Riposto rises on the Ionian Sea. It is a town of 15,000 inhabitants famous for its tourist port completed in 2004, called Porto dell’Etna or Marina di Riposto.
The marina was added to the old commercial port, built in the early years of the last century. Riposto is a town located in a strategic area for visiting Eastern Sicily, a short distance from the main places of interest in the area. To mention only the most famous locations, our holiday home is near Taormina (20Km), Giardini Naxos (18Km), Catania (29Km) and Mount Etna (31Km).
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 in fact from the dialectal term “u ripostu”, that is the closet, in which goods from neighboring territories were deposited before being shipped by sea. Although tourism is becoming increasingly popular in Riposto, in the past the town’s economy was mainly based on trade and fishing. Until the late seventeenth century the site, subject to raids by pirates and Muslim corsairs, was populated only seasonally for commercial and military reasons, and only at the end of the century the first fishermen’s houses began to be built, which gave life to a permanent settlement along the coast. .
The area was soon populated by families from the Messina area, but above all by Acese emphyteutes who were transforming the still barren and wooded area into vineyards and orchards.
In order to protect the huge trafficking from the Turkish pirates, in 1751 the viceroy of Sicily Duca de Viefuille wanted a massive defense tower to be built on the beach that bore his name, perhaps the last defensive work built in Sicily against piracy, which in 1923 will be destroyed by order of the municipal administration.
At the end of the nineteenth century Riposto’s economic boom took place. There were consular posts in Sweden, Romania, Norway, Uruguay, France, Brazil, Greece, Great Britain.The historic center of Riposto winds around St. Peter’s Square, overlooked by the Town Hall (an Art Nouveau building built around the 1920s) and the Cathedral. 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 is presented in neoclassical style and is clearly inspired by the basilica of San Giovanni in Laterano in Rome. The church has three naves; inside is the marble pulpit by the architect Carlo Sada and a late 19th century pipe organ by Jaquot di Remberville.
The oldest church in Riposto is instead the one dedicated to the Madonna della Lettera, located on the seafront, near the tourist port. The current building dates back to 1868, but it is the fourth reconstruction of the three previous ones, which were destroyed.
In front of the church there is Piazza del Commercio, from which you can admire the panorama that embraces the whole coast, from Taormina to Torre Archirafi.
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. During the less summer months, I love to take long walks along the seafront up to Torre Archirafi.Going along the Edoardo Pantano seafront (just under 3km) you reach Torre Archirafi, a hamlet of Riposto.
This charming fishing village is characterized by some buildings made of lava stone and by numerous marinas. It is an ideal place for relaxing walks on summer evenings or to admire the majesty of the sea in winter.
In summer, the clubs located near the main port are very popular. Tourists are attracted by the village festivals that take place there and by the numerous musical events organized in Piazza Vagliasindi.
In 1882 the German composer Richard Wagner stayed in Riposto and the city was the birthplace of the famous storyteller Orazio Strano (1904- 1981).
The singer-songwriter Franco Battiato was also born in Riposto, who had a very strong bond with his native country. In one of his songs he also mentions one of his neighborhoods, “u Scariceddu”, where he was born in 1945. The film “Perduto Amor” was also shot in the streets of Riposto, directed by Franco Battiato.
Lucio Dalla also performed many times in the square of the Port of Etna, and was 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 harbor square.
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