It is famous for its neogothic cathedral, Saint Peter's Basilica, and its paintings, such as The Basilica di San Sebastiano whose shapes summarize the entire baroque movement in Sicily. The oldest academy in Sicily, the "Accademia dei Dafnici e degli Zelanti" is located here.
In addition to the numerous churches, mostly in the baroque style, it is a diocese. As of 2008, the Bishop of Acireale is Pio Vittorio Vigo (born 4 November 1935), a native of Acireale who was nominated bishop of the diocese in 2002. There is also a seminary for the training of priests and many convents, thus Acireale has a strong clerical presence.
Other notable places of interest are the Villa Belvedere, a large public park overlooking the Ionian Sea, and the Piazza Duomo. South of the Piazza Duomo, is the oldest section of the city. There are many beautiful historic Baroque buildings, including the Palazzo Pennisi which dates from the 17th century. The commercial city centre is located primarily in the streets adjacent to, and including the Corso Umberto, and Corso Italia which are the city's principal thoroughfares.
Acireale is famous throughout Sicily for it's spectacular floats, costumes, and parades during the season of carnival. It attracts many tourists and visitors.