About thirty kilometers from the Sicilian capital, towards Catania-Messina is San Nicola l’Arena, an enchanting seaside village that has tourism as its natural vocation.
You cannot miss a walk at sunset or early in the morning (when the fishing boats arrive), to the small port of San Nicola L’Arena. The small village undoubtedly represents the seafaring soul of this territory, given the activity especially in the Thirties and Forties of one of the oldest tuna fisheries in Sicily: some testimonies affirm that it was the first to obtain the royal concession in 1367 An ice cream, a delicious pizza, an aperitif in front of the sea, a fish dinner or simply a stroll on the docks of the marina are all perfect crowns of a day at sea in the area.
A proposito di mare, un tuffo nella spiaggetta sotto Torre delle Mandre è di certo un’esperienza da non perdere. Conosciuta dai più con il nome di Torre Normanna, è una struttura architettonica che ricade nel territorio di Altavilla Milicia. Sebbene spesso impropriamente considerata (insieme con altre due torri costiere di guardia che si trovano in zona) di epoca normanna, risale in realtà al periodo aragonese. Dalla SS113 è possibile accedere a un sentiero (un po’ selvaggio e sconnesso: per tal motivo è consigliabile giungervi con delle scarpe da ginnastica) che porta fino alla piccola baia che si trova proprio sotto la Torre. Troverete acque limpide e trasparenti.
The two castles that are located a few steps away are fascinating and majestic.Coming from Palermo, the first dominates the small port of San Nicola L’Arena: it was built in the fourteenth century, around the pre-existing Norman watchtower and with the birth of the tonnara, the castle became the focal point for the small seaside village. Continuing on the State Road, you will come across the Lanza Branciforte Castle. History tells that the first references to the fortress of Trabia date back to 1153. In the fifteenth century Blasco Lanza married Eloisa, heir of Bartolomeo, protonotaro of the kingdom, ensuring the succession of the Trabia, the palace of Palermo and all the other assets. Over the centuries the castle has been the scene of numerous events of historical importance, up to the point of closely linking its name to that of the last prince of Trabia, Raimondo Lanza, a histrionic and special person (the song “Vecchio Frack” of the his friend Domenico Modugno). The “restless prince” was one of the protagonists of the international jet-set, he hosted in his home characters of the caliber of Aristotle Onassis, Rita Hayworth, nobles, princes and royalty from all over the world.