FIshing village of S. Maria La Scala
Santa Maria La Scala, a charming small fishermen villageAt the foot of the Timpa Nature reserve in the area around Acireale, upon the Ionian coast rises the seaside village of Santa Maria La Scala. The residential area is set around a small pleasant port, called"Scalo Grande", enclosed from the south by an old watermill (Mulino ad acqua) still in use, fed as it was in the past by the gorge of Miuccio flowing from Timpa and from the North by the amazing "Grotta delle Colombe" (cave of doves) accessible by sea. It is a lava stone cave, unfortunately ruined by the bad weather. The church that is still used for mass was built after the 1693 earthquake; you can admire the paintings by Giacinto Platania and Michele Vecchio.
Walking along the seafront past the small port you'll come to meet the elderly and experienced fishermen, with their faces marked by the sea, while they get on with their usual work of repairing the fishing nets.
Those who wish, can still get to Santa Maria La Scala going along a 1600 path called “Le Chiazzette”: a natural itinerary immersed in the silence of the Timpa nature reserve. The village is also a local beach haunt with its volcanic rock beach full of large lava stones flattened by the waves, as well as a destination for Sicilians and tourists to taste fresh fish or a lovely almond granita.