10 things to see in:
Catania

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10 things to see in Catania

Not to be missed in the city of the small elephant

Being interesting and varied, a quick list of places to visit in Catania needs to take account the artistic, architectural and cultural heritage of its historic center, the attractions not to be missed along the Ionian coast and the natural wonders of Mount Etna.

Icon of the Sicilian eastern coast, Catania is at the same time a cultural and artistic city and a place of sea and fun. It is a naturalistic paradise ideal for those who love the mountains and excursions, but also for those who look for relax, good food and authentic experiences.

Here are our suggestions on the places to visit in Catania, the attractions not to be missed in the city of the small elephant.

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  • Tourist Information
  • Things to do
  • Things to see
  • Ebook local food
  • Local tips and experiences
1

Declared Unesco World Heritage in 2002 to protect its Baroque richness, the historic center of Catania is made by its main streets: Via Vittorio Emanuele, Via Crociferi, Via Garibaldi and Via Etnea. The latter built in the 18th century, is considered one of the most beautiful street in Italy. The heart of the historic center of Catania is the pedestrian area of Piazza Duomo.

Things to see in Catania: Piazza del Duomo
2

Piazza del Duomo hosts a number of places to visit in Catania. The Duomo di Sant’Agata, the Fountain of the Elephant (called Liotru by the locals), the town hall, the fountain of the Amenano and the Palazzo dei Chierici are all located there.

Things to see in Catania: The park of the Etna
3

Etna, Unesco site since 2013, is the biggest active volcano in Europe and one of the tallest in the world. Thanks to the creation of the park with the same name, the whole area is preserved and made accessible to all visitors. The Etna park includes a number of naturalistic paths, the wonderful Grotta del Gelo, Grotte dell’Alcantara and the El Bove Valley.

Things to see in Catania: Ursino Castle
4

With its severe and imposing façade, the Ursino Castle is today’s Civic Museum of Catania. Besides showing the art pieces of the Biscari and the Benedectines, the castle represents a piece of history of the city: built by Federico di Savoia in the 1300s as royal residence; in the 1400s it was used as a prison and as a base both by Piedmont’s soldiers and the Bourbon’s troops. If you enjoy Castles, among the places to visit in Catania, it is a must to include the Adrano Castle, the Paterno Castle and the Fortress of Aci Castello.

Things to see in Catania: Bellini Garden
5

Built in 1700, the Bellini Garden is the oldest of the green areas in Catania. It develops on a surface of about 72.000 sqm, where the wonderful Viale degli Uomini Illustri (promenade of the famous people) stands out for its beauty: a path with 12 statues and a botanical clock completely made of flowers.

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Things to see in Catania: Simeto Oasis
6

If you enjoy birdwatching, the Simeto Oasis is a paradise for you! Stilts, herons, and kingfishers inhabit the humid areas of the park, which develop on about 2000 hectares. Walking among its reeds, willows and tamarisks you will be able to spot mullets and freshwater fishes, foxes and weasels. Established in 1984 at the mouth of the river with the same name, it extends between the provinces of Catania and Syracuse.

Things to see in Catania: The coast of the Cyclops
7

North of Catania, along the coastline facing the Ionian sea, there is the Coast of the Cyclops , also known as “the sea stacks of Aci Trezza”. It is a marine protected area of volcanic origins, made of 8 spectacular islets that, according to the legend, were thrown into the water by Polyphemus against Ulysses and his friends. The Coast of the Cyclops is one of the places not to be missed in Catania for its naturalistic beauties, its underwater attractions and for its interesting archeological sites.

Things to see in Catania: Benedictine Monastery
8

If you visit Catania, you should not miss the Benedictine Monastery of San Nicolò, which at present hosts the DiSUM, the University of Catania. The construction of the building started in the 1500s. It is a jewel of late Sicilian Baroque and one of the biggest Benedictine monasteries in Europe.

Things to see in Catania: The Greek-Roman Theatre
9

Strolling around Catania, among buildings of the 1800s and the Baroque of its historic centre, you will find this theatre of marble and lava stone, built in the 2nd Century a.C. on a pre-existing Greek theatre. The Greek-Roman theatre is one of the oldest and most interesting sites of the city. It is open every day.

Things to see in Catania: The underground city
10

Catania is not only a sea side city or a city with Baroque and naturalistic beauties. Underneath its streets, lies an underground Catania, the city of the 1500s buried after a volcanic eruption in 1693. Close to the amphitheater, in Piazza Stesicoro, it is possible to visit some parts of it.

10 things to do in Catania

  • Discovering 65 km of amazing coast

  • Treat yourself to a show at the Teatro Massimo Bellini

  • A sweet or savory break to Spinella Patisserie

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