Top attractions in Catania
10 Things to do In Catania
The Renaissance certainly flourished in Catania, a city on the eastern coast of Sicily. Come to enjoy the grapes from vines fertilized by volcanic dust and stay to sample both the Greek and Roman influence in this coastal city.
1. Mount Etna
What can compare to the thrill of visiting an active volcano? Perhaps knowing that Mount Etna is also the tallest active volcano on the entire European continent should spice up your visit.
2. Castello Ursino
This thirteenth century castle will take your breath away. It was built for the Kingdom of Sicily, back when Sicily was a kingdom and today houses a museum open to the public.
3. Catania Cathedral
The Catania Cathedral has been shaken to its very foundation several times thanks to dear old volcano Mount Etna. Still, humans persevered and kept rebuilding the cathedral. Behold the Baroque style of the structure with your own eyes.
4. San Benedetto, Catania
Marvel at intricate frescoes on your visit to San Benedetto, a beautiful monastery. You'll be pleased to learn that San Benedetto even offers audio guides in multiple languages for visitors.
5. Teatro Massimo Bellini, Catania
Tickets to the theater aren't necessary if you're cruising by to see the stunning architecture of this opera house. The 200 years it took to complete the Teatro Massimo Bellini were well worth the effort.
6. Basilica della Collegiata
A pristine example of Sicilian Baroque architecture, the Basilica della Collegiata was built in the 18th century following the destruction caused by the earthquake of 1693.
7. Palazzo degli Elefanti
Only in Italy would government bureaucracy decide to make the City Town Hall inside a palace. After you tour the Palazzo continue exploring Cathedral Square. The palace is located on the northern side of the square.
8. Roman Amphitheater
The amphitheater in Catania is only a bit smaller than the Colosseum in Rome and can hold up to 16,000 visitors. Inside you can explore the nooks and crannies of a historic Roman amphitheater.
9. Monastero dei Benedettini
Any trip to Catania would be incomplete without a stop at the Monastero dei Benedettini. The Monastery offers a variety of guided tours and it is possible for visitors to see the faculty library, Diocesan museum, and more.
10. Piazza Duomo
Located in one of the main squares in Catania, the Piazza Duomo is famous for the elephant statue, the Lenzulo fountain, and of course the Duomo. Climb up to the top of the Duomo to look over the whole city.
Planning Your Visit
How to Get Around in Catania
You can take your pick of trains, buses and even boats when you're traversing Catania. Of course, its always fun to roam around on foot too, and take in more sights. The transportation network is sometimes slow but functional. Make sure to validate your bus ticket as inspectors sometimes check tickets in transit.
Where to stay in Catania
Stay near the Piazza Duomo for easy access to the center city and a scenic evening stroll home. You can choose from a variety of hotels in the area, no matter what your budget.
What is the weather like in Catania?
Though temperatures never go below zero in Catania, for the full experience of this charming Sicilian town, we recommend you visit between the months of May and October. The hottest months are July and August but temperatures don't exceed the mid 80s.
Good to know
- Sicilian and Italian
- Euro (€)
- Time Zone
- UTC (+02:00)
- Country Code
- Best time to visit
- The best time to visit Catania is in the summer time. The warmer months are the perfect backdrop for sightseeing, tasting local cuisine, and enjoying the Sicilian landscape.
Other Sightseeing Options in Catania
Want to discover all there is to do in Catania? Click here for a full list.
What people are saying about Catania
Fantastic experience! So pleased that my boyfriend and I chose Etna Tours to go with! This excursion was fantastic value for money, and what an incredible experience looking down into the craters of Europe’s most active volcano to see it spewing molten lava! They provided walking boots, jackets, helmets and walking sticks. We were able to pay the additional €33pp for the cable cars and 4x4 bus on card. The hike was relatively difficult but we took it at a nice gentle pace and every direction you looked the views were breathtaking. Because we were lucky enough to have such good visibility out guide took us over the centre of the volcano to the north east side and we got to gaze down into an additional crater to the one on the itinerary and this was rumbling and intermittently spewing molten lava, what a thrill! The first crater was beautiful as well, huge and moon-like with impressive plumes of smoke all around. The two guides were very jovial and handed out treats at lunch. Amazing!
The transport is comfortable and our guide was friendly. There is only one winery we visited. It was picturesque and the wine tasting was endless although not a wide selection. Each wine was first accompanied with a selection of cheeses. We also had olives, eggplant and bread with olive oil. From here it was short trip to the restaurant where we were served a pre set menu of 4 or 5 shared dishes and a jug of red and white wine plus water. The restaurant location is lovely and full of locals which is a good sign.
The combination of Etna's self-evident beauty and guidance by a passionate local scientist makes this truly special. The vibrant colors of Etna's fall foliage was unexpected and stunning, and the mild November temperatures a circumstance to be grateful for. Tony was an exceptional guide whose passion for and knowledge of geology and history were a blessing. lt's a gift to be guided by someone who comes from a long local lineage that have called Etna their home.
Well organized tour, some waiting in line for the 4x4 buses both up and down, but not extremely long. Very knowledgeable guide, told us a lot about volcanism in general and Etna in particular. He also adjusted his pace to make sure I can keep up, as I was by far the oldest member of the group. We were also lucky to have clear and sunny weather, though it was biting cold and extremely windy at the top. Overall, a very nice (and tiring) experience.
Ein tolles Erlebnis; perfekt organisiert und mit unvergesslichen Eindrücken. Guide Tony, der selbst in einem kleinen Dorf am Ätna lebt, hat uns mit großer Sachkenntnis und Begeisterung geführt. Die Wanderung war problemlos zu bewältigen und bot spektakuläre Ausblicke. Imbiss und Wein auf einem Weingut waren dann ein schöner Abschluss.