Catania

9:51 AM

Situated at the foot of Mount Etna, Catania is the second-largest city in Sicily after Palermo. The main sights are concentrated at the historic centre and it is easily explored on foot.
Begin your walk at Piazza Duomo where you find the Catherdal, Cattedrale di Sant' Agata and the amazing and quirky Elephant Fountain, Fontana dell' Elefante, a flamboyant fountain featuring a smiling elephant and Egyptian obelisk. A little bit further, you find Piazza Università  which leads on to Via Etnea a car free boulevard full of shops bars and trattorias. We really enjoyed walking at this lively street, doing window shopping mostly and eating local delicacies. For real shopping walk the Corso Italia with high-end italian fashion stores.

If you want to experience some cultural activities, at Piazza Federico di Svevia you will find the Castello Ursino where you can find periodical exhibitions. At Piazza San Francesco d'Assisi is located the Museo Belliniano, a small museum dedicated to opera composer Vincenzo Bellini in the house where he was born. Since we only had a day there we did not do anything of the cultural things. We just walked atround to feel the vibe of the city. 

While walking, we saw a green oasis in front of us, we had reached Bellini Gardens. It is very beautiful to walk in and it dates back to 19th century. If you want to mix with the locals and feel the sicilian tamperament (we wanted) then you definitely have to visit the famous fishmarket, La Pescheria where there are various kinds of fish and they are litterally alive!


Catania has a vibrant nightlife. Catania's collest street is without doubt Via Manchini. Perfect for cocktails and bar hopping.
Villa Bellini: Catania's garden 
Families enjoy it most
Crazy tomatoes at Catania open market
La Pescheria
Cannoli, espresso e cappuccino
Sicilian flag
La Sicilia

Information and free city maps are available at the tourist office located at Via Vittorio Emanuele II 172 (opening hours: 8.15am-1pm and 2-4pm, closed on Sundays)


What to do:
Do not miss the sicilian speciality arancini which is fried rice ball stuffed with bolognese sauce, peas and mozzarella. They are so small but I was full with just one! (they are really heavy and fatty!). Eat it where locals eat it at Savia (Via Etnea 302/304).
- You should also definitely try the cigar-sized cannolo, a crispy pastry tube stuffed with creamy ricotta cheese. Tastes like heaven. You also have the recipe here.
Recommended restaurant: Fud (via Santa Filomena 35) that serves huge plates of gourmet street food with bold local ingredients.
- Did you know that from Catania you can visit Mount Etna? Etna is Europe's largest active volcano, so a must-see. A daily bus (€5.90) departs from the piazza in front of the train station to Rifugio Sapienza, the peak's southern gateway. From late April you can take a cable car up to 2,500m and then either walk or take a further bus up to the crater zone, which at this time of the year is covered in snow.

A festival fan?

Festival of Saint Agatha is the most important religious event that takes place annually from 3-5 February and on 17 August and attracts many people.
But if you like lives be sure to check out Zanne Festival

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