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Catania (Sicily), Italy

Catania (Sicily), Italy

The city of Catania, often described as the gem of eastern Sicily, is one filled with attractions with a historical and artistic legacy for all to admire. Where the 17th century was a destructive one, marked by an earthquake that brought Catania to its knees, the 18th century showed a city filled with determination and obstinacy in rebuilding itself. Today, Catania thrives with a lively city buzz, along with a certain gaiety and cheerfulness that begs to be explored day and night.

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Catania (Sicily), Italy

Port of Call

The One Thing You Don't Want to Miss

The Etna, one of the biggest active volcanoes in Europe lies north of Catania. This mountain lives, breathes and transforms itself and each dawn is awakened by red fiery flowing lava, deposited in the open spaces or overlapped with ancient flows, changing the mountain’s profile each time. The landscape changes greatly as you go higher towards the principal crater. The landscape is just as strikingly beautiful as the volcano powerful: there are pinewoods divided into sectors by fascinating fuming black lava and attractive craters, fruit orchards, orange and lemon groves, oaks and majestic chestnut trees, luxuriant vineyards and expanses of beach trees.

Sporting Adventures

With a variety of parks and natural reserves, it’s easy to take a walk on the natural side and enjoy time spent in the great outdoors. Daily activities range from scuba diving in the ocean beds between the land and the stacks, hiking narrow trails that run along high rock walls at the Gole di Alcantara and discovering excellent birdwatching spots including the Simeto Delta.

Other Fun Things to Do

  • The Cathedral – Dedicated to the city’s Patron, Santa Agata and reconstructed with the use of material recovered from the buildings of the Roman era.
  • The Piazza Duomo – Surrounded by the Palazzo Senatoria and elegant noble buildings arranged around the Fontana dell’Elefante, the symbol of the city.
  • The Collegiata – A magnificent example of the architectonic splendor built during the 18th century, with the interior decorated by Giuseppe Sciuti.
  • The Noto Valley – Reconstructed following the destructive aftermath of the 17th century earthquake, the Noto Valley is a World Heritage Site due to its stylistic features.

Get a Taste of Local Flavor

The cuisine of Catania is one of the tastiest in Sicily, where the most typical feature regards the roasts, and the well-known "oranges" made of crunch rice balls stuffed in the middle. Also, one cannot ignore traditional fish dishes that range from sea salads, shells seasoned with a sprinkling of lemon to fish fries of newborn mullets, accompanied by onions. With such pastries as the Sicilian cassata, martorana fruit based on almond paste, monaca buscuits, nougat torroncini and Santa Agata raisins; you’ll find yourself instantly hooked.

Local Currency

The Euro (EUR), the currency of the European Union, is the official currency of Italy. Many stores and restaurants also accept major credit cards, which usually offer you a good exchange rate. When shopping, remember there is a Value-Added Tax added to most purchases.

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    Before You Visit

    Learn more about this port city with these tourist information guides.

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