Catania is also a popular tourist destination both with Italians and other Europeans. It is located on the east cost of Sicily and has been shaped and forged from volcanic activity, giving it a stunning array of scenery. It has a rich and vibrant history and is today renowned for its rich cultural and artistic heritage. In this guide we take a look at what Catania has to offer tourists.
Top Attractions in Catania
Catania has a lot of offer tourists. An absolute must on any itinerary should be Mount Etna which played a dominant role in creating the beautiful scenery on Sicily. This active volcano is the biggest in Europe and the second largest in the world. You can choose to view it on your own terms or through an organised coach trip. There are also hiking and mountaineering options available too for those who enjoy being active.
As with any city, a visit to the local Cathedral is important and the stunning Piazza Duomo won’t disappoint. This Cathedral is dedicated to Santa Agata and showcases beautiful architecture. Another religious tourist attraction is the Monastero dei Benedettini and you can experience this stunning building with a 60 minute guided tour.
For those who enjoy nature, the Orto Botanico (botanical gardens) is a great place to visit. They feature huge dragon trees along with an array of other plants which thrive in the climate.
Getting To Catania
For those travelling from outside Sicily, there are two main ways to get to Catania. The first is by plane with a number of European airlines flying directly to the international airport of Catania Fontanarossa. The second way of reaching Catania is to travel by boat to the Catania Seaport which is also a popular stop off destination for a number of cruise ships and ferries. A number of routes are available from other Italian cities such as Ravenna, Livorno and Civitavecchia. For more information and to make a booking visit Channel Ferries.
For those already on Sicily, you can reach the city by rail arriving at the central train station or by road with easy access to the A18 and A19. Drive around by hiring a rental car, there is lots of choice locally.
Accommodation in Catania
As with any Italian city, Catania has a wide range of accommodation options available from private apartments to budget hotels. If you are looking for a touch of romance, the four star Liberty Hotel is ideal. This hotel has a boutique style and is just a few minutes’ walk from the city centre. For those looking for something a little more Italian, you might want to stay at the Villa del Bosco. This hotel has been created from a converted villa and has all the Italian charm you could want.
Eating in Catania
Catania has a lot of restaurants and trattorias which offer a range of cuisines. Obviously the most catered for cuisine is Italian so if you want to sample some local delights, check out the U Fucularu located on Piazza Ogninella. This Italian restaurant offers a great antipasti buffet and delicious homemade pasta. For those looking for a traditional pizza experience, Eat Pizzeria on Via Coppola is highly recommended. The pizzas are all hand made using traditional recipes and fresh, locally sourced ingredients.
Shopping in Catania
If you love shopping, you’ll love the vibrant Catania street market. This market has a wide range of stalls selling everything from fish to clothing, spices to gifts. There is a relaxed and friendly atmosphere with bartering welcome. The city centre of Catania is also home to a wide range of shops, both high street chains and fashionable boutiques.
With so much to offer tourists, Catania is ideal for a long weekend or an annual vacation.
Image Credits: Jonathan Edgecombe and giopuo.