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Acitrezza, totalling some 5,000 inhabitants, is a small fishing village dominated on the seaward side by the Rocks of the Cyclops, a treacherous pointed mass of black lava rising up from the crystal-like waters. The Odissey tells that these were hurled by Polyphemus against Ulysses who had blinded him by thrusting a flaming stake into hin only eye; the hero then escaped with his companions by clinging to the bellies of rams belonging to the Cyclops. Beside the rocks sits the island of Lachea, now a biology research station run by the University of Catania.

Acitrezza was chosen by the writer Giovanni Verga to set his celebrated novel I Malavoglia. The little harbor bathed in sunshine and dotted with multi-colored boats, seems inhabited by the ghosts of his fictitious characters; so easy to imagine Maruzza and the other members of the Malavoglia family, waiting here anxiously on the shore, ceaselessly searching the horizon, alas in vain, for the Provvidenza with his cargo of lupins. Here Luchino Visconti shooted his film La Terra Trema (The Earth Trembles) that he draw from Verga’s novel I Malavoglia.


After midnight, the wind began to raise merry hell, as if all the cats in the village were on the roof, shaking the shutters. You could hear the sea lowing around the high rocks so that it seemed as if the cattle from Sant’Alfio market were gathered there and day broke as black as a traitor’s soul

... The village boats were drawn up on the beach, and well-moored to the boulders below the wash-place ...

The only people on the beach were Padron ‘Ntoni, because of that load of lupins he had at sea, along with the Provvidenza, and his son Bastainazzo to boot 


Taken from Tourist Guide Michelin – Sicily, translation of extract from I Malavoglia by Giovanni Verga