111

By Boat

Just north of Catania, the small town of Acitrezza faces the black volcanic rock islands that form the tiny archipelago of the Ciclopi. Boats can dock at the base of the southern pier and on the eastern pontoon up to the ferry dock. No boats longer than 18m LOA are allowed. The closest port is Porto Ulisse (Ognina), a small fishing port just north of Catania. It’s hard to find the entry to this port even by day.  The breakwater starts by a large brown building and there is no fuel available at the docks.