Top attractions 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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.
Things to Do in Catania
Top Attractions in Catania
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What people are saying about Catania
This was a brilliant experience of the highest quality. It was exactly as described and more. It was an adventure experience with helmets, proper boots that we hired (at no cost!) from the company and this meant we had full confidence in the equipment and the company. They took safety seriously, which enabled us to take on an exciting endeavour without unnecessary risk. We were all of a good fitness , as required by this trek meaning that we felt accomplished afterwards. The explanations by a proper volcanic geologist were interesting and appropriate, providing insight without being overwhelming. The meet-up point was clear and convenient to leave your car. Owing to the early start, a hire car is the best way to get there and amazing views en-route. Although there are hairpin bends, they are not scary as there are no steep drops below, like alpine roads. Overall, a fabulous experience which I couldn't have been happier with , especially the periodic crater smoke billowing up.
We were picked up at 10.30am by Roberto, our tour guide.As we sped along in his battered Ford he explained about the lava, it's use in building and architecture,it's fertile minerals,the importance of the sun,the wind,the rain and the old ways of making wine. We started with a small producer, meeting up with two other couples and their guides.We sampled a white, a rose and two reds, all generously poured, the perfumed white proved to be our favourite of the day. Next we went to a slightly bigger outfit where we sat down at tables and were given a light meal of foccacia, sun-dried tomatoes, aubergine pickled with celery, olives marinated with fennel, small slices of salami and cubes of cheese. Still only the three couples, we sampled a white, a rose, two reds and a red dessert wine. Lastly we went to the Gambino estate, the panoramic view was simply stunning.Pleasantly full and slightly stupified we relaxed in the back of the Ford instead worrying about the cracked windscreen!
Used Sicily Grand Tours for this trip. Alessio, our guide, was friendly, knowledgeable and his English is very good. He gives you a bit of the history of Sicily on the journey to Agrigento and the first stop at the Valle dei Templi where you get an hour and a half to explore on your own. We found this sufficient time including grabbing an arancino for lunch. Then it's off to the Villa Romana del Casa near Piazza Armerina where you again have sufficient time to view the well preserved mosiacs. Then back to Catania. Expect a long day as it is not a short journey from Catania but both sites are well worth visiting.
We had a really good time on this excursion. Our guide Giovanni was very pleasant and knowledgeable and he shared lot of information about the mountain, environment, volcanic activity, plants, etc. You can really see that he enjoys what he does :) The trail was full of cool elements (craters, viewpoints, lava exit points, etc.). Lunch afterwards was also very nice and we drank a pretty tasty wine ;) In the end, Alcantra Gorges were wonderful :)) All in all, I highly recommend this classic tour.
Guide arrived to pick us up about 20 minutes late, but I learned that was GetYourGuides fault. Guide was friendly and engaging. Fluent in English. Was knowledgeable regarding a variety of topics relevant to the trip that day. Allowed the group of three couples independence to determine what each would like to do. Only recommendation would be to make stops at the homes destroyed by Etna and a view of Etna on the drive up. Otherwise, great trip.