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Riposto

Riposto is a town of 15,000 inhabitants, famous for its tourist port, which was completed in 2004 and is known as Marina di Riposto or the Port of Etna, due to the large number of boats that used to stop here to load wine. The tourist port was added onto the old commercial port, which was built in the early years of the last century. Along with nearby Giarre, Riposto forms an urban area with a population of over 40,000, where it is possible to find all types of services.

History

For a long time, Riposto represented in the area the largest collection center for goods destined for export: wine, potatoes, citrus fruits and dried fruit. The name “ Riposto ” derives from the dialectal term “ u ripostu “, that is the closet , in which goods from neighboring territories were stored before being shipped by sea. Although today tourism is gaining ground in Riposto, in the past the town’s economy was mainly based on trade and fishing.

Riposto is also a strategic point to visit Eastern Sicily , being within easy reach of the main places of interest in the area such as Taormina (20Km), Giardini Naxos (18Km), Catania (29Km) and Etna (31Km) can be easily visited with day trips.

Worth visiting

Today Riposto is a seaside village that has kept its peaceful atmosphere intact. The historic center winds around St. Peter’s Square , overlooked by the Town Hall (an Art Nouveau building built around the 1920s) and the Duomo . The mother church is dedicated to St. Peter , patron saint of Riposto, and was built in the first half of the 19th century. The facade of the church has a neoclassical style and is clearly inspired by the basilica of San Giovanni in Laterano in Rome.

The oldest church in Riposto is instead the one dedicated to the Madonna della Lettera , located on the seafront, near the tourist port. The church houses an eighteenth-century organ and the altarpiece depicting the Madonna della Letter by the painter Giuseppe Zacco. You can visit the crypt on which the current church was rebuilt, which preserves the ossuary and the colhouses used in ancient times for the treatment of the bodies.

In front of the church opens Piazza del Commercio , from which you can admire the panorama that embraces the whole coast, from Taormina to Torre Archirafi. Relax on one of its benches, in the shade of palm trees, the ideal is to enjoy a delicious Sicilian granita. During the summer, the square often hosts stands set up for festivals and craft markets.

The waterfront, with its “ladders”, offers access to the cliff, and in every season of the year it is very popular with cyclists who use the cycle path and joggers. On this coast there are some of the best beaches in Eastern Sicily: those of Fondachello and Marina di Cottone.

A certainly unusual way to discover the slopes of the volcano is to get on the train of the Circumetnea , a local railway line inaugurated at the end of the 19th century that makes an almost complete tour around Etna, from Riposto to the center of Catania. It is worth getting on one of the characteristic little trains and covering this entire itinerary, enjoying the vision of splendid landscapes and panoramas.

Curiosities

In 1882 the German composer Richard Wagner stayed in Riposto and the town was the birthplace of the famous storyteller Orazio Strano (1904- 1981).

The singer-songwriter Franco Battiato was also born in Giarre Riposto (now Ionia), who has always had a very strong bond with his native country. The film “ Perduto Amor “, directed by Franco Battiato, was also shot in the streets of Riposto.

Lucio Dalla has also performed many times in the square of the Porto dell’Etna , and has been able to establish a deep bond with the people of Ripostesi. A statue is dedicated to him, “ How deep is the sea “, placed right in the square of the port.

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