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What to visit in Catania?

One of the most historic port cities in Italy holds a series of charms for its visitors. In this post, we will present the best attractions of Catania to visit in just one day!

Catania
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What to visit in Catania?

Catania is considered one of the most beautiful cities in Sicily. Located at the foot of Mount Etna with its eruptions, it has a special charm, in addition to the fact that the city is an indisputable example of Sicilian Baroque and, for this heritage, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. But, anyway, what to visit in Catania?

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Our Introduction

Its thousand-year history has been characterized by the various dominations that we find in the numerous monuments and buildings in the city. This black lava city has a very special charm. Visiting the city in a day is simplistic, but if your time is short you need to think of an itinerary that allows you to see the most expressive monuments and attractions in the city, the Ursino Castle, Piazza del Duomo (“Cathedral Square”), with the Cathedral and the Black Lava Elephant, the Roman Theater and the lively Fish Market are just some of the things you can’t miss. So you just need to start this journey to discover this city through its Historic Center. How about a morning excursion to Mount Etna from Catania? Click here to learn more!

1) What to visit in Catania? VISIT THE PIAZZA DEL DUOMO (“CATHEDRAL SQUARE”)

Crossing the Historic Center of Catania is really pleasant and fun, especially among Arancino, granita and delights of all kinds that populate the main streets. Among these scenic streets is Piazza del Duomo, which features the characteristic Elephant Fountain, the true center of the historic city.

The Heart of the City

The heart of the city is Piazza Duomo, so you can start your journey right from this point. Here, all the old Baroque spirit of the city is concentrated with the beautiful buildings of the city hall and the Chierici Palace that surround the famous Obelisk with the Elephant. There are many legends that accompany it and consider it magical, protector of the eruptions of Etna, a reminder of a forgotten religion and much more. How about a 2-hour private excursion with Arancino tasting in Catania center? Click here to learn more!

2) What to visit in Catania? VISITT THE CHURCH OF SAINT AGATHA

The Church of St Agatha, patron of the city and adored with great worship by the people of Catania, also stands out in the same square. Built on the ruins of ancient thermal baths, the Cathedral of St Agatha was repeatedly destroyed and rebuilt after the earthquakes and eruptions of Etna. The interior is majestic, with a Latin cross divided into three naves. Protected, behind a gate, is the St Agatha chapel with the chamber that contains relics. In front of the altar is the tomb of Vincenzo Bellini, born in Catania.

Source: Giandomenico Marino

3) What to visit in Catania? VISIT THE FONTANA DELL´AMENANO (AMENANO FOUNTAIN)

Also close to the square is the Fontana dell’Amenano, a type of ‘Sicilian Fontana di Trevi’, because, as for the Roman fountain, it is the tradition of tourists to throw coins and make a wish. Another way to visit the city is passing through Via dei Crociferi, very famous and where, within 200 meters, there are four churches, including the beautiful church of St Benedict.

4) What to visit in Catania? VISIT THE ROMAN AMPHITEATER

It is possible to visit the church, the monastery and other structures, all done in Baroque style. Continuing along Via Crociferi, you arrive at Stesicoro Square, where you can see part of Catania’s famous Roman Amphitheater. From this large amphitheater, which is among the largest in the world, it is possible to see only a small part because the buildings that were built later cover the remaining part.

5) What to visit in Catania? VISIT THE POPULAR MARKETS

At this point, you must take a tour of the Popular Markets of Catania that represent the true soul of the city; a special experience that you should not miss during a visit to Catania. The hustle and bustle, the scents and the screams of the merchants who advertise their products will allow you to dive into this picturesque world.

The Piscaria and the Fera ‘o Luni Markets

There are several markets, but two of them are not to be missed: the first is Piscaria, located behind Piazza del Duomo and the other is Fera ‘o Luni, in Carlo Alberto Square. You can reach Catania’s fish market, which is one of the most colorful in all of Sicily, through an opening in the Amenano Fountain, southwest of Piazza del Duomo. Here, every morning during the week, as well as Saturdays, you will find fresh fish, caught in the early morning and products of all kinds. This is the most colorful, lively, chaotic and therefore characteristic market of Catania. As in many Sicilian markets, vuciate resonates here; that is, the cry of traders to attract customers.

6) What to visit in Catania? VISIT VIA ETNEA

A day in Catania should end with a walk along Via Etnea that will take you to the town’s Giardino Bellini or Villa Comunale, where you can stroll and enjoy the day among fountains, decorated gardens and the famous Viagle degli Uomini Illustri (“Ilustrious Men Avenue”) with different statues and busts of great characters from the past.

Sicilian Baroque

Along the way, you can take a trip to Sicilian Baroque, because almost all the buildings and churches built by the architects Vaccarini and Battaglia are an example of this type of architecture. It is the main shopping street and largely pedestrianized, recently renovated and it is an excellent place to stroll in Catania. Your Catania one-day itinerary ends here, but I want to remind you that this beautiful city still has many places to discover and visit, perhaps in the future, with more time available.

Meet the Legend about Catania

Legend has it that as the Arab Phoenician (mythological firebird) recovered from the ashes; Catania was reborn from its waters nine times. Destroyed nine times by earthquakes, eruptions and invasions, many more were rebuilt, always more beautiful than before. The city we see today is that of the last reconstruction, in 1693, when a violent earthquake ravaged it.

How to get to Catania?

Discover how simple it is to reach Catania.

1) How to get to Catania? BY AIRPLANE

Catania has an international airport, Catania-Fontanarossa with flights arriving and departing from more than seventy destinations in all parts of the world.

Also read our posts about Airports in Italy:

2) How to get to Catania? BY TRAIN

You can reach Catania via Trenitalia’s national lines. Connections to locations not served by Trenitalia are guaranteed, in any case, by other public and private transport companies.

Also find out “What is the difference between trains in Italy?”. Would you like to save? So buy your ticket online in advance and save a lot, read the Post “How to buy a train ticket in Italy?“.

3) How to get to Catania? BY SHIP

You can reach Catania directly from Naples and Malta.

4) How to get to Catania? BY CAR

Catania is connected to the main Sicilian cities. If you arrive in Palermo (A19) or Messina (A18), you can reach Catania along the highway network. To and from Sicily’s other major tourist destinations, the roads also reach other cities and provinces in the region.

Traveling by car in Italy

How about if I give you a rental car option? Are you ready for it? If you are renting a car be sure to read our posts in the section Driving in Italy on the blog Your Travel to Italy. In addition to car itinerary tips, we have everything about signage, tolls, roads and many more tips.

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Conclusion

What to visit in Catania? One day in Catania can be enough to give you an idea of the beauty and unique atmosphere of the city. Catania will fascinate you by the exchange of cultures, stories and traditions.

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