Catania
History & Heritage

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Our most recommended Catania History & Heritage

Etna 4x4 Half Day Tour

1. Etna 4x4 Half Day Tour

The half-day excursion includes an easy walk to the impressive Monte Fontana and a visit of the famous valley Valle del Bove. Wander through old and new lava flows, walk on extinct craters, and visit a real lava cave equipped with helmets and flashlights, where ice was produced centuries ago. Your guide will show you the great variety of flora and fauna here - plants and animals which populate the active volcano. While walking through ancient forests you will learn a lot about the vegetation and the wildlife of Mount Etna. Your last stop of the half-day tour will be around the cold lava streams of Piano Provenzana, which were destroyed during the last big eruption in 2002. At the end of the tour you will be driven back to your accommodation. Altogether this will be an unforgettable experience.

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Catania: City Highlights Walking Tour

2. Catania: City Highlights Walking Tour

See another side to Sicily as you discover the natural beauty of Catania on this walking tour. Admire the Ursino Castle, walk around the squares and plazas and discover the famous sites. Meet your guide before departing on your adventure. Stroll the city center with your local guide who will fascinate you with the city's history. See monuments built centuries ago that are still standing to this day. Many of the structures you will witness date back to the Greek colonization of the city back in the 8th-century B.C. Enjoy this tour and see the following landmarks: the piazza Duomo, Pescheria, Castello Ursino, piazza San Francesco, via Teatro Greco, piazza Dante, via Gesuiti, scalinata Alessi, piazza Università, piazza Vincenzo Bellini, and the piazza San Placido. If you are in Catania, this tour is simply a must-do.

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Catania: Mount Etna Volcano and Alcantara Park Tour

3. Catania: Mount Etna Volcano and Alcantara Park Tour

With an expert guide by your side, discover the Mount Etna volcano, sitting at an altitude of 2000 meters above sea level. Explore ancient craters, lava flow caves, and admire the breathtaking landscape of the Ionian coast. Explore Alcantara Park in your free time. Dissected by the Alcantara river, Alcantara Park is a location brimming with unique vegetation, lava rock formations, and columnar basalts formed by the icy waters of the Alcantara. During the warm season, cool yourself off by taking a refreshing dip in these pristine waters or just stroll alongside the river.

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Etna: Craters of the 2002 Eruption Trekking Experience

4. Etna: Craters of the 2002 Eruption Trekking Experience

The starting point of the trekking route is along the dirt road that runs from Provenzana to the summit craters of the volcano. The first stop will allow you to see the ruins of the Hotel delle Betulle, the only visible structure from those destroyed by the lava flow of October 2002. Take your time studying the varying volcanic forms as you follow the route. Hear about how they are related to the series of eruptions on the northern side of Etna, particularly the flank eruptions in 1911 and 1923. The later occurrence threatened the city of Linguaglossa. After visiting the particular volcanic structures, called hornitos (small oven in Spanish), go up along the Bottoniera (cinder cones) of the 2002 eruption. Reach the maximum height of 2,100 meters and stand at the edge of the craters. Descend Mount Etna through a sandy channel to arrive back at the starting point.

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Catania Street Food Tour

5. Catania Street Food Tour

Experience the amazing street food scene of Catania like a local, and get an historical overview of the city along the way. Explore the enchanting alleys and squares of the Old Town and sample a selection of tasty produce. Marvel at the Baroque architecture of Piazza Duomo before you visit a market to try some local cheeses, olives and oil. Continue along Via Crociferi to reach the remains of the Roman amphitheater on Piazza Stesicoro. Discover the famous Pasticceria Savia that serves the best arancini in the city. Sample a specialty made of puff pastry, tomato, onion, mozzarella and ham. Cross the largest market to try a unique sparkling drink at the Chiosco Costa. Move on to the port area to try some horse-meat meatballs barbecued on hot coals. End with a sweet-tooth tasting of some authentic cannoli with ricotta or Sicilian granita. Receive a unique gift that details all your tasty treats.

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Mount Etna and Taormina Full-Day Excursion from Palermo

6. Mount Etna and Taormina Full-Day Excursion from Palermo

Europe’s highest active volcano is studied extensively by scientists and is popular with trekkers and nature lovers as well. Visit Mount Etna and the clifftop village of Taormina on this 11-hour excursion from Palermo. From Crateri Silvestri you’ll take the funicular with a local mountain guide all the way up to 2,500 meters above sea level. From this point you’ll experience unforgettable panoramic views. Just south of Taormina is the nature reserve of Isola Bella, and further south you’ll see the popular seaside resort of Giardini Naxos. Visit the village of Taormina, a 45-minute drive from Mount Etna. Perched on a cliff overlooking the Ionian Sea, the village features an ancient Greek theater, many old churches, antique shops, lively bars and fine restaurants.

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From Catania: Agrigento and Piazza Armerina Full-Day Trip

7. From Catania: Agrigento and Piazza Armerina Full-Day Trip

Depart Catania and travel to the hilltop city of Agrigento, known for the ruins of the ancient city of Akragas. Discover the well-preserved ruins of the Valley of the Temples, including the Temple of Olympian Zeus, Temple of Juno and Temple of Concordia. See the former theater used for the assembly of free citizens at the Ekklesiasterion, along with 3 sanctuaries and the necropolises of Montelusa, Moses and Pezzino. Continue to Piazza Armerina in the Erean Mountains and marvel at the stunning mosaics in the ruins of a Roman nobleman's residence at the Villa del Casale.

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Noto, Modica and Ragusa: The Baroque Tour from Catania

8. Noto, Modica and Ragusa: The Baroque Tour from Catania

The first stop on this 8-hour tour is Noto, the Garden of Stone, noted for its Baroque heritage. After the massive 1693 earthquake, Noto was rebuilt on Meti Hill. The town’s origins date to the Early Bronze Age. Continue to Modica and visit the oldest chocolate factory in Sicily. The city also has a rich history and a wonderful architectural heritage. See the cathedrals of San Giorgio and San Pietro and the Palazzo Polara and Palazzo Napolino-Tommasi Rosso, among others. Ragusa was added to the UNESCO World Heritage in 2002 for its monuments of the late Baroque period. Visit examples of this style including its cathedrals and palaces.

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Catania Street Food Tour

9. Catania Street Food Tour

Set off on a journey through the flavors, aromas, and gastronomic traditions of Catania. Start from the meeting point in Piazza Duomo 18, in front of the pharmacy. Admire the Town Hall, the wonderful St. Agata's Cathedral, the Obelisk of the elephant or “Liotru” (symbol of the city) and the Amenano fountain. Continue on Via Etnea, Catania's main street whose name comes from the Etna volcano, visible from the beginning to the end of the boulevard. Pass through Piazza Università with its magnificent baroque buildings, erected after the destruction of the earthquake of 1693. Discover Via dei Crociferi, a small jewel of baroque art and churches, often immortalized by the greatest Italian filmmakers. During the walk, taste a good selection of local products. Savor refreshing drinks that you can taste in the kiosks in the central squares, such as lemon mandarin, and seltz lemon and salt. Sample fried fish enjoyed in the fish market, the iconic “Arancino", and you will finish the experience with local pastries.  Enjoy the afternoon with your guide, visiting the most important monuments and discovering the secrets of Sicilian gastronomy.

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Taormina, Savoca, and Castelmola Guided Transfer

10. Taormina, Savoca, and Castelmola Guided Transfer

Be picked up from your local accomodation by a comfortable 8 seat vehicle which will then take you to the first stop, Savoca, a characteristic medieval town. There, visit one of the fascinating catacombs of the Cappuccini convent which hosts the mummified bodies of monks and nobles from Savoca. Next, visit bar Vitelli, famously known as the bar from the film "The Godfather", where you can taste delicious Sicilian granita and look at photos which were taken during the shooting of the film. Then, travel to the second town on the tour, the majestic Taormina. Visit the Greek Theatre, or one of the major ancient sites in Sicily which offers a unique panoramic view of the sea and Mount Etna. Walking along Corso Umberto, you can also visit the Cathedral and enjoy the stunning view of Capo Taormina bay. While in Taormina, enjoy a free snack with a delicious tasting of products from the Sicilian culinary tradition, tavola calda. Eat arancini, pizza, or calzoni, with Sicilian Doc wine. Afterwards, arrive at the final stop, Castelmola, a characteristic medieval suburb suspended between the sky and the sea. Enjoy a fantastic view of Etna on one side and the Ionian sea on the other, then, from Sant’Antonio square, begin your walk through the alleys. Around the small streets, it’s possible to see quaint shops that sell souvenirs, laces, and embroideries made by locals women.  Finally, visit Bar Turrisi for a coffee or some almond wine, a typical Sicilian dessert wine.

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Other Sightseeing Options in Catania

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What people are saying about Catania

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 830 reviews

Really enjoyed this trip. Full of culture, history and alot of significance. Our driver Alessio and his colleague Natalie were absolutely amazing. Friendly, experienced, very knowledgeable and welcoming too. I learnt alot from Alessio; his local knowledge is unbeatable. He made sure we enjoyed the whole experience and looked after us from beginning to end. Thank you.

Gita spettacolare ed organizzata benissimo. La guida (Francesco) ci ha raccolto all'albergo e scaricato nello stesso punto alla fine della gita. Puntuale, preciso, competente e bravo a coinvolgere il gruppo. Una gita spettacolare.

Our guide was extremely knowledgeable and personable. We would not have enjoyed our visit to Catania without her insight and love for her city. It was a truly enjoyable 2+ hours.

The tour guide Irene and the driver Gabriele were very friendly and welcoming, the tour was very beautifully organized and comfortable. highly recommended!

A full day exploring the Province of Siracusa led by an excellent guide! We were fortunate to have perfect weather.