Nature reserve in the province of Catania
Timpa di Acireale
Total size: 225,34 Ha;
Geographical limits: I.G.M.I. 1:25.000 (V); FFgg.: 270 II N.E.;
It was declared Natural Reserve in 1999 and entrusted to the Company of Regional State Forests, the Timpa is located at the foot of Acireale, near Catania, a long cliff of lava flows seven kilometres long overlooking the sea, its height is more than a hundred metres, covered by ivy, euphorbia and carob.
Together with the Lachea Isle, is a natural open-air laboratory in which the geo-volcanic history of Sicily is written down.
Of particular importance are some places near the coast line, where all the tall basalt columns, similar to the ones present in the Alcantara Goges, represent the path of the crystallization of lava in contact with water.
It is the case of the cave of the Pillars, reachable only by sea.
In the reserve several predatory birds nest, and an undisturbed dense vegetation grows luxuriant thanks to the springs that pour into the Ionian Sea.
As in Santa Caterina, characterized by a view point with a splendid view.
The path of the Chiazzette, the stone walkway reachable (carefully) from the state motorway 114 in Acireale, is a seventeenth-century path that winds down to Santa Maria La Scala, the picturesque and quiet fishing village.
Along the zig zag path, we come across the Fortress of the “Tocco”, a fort in defense of Acireale from the seventeenth century, during the Spanish rule, from which the cannon was fired to warn of danger.
Carob, broom, olive, mastic tree and lavender are a known feature of this walk.
How to reach the Timpa:
Departing from Catania take the State Motorway SS 114 (CT-ME): the Natural Reserve is located between Capomulini (just after overcoming Aci Trezza) and Santa Maria degli Ammalati, that is located at the South entrance of Acireale.
Buses could park on the main square of S. Maria degli Ammalati.
By car is possible to take the road that takes directly to the Chiazzette and park just at the beginning of the path that represents its starting point.
Azienda Foreste, Provincial office of Catania 095 447084