Perched proper on the coast of Sicily, the Italian metropolis of Catania has loads going for it! With a historical past courting again hundreds of years, there are heaps of the perfect issues to do in Catania – each in and simply exterior town.
In a lot of methods, us included, Catania is seen as a gateway metropolis to all the opposite finest locations in Sicily to go to. That being stated, it’s effectively value visiting in its personal proper – even when that’s a part of a wider go to to Sicily.
Now, though Catania can appear to be just a little ‘tough across the edges’, it’s a metropolis that’s bought a lot allure and the type of metropolis you simply should dive proper in.
To be sincere, the primary few hours after arriving in Catania have been a blur of sensory overload – it’s a bustling metropolis, however that’s all a part of the allure and completely distinctive.
So, that can assist you get essentially the most out of your time in Catania, I’m sharing a number of the spots we beloved most about our go to. Check out a number of the epic locations to go to in Catania. Have an incredible journey travelling round Sicily.
1.) Go to Palazzo Biscari
The non-public palace of Biscari is one gorgeous spot to see while visiting Catania. You see, manner again within the 1600s, the Prince of Biscari was given the fitting to construct a beautiful palace after a devastating earthquake.
These days, it nonetheless stands tall within the metropolis and is effectively value taking a guided tour to take a peek inside. Not solely is it one of many largest palaces within the metropolis, however in my view, it’s one of many grandest.
While on a guided tour, take a peek on the beautiful courtyard earlier than heading to see the grand corridor, hand-painted frescos and essentially the most lovely staircase. Actually, this place is a gem to discover.
Now, I gained’t spoil the shock by popping in a photograph of the interiors (it’s actually that beautiful), so make sure that to move over when you arrive in Sicily.
2.) Take a Journey to Castello Ursino
Constructed manner again within the 1200s, out of lava stone, visiting Castello Ursino is likely one of the finest issues to do in Catania if you wish to discover town’s lengthy historical past.
Sure, it won’t be a baroque constructing that’s so well-known in Sicily, however Castello Ursino pre-dates these designs and homes a lot to see. It actually dates again to the center ages.
Now, I type of felt that Castello Ursino was extra spectacular from the surface (if I’m sincere). However don’t let that put you off heading inside – it’s value seeing the varied artworks, work and sculptures that now name the fort dwelling.
3.) Go to Monastery of San Nicolò l’Area
The Monastery of San Nicolò l’Area won’t appear to be an apparent alternative for a spot to go to however belief me right here. If you wish to know extra concerning the historical past of Catania, then you definately’ll need to come right here.
Now, guided excursions occur on most days and so they usually final round 75-minutes. Although, at all times verify the occasions they function and remember that if you’d like an English tour, then you definately’ll need to go to at round 1 pm.
Lastly, to e-book a tour, head to their web site the place you’ll have the ability to pop an e mail over to the group and safe your house.
4.) See the Greek-Roman Theatre(s)
Constructed out of rocks offered by the close by Mount Etna, the Roman Theater of Catania is one epic a part of town to see while strolling round.
Sure, you will want to pay a small entrance payment to have a nosey across the website but it surely’s effectively value it.
With hundreds of years of historical past, it’s the type of place the place you may study extra concerning the Roman empire and its constructing methods.
Visits will solely final round 25-minutes and it’s very easy to squeeze into a visit.
5.) Make a journey to Mount Etna
Yeah, I do know, Mount Etna isn’t Catania – however hear me out!
Bear in mind I discussed that Cantania is typically thought of a gateway to wider Sicily? Effectively, this is likely one of the occasions when that rings true. Visiting Mount Etna is well among the finest issues to do in Catania in case you’re searching for a day journey away from the bustling streets.
Now, among the finest methods we discovered to do that is by reserving this Mount Etna tour that departs from Catania itself. Not solely will you get picked up from Catania, however you’ll head excessive up, close to the summit of Mount Etna in a 4×4 or small bus – all with a certified information.
Better of all, this Mount Etna tour will present a tipple of native wines from the area, too. In any case, the terroir is so good round right here.
That being stated, in case you fancy climbing, be warned it’s a 3,300-meter hike and is fairly arduous. Additionally, don’t neglect that Mount Etna is likely one of the most energetic volcanoes in Europe – so at all times go together with a information.
6.) See the Gates of Porta Garibaldi
Porta Garibaldi dates manner again to the 1700s when it was constructed as a triumphal arch within the very centre of Catania. To at the present time, you may stroll via the gates and witness among the finest celebratory gates in Italy.
You see, Porta Garibaldi was constructed to have a good time the wedding of the Bourbon king and royalty from Austria. I imply, that’s some wedding ceremony present, proper?
Anyway, it’s very easy to see and effectively value taking an in depth gander on the statues and artistry on the gate itself. I don’t perceive Latin however somebody did say that there’s a quote round Catania rising up. Apparently, it’s in connection to the fixed rebuilding of Cantania on account of tectonic exercise.
Afterwards, take a while to go to the markets and wander via the every day stalls that line the streets previous Fontana dell’Amenano and round Porta Uzeda.
7.) Go to Catania Cathedral
Okay, so Catania Cathedral might be essentially the most lovely construction within the metropolis and one spot you gained’t need to miss.
Better of all, it’s situated proper within the historic centre of Catania, making it very easy to go to on most days of the week. As soon as right here, remember to look out for the Norman apses that date again virtually 1000 years. Oh, and take a peek on the gorgeous nave, too.
Completely free to enter, visiting is likely one of the finest issues to do in Catania while you stroll across the metropolis.
Simply remember, there are providers that go on all year long right here. This implies you would possibly rock up and discover the church closed to sightseers.
8.) Go to Giardini Bellini
The oldest of all of the parks in Catania, Giardini Bellini is effectively value going for a stroll on a heat day.
Not solely are the grounds completely beautiful, however the backyard additionally has essentially the most ornate stone flooring to the upper factors. It’s so intricate and it’s at all times caught in my reminiscence.
One factor to recollect is Catania can get highly regarded and that the Sicilian solar is powerful. Put on a hat and take sunblock with you – the Italian solar is not any joke!
Afterwards, take a stroll to Basilica della Collegiata and absorb one other one in all Catania’s lovely church buildings to see.
9.) Head over to Castello di Aci
Not too distant from the centre of Catania is Castello di Aci. It’s a couple of 15-minute drive and effectively value visiting for its lengthy historical past.
Now, Castello di Aci sits on a fairly dramatic cliffside that overlooks the seas surrounding Sicily itself. The views are unimaginable.
Sure, you’ll pay a small entry payment to achieve entry to Castello di Aci but it surely’s completely value it. As soon as inside, you’ll get to wander across the small museum and take a look at the grounds themselves. We beloved it.
Afterwards, hop on again to the centre of Catania and take a look at Scirocco Sicilian Fish Lab.
We had the perfect calamari and native fried fish. Served as road meals, it’s bought a couple of seats exterior and all are served in a paper cone. It was all so good.
10.) Spot the Fountain of the Elephant
The image of town, seeing the Fountain of the Elephant is likely one of the finest issues to do in Catania. In actual fact, it’s onerous to overlook while you’re within the historic centre.
Constructed virtually 300 years in the past, it was created by the famend Giovanni Battista Vaccarini. To at the present time, it’s stated that the Fountain of the Elephant is likely one of the protectors of Catania – from the brut power of an erupting Mount Etna.