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.
- LanguageSicilian and Italian
- CurrencyEuro (€)
- Time ZoneUTC (+02:00)
- Country Code+39
- Best time to visitThe 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
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What people are saying about Catania
The booking went smoothly. We were later notified that the summit was closed due the the recent eruption, so the route would be different, and the price was reduced. We were met by our guides, and taken up to the mountain by cable car. We then started the trek, which lasted for about 5 hours, and the guides showed us many of the highlights, including the location of the recent lava flows. It was a fantastic experience, and the guides were really knowledgeable and helpful.
We had a lady guide Jacamo for this wonderful trip which my young son, Alessandro, said was definitely more exciting & fun coming from a lady. We learnt how to tell the age of lava flow, had our photo taken in the pit of a volcano crater, saw plants that only grew in lava & got to try the local 'fire water', pistachio liquor, different favoured honey, strawberry was delicious, flavoured olive oils, olives & sun-dried tomatoes. When the sunset, in the tour title, finally came, Jacamo took us to a place by Etna where we could truly appreciate the experience. Even Etna got in on the wonderful trip by sprouting fountains of fire, ending a perfect example of a Sicilian adventure!
Etnatribe were very professional and took very good care of us. We needed to arrange a pickup where we could leave our car. Within just a few hours they got in touch and proposed that we meet at there offices where we could leave our car in a secure parking lot.
Thank you. Wonderfully professional and punctual guide. First class experience. It was my birthday yesterday and it was a special day for me. I enjoyed everything about the entire day.
Great day spent with Luigi and his wonderful stories of the local areas and history surrounding our sites. Such beauty in and a day to be remembered!