The town of Aci Trezza is a picturesque fishing village,
part of Aci Castello,
which was also the setting for Giovanni Verga’s Novel
I Malavoglia as well as for Luchino Visconti‘s film adaptation,
La Terra Trema.
The small harbour faces a pile of basalt rocks,
the Isole dei Ciclopi,
now a nature reserve.
On the largest island there is also a biology and oceanographic station.
According to Homer,
Polyphemus hurled the rocks at the sea in an attempt
to strike the fleeing Ulysses,
who had blinded him.
Published in 1881 in Milan,
I Malavoglia (The house of the Medlar tree) is
a masterpiece by novelist Giovanni Verga and
of Italian Verismo.
Set on the Riviera dei Ciclopi at Aci Trezza,
it describes the harsh life of a fishermen
and their constant struggle with the sea.
The Toscano family,
“I Malavoglia“, “are all good seafaring people,
just the opposite of their nickname”
(Malavoglia means ill-will).
In 1947 Luchino Visconti made a film inspired by the book,
La Terra Trema,
is a 1948 Italian dramatic film.
The story takes place in Aci Trezza and
tells about the exploitation of working-class fishermen,
specifically that of the eldest son of a very traditional village family,
Ntoni convinces his family to mortgage their house in order to catch
and sell fish themselves and make more money than they were already
receiving from the wholesalers who had controlled the market
with their low prices for a long time.
everything goes well until a storm ruins the family’s boat,
leaving them with nothing to keep the new business going.
Following this disaster,
the family experiences several awful events such as having to leave the house,
the death of the grandfather,
and ‘Ntoni and his brothers being obliged to return to fish for the wholesalers.