Summer holidays: “The city of Arancino” among the most popular destination of 2019!
Tourists want sun, beaches, culture, good food and hospitality. Catania offers all of these all packed in one. Once again Catania is one of the most demanded cities by national tourists for 2019 summer holidays, as referred to by “eDreams” a leading online travel agency in Europe. Just spend a few days in Catania to enjoy the architectural wonders and vividness of the popular markets, the wild and “fiery” beauty of Etna (Europe’s highest active volcano) or the variety of the beaches (sand, rocks or pebbles) bathed by the Jonian sea. A lot to see but don’t forget the excellent food you can find at every corner of the city: Catania is renowned for the street food and desserts!
What to see during a weekend in Catania?
You can start with a 3 km walk in the long street directly in the heart of the historical centre of Catania heading to “piazza del duomo” the most iconic square of the city, among shops, baroque style buildings, monuments and churches with Etna constantly behind you. If you are tired (and hungry of course!) you can have a quick break at the famous “Pasticceria Savia” just in front “villa Bellini” the green heart of the city.
Piazza del Duomo
Begin admiring “u Liotru”, the iconic elephant made of lava stone that stands in the center of the square and is also the emblem of the city. Go on with “Palazzo degli Elefanti” (Town Hall), Palazzo dei Chierici joined to the Cathedral by a passage above “Porta Uzeda” one of the ancient entrance to the city. In front of the Town Hall you can see the “Amenano fountain” bedewed by the legendary river from which it takes its name.
Built on the remains of ancient thermal baths, the Cathedral of Sant’Agata was destroyed and rebuilt several times after the various earthquakes. Now is a symbol of the city dedicated to the Catania patron saint: Agatha. Popular Markets, are the true soul of Catania, domicile of daily activities. You can find many of them around the city, but the ones that cannot be missed are: “A Piscaria”, a fish market like no others, a colorful and chaotic centre where you can hear the “vuciate” (shouts) of the street vendors to attract the passers-by. Not too far away there is “A fera o luni”, a daily market where you can find almost everything and more. And for those looking for a bargain, in the same square but on Sundays only, you can find the “Flea Market”.
Teatro Massimo Vincenzo Bellini
The Center of the representation of the Opera in Catania, it “opens its curtain” for the first time in 1890 with “La Norma” the most famous work by the composer from which inherits its name. For opera enthusiasts, the theater has a rich concert and representation season. For young people or for those who just love hanging out at night, the square where the Theatre is placed, becomes the centre of Catania Famous nightlife with all the bars, clubs and pubs where you can chill and drink something good for good price.
Via dei Crociferi
UNESCO World Heritage Site, it hosts 4 splendid churches in just 200 sqm and ends with “Villa Cerami”, a green oasis seat of the law faculty. There is also a legend about this street, once a hiding place for lovers and betrayals. The legend of the “headless horse” and it is said that even today, late at night, someone can hear the sound of a horse’s hooves on the paving stone. Benedictine monastery The largest monastic complex in Europe now houses the Department of Human Sciences of the University of Catania. It’s open for visit thanks to a guided tour that allows you to retrace almost 500 years of life in this place that was ruled by the so-called “gourmet monks”
Faraglioni of Acitrezza
A Small fishing town immortalized in the masterpiece book by Giovanni Verga “I Malavoglia”. The three “Faraglioni” are those that make an atmosphere of exceptional beauty and kindle wonder at first sight. Reef formations shaped during the centuries by the wind and the sea, appear in all their majesty, the largest one is the “Lachea island”. They are linked to the legend of Ulysses who arrived in the island of the Cyclops, where he was hosted by the terrible Polyphemus. During the stay the one-eyed giant devoured many of Ulysses’ companions. The clever Ulysses, used a trick to escape the monster: he got him drunk and then blinded his only eye, hiding his friends among the flock of sheeps to let them flee unseen. In a rush of wrath Polyphemus began to throw large boulders against Ulyssess’ships. Those rocks is said to be the Faraglioni. Nowadays Acitrezza is a popular destination, not only for its beauty but also for the places where you can enjoy fish dishes, tasty granitas and more.
Excursions on Etna
For those coming to Catania this route is mandatory! How not to go for a walk on one of the most active volcanos in the world and highest in Europe? For those who love adventure, it is possible to go by 4WD vehicle, quad, mountain bike, obviously ski down during winter season and trekking in the spring (and lot more activities).
And for those looking down, there is a sea view show!
Slippers and backpack: you’re ready to go.