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
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What people are saying about Catania
We booked the sunset tour in the morning of the same day and enjoyed the perfect organization! We got a call where we were told when they are gonna pick us up and if we need trekking shoes. Our guide Daniele was more than punctual and very nice. We were the first ones who got picked up (in front of our hotel). We were 6 tourists in total and another guide, Roberta, who translated in french for 2 passengers. She was also very nice and helpful. The drive to Etnea was long, but absolutely worth it! At the first stop Daniele told us something about the formation of the volcano and we had a nice view. The second stop was a volcano cave. Together with Daniele's information it was very interesting. The next stop was the longest, where we had to walk a little bit over volcanic rocks - which was great (especially the craters). Then we had to hurry to catch the sunset, which we enjoyed a few minutes drive away. We would highly recommend the tour although there was not much time for taking pics.
I slotted Sicily in on our vacation from mainland Italy just so my husband who is a die-hard fan of the Godfather movies could spend Father's Day in one of the best places ever. Of course, this perfect trip for my husband wouldn't have been possible without Alessio, the most informative and interesting guide I think that we have ever had! We were picked up from our B&B on time in a very nice Mercedes van that fit our crew of seven most comfortably. We had two friends of our children with us who had never seen any of the Godfather movies and Alessio even had them interested and anticipating watching the movies when they returned home. Alessio never rushed us at any of the locations which was most appreciated, instead it felt like we were out with an old friend for the day. He was very attentive to our needs and definitely well liked by everyone that we met or ran into with him. This tour was seven of the best hours that we spent on our vacation and we will be back to see Alessio again!
Had the absolute pleasure of meeting Marco who was our guide. Right of the bat I can tell you Marco’s a very kind man and we had no issue immediately getting along with him, his enthusiasm for the island is genuine and it shows. Hearing about the Etna and her surroundings was delightful, we even got some personalized tips of places to explore based on what we enjoyed seeing. Other than that the horses we’re very nice! I had a friend with me who’d never sat on a horse in their life and they had a wonderful time. (A.k.a. very beginner friendly) The lunch was traditional and homegrown with a wide array of well-matched flavors. I could definitely recommend this trip.
A guide and tour that exceeded our expectations by far. A memorable day was spent in Sicily thanks to Alessio Patanè who does not only converse well in English, but also is a master in subject knowledge. From the pickup to the drop off at our hotel was a 11/10 experience. For 'Godfather' lovers this is a must tour. For everyone else this is a golden opportunity to become acquainted with The Godfather in a very special manner. I would like to commend Alessio on being accommodating to everyones needs, on his sound advice regarding all aspects of the day and his exceptional gift to make his guests feel at ease.
Our guide Chiara was very knowledgeable and an expert in both the ancient and more recent history of the region. She was excellent A great driver, Claudio was very patient and a very capable driver. We loved ever minute of the day from visiting the markets in Catania to Mt Etna, Castelmola and the beautiful Taormina Thank you