The Southern Italian island of Sicily is known for its historical and cultural value. While most visitors are familiar with the capital city of Palermo, it is the north-eastern town of Acireale that offers historical attractions, Mount Etna and entertainment, especially, during its little known February carnival. Acireale is located in the Riviera dei Ciclopi on the Ionian Sea, located on a plateau of lava origin.
The carnival of Acireale is considered one of the most beautiful in Italy. The attraction features large mechanical sculptures that are purpose-built from papier maché situated on allegorical floats. These are then illuminated by hundreds, and often thousands of light bulbs. The competition of making the best sculpture is fierce as rewards are given to the best float. Local artists begin sculpting both the miniature and float version of the sculptures in workshops situated in the carnival citadel, which is located in the northern part of the city. In the past, the faces or masks of the sculptures were made to resemble clergymen and the aristocracy, which the poor aimed to mock. These days, the direction of inspiration focuses on public figures and celebrities.
The festive nature of the experience is perhaps the reason people love going to the carnival. That, and the various authentic Sicilian foods that can be sampled at Acireale and the island in general. These include fresh and tasty granita made with Sicilian lemons or almonds, pasta alla Norma, the swordfish rolls, pasta with sardines and all the other Sicilian specialties.
The carnival as an inspiration
Every carnival is filled with high-spirited energy that is enhanced by catchy rhythmic music, extravagant costumes, and street parties. These festivities are translated into everyday life through fun and educational games created such as Dora’s Carnival adventure. This is a downloadable children’s game which focuses on the high energy of the carnival in order to teach children about the alphabet, singing, and counting. There are tickets that can be collected in various games, which can then be collected for a prize, just as you would do at a real carnival. Adults are catered for by mobile iGaming platforms such as LeoVegas and its carnival-themed slots which include Samba Carnival, Wicked Circus and many other themed games. Samba Carnival presents the Brazilian Carnival with vibrant music, colorful graphics and samba dancers, while Wicked Circus’ graphics resemble a circus tent with the aim of spinning your way to finding the joker. There’s even a Wii game by Nintendo entitled Carnival Games, which uses the console’s motion controller to allow players to try their luck at Test of Strength, Milk Bottle Throw and more.
Be adventurous and explore
When you visit Acireale, there is no need for you to limit yourself solely to the carnival experience. Chances are you’ll still have a few more days to go exploring and to visit the nearby Mount Etna, Europe’s largest active volcano. The environment is said to make you feel as though you have stepped onto another planet.
It is a unique part of the world, and if you are lucky you could find an active Etna, making it possible to stand just a few meters from the lava flow. Another nearby place worth a visit is Taormina, an ancient city inhabited before the arrival of the Greeks and built on a natural terrace overlooking the sea.
Experience is the key to making new and interesting memories.