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Things to do in Catania

Things to do in  Catania

Welcome to Catania

Gritty and grand, Catania’s reputation as little more than a convenient transport hub for eastern Sicily underplays the city’s UNESCO-listed old town, home to a heady mix of baroque architecture and bustling street life. Marvel at the magnificent Piazza del Duomo, dive into the fray at La Pescheria market, and tuck into a heaping dish of pasta alla Norma before abandoning this vibrant city to explore Mount Etna’s lunar landscape and lush wineries or the historic towns of Taormina and Syracuse farther south along the coast.

Top 10 attractions in Catania

Piazza Duomo

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Piazza Duomo is both a jewel of the Sicilian baroque and the vibrant heart of Catania. Home to some of the city’s most sumptuous architectural treasures, including Palazzo degli Elefanti, the Cathedral di Sant’Agata (Duomo), and the Fontana dell’Elefante, this square is a highlight of Catania city tours.More

Gambino Winery (Vini Gambino)

Set at the foot of Mt. Etna, the lush vineyards of the Gambino Winery are testament to the fertile volcanic soil this rumbling peak has created over millennia. The mountain’s unique terroir comes through in the area’s wines, and you can sample a variety at the winery while admiring the sweeping views across the Sicilian countryside.More

Via Etnea

Taking its name from Mount Etna, the imposing volcano that looms over the city, Via Etnea is one of Catania’s most important thoroughfares, lined with shops, restaurants, and cafés. A lively destination both day and night, Via Etnea connects two of the city’s top attractions—Piazza Duomo and Villa Bellini.More

Massimo Bellini Opera House (Teatro Massimo Bellini)

Considered one of Italy’s most magnificent opera houses, the grand Teatro Massimo Bellini dazzles with its imposing Sicilian baroque-style façade and opulent interiors. Admire its fin de siècle beauty during an opera or concert in the evening, or join a tour during the day to see its ornate marble foyer and 19th-century boxes.More

Villa Bellini

Considered one of Italy’s most exquisite public gardens, Villa Bellini has a vast expanse of greenery laced with scenic walkways and dotted with pavilions, flower gardens, and hilltop viewpoints over Catania and Mount Etna. Located at the top of bustling Via Etnea, this public garden is a serene respite from the urban chaos and a city highlight.More

Ursino Castle (Castello di Ursino)

Catania is best known for its Sicilian baroque architecture, but one of the most important attractions in the city actually dates from centuries earlier: the formidable 13th-century Ursino Castle (Castello di Ursino). Built by Emperor Frederick II, it now houses an impressive collection of art and artifacts in the Museo Civico (Civic Museum).More

Via Crociferi (Via dei Crociferi)

With its baroque palazzi, worn paving stones, and theatrical staircases, Via Crociferi is unabashedly photogenic, so much so that it is often used as a scenic backdrop in Italian films. Walking the length of this thoroughfare is like taking a stroll through Catania’s history, from ancient Rome to the Renaissance.More

Benedictine Monastery of San Nicolò l'Arena (Monastero Benedettini di San Nicolò l'Arena)

One of Europe’s largest Benedictine monasteries and a UNESCO World Heritage site, Catania’s Benedictine Monastery of San Nicolò l'Arena (Monastero Benedettini di San Nicolò l'Arena), is among the city’s top attractions. The stunning monastery was founded in 1558 but almost completely rebuilt in the baroque style following an earthquake in the 18th century.More

Catania Archaeological Park (Parco Archeologico Greco-Romano di Catania)

Despite being repeatedly ravaged by Mount Etna’s eruptions since its founding, Catania retains traces of its long Greek and Roman history, most notably the ancient theaters of the Catania Archaeological Park (Parco Archeologico Greco-Romano di Catania). The most important ruins in the city, these remarkably preserved theaters are a must-visit for archaeology buffs.More
San Benedetto Church (Chiesa San Benedetto)

San Benedetto Church (Chiesa San Benedetto)

Known as the “Sicilian Sistine Chapel,” this baroque church on Catania’s photogenic Via Crociferi is home to dazzling frescoes by the 18th-century painter Giovanni Tuccari, sumptuous stuccoes, a lavish choir loft, and an ornate marble altar. Don’t miss theScalinata dell’Angelo, a stone staircase decorated with statues of angels.More
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People Also Ask

What is Catania, Sicily, known for?

Catania is known for being Sicily’s second-largest city, after the capital of Palermo. It is near Mt. Etna, Europe’s most active volcano, and is home to UNESCO World Heritage sites, including the Piazza del Duomo, Fontana dell’Elefante, and Catania Cathedral. Its restaurants, bars, and fish market enshrine its culinary reputation.

How many days do you need in Catania?

Three days is a good amount of time to explore Catania’s major sights, including its UNESCO World Heritage sites, varied neighborhoods, waterfront, restaurants, and bars. If you plan to visit Mt. Etna and its surrounding wineries, an extra day of sightseeing time is recommended.

Is Catania or Palermo better?

Both Catania and Palermo are popular among travelers, and each offers varied attractions, including UNESCO World Heritage sites. Palermo is celebrated for major landmarks such as the Norman Palace and for bustling markets, while Catania offers upscale shopping and dining, plus proximity to the landscapes and wineries of Mt. Etna.

What is there to do in Catania in the evening?

Catania is a lively city after dark. In the early evening, follow locals to the neighborhood bars to enjoy an aperitivo before dining on classic dishes like pasta alla norma. Then, get the party started: Catania’s range of bars and clubs makes it easy to stay out late.

Can you see Mount Etna from Catania?

Yes, you can see Mt. Etna from Catania. The volcano is just 18 miles (29 kilometers) from the city. Catania is nicknamed “The Black City” because its buildings have been blackened by the volcano’s ash. When Mt. Etna erupts the glow is visible from the city against the night sky.

Is Catania worth visiting?

Yes, Catania is worth visiting. It is the second-largest city in Sicily, and home to many baroque monuments and UNESCO World Heritage sites, as well as museums and culinary destinations. Catania’s proximity to Mt. Etna, Taormina, Syracuse, and the baroque towns of the Val di Noto are additional advantages.


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