Catania is the second largest city in Sicily, the largest in Eastern Sicily. It is a lively city that always surprises visitors with its multiple faces and contradictions, on one hand respectful of its traditions on the other modern and global. Definitely, Catania has its own spirit and style.
Since the first moment, the visitor is strokeby the peculiar color of the lava stone,building material of most of the old buildings. The historic centre starts from the back of the harbor and spreads around Via Etnea, here entering the “Porta Uzeda” you can admire” Piazza del Duomo” with Cathedral of St. Agata, the “Badia”, “Fontana dell' Elefante”, called “Liotru” by Catania citizens and symbol of the city. Then, walking up along via Etnea you find “Piazza dell'Università” and “Palazzo dell'Università”, while on one side, “Massimo Bellini” theatre,among the most beautiful and important theatres in Italy, and on the other the beautiful “Via Crociferi” with church of San Benedetto, and then the Benedectine Monastery from XVI century and Ursino Castle from XIII century.
Unfortunately, because of all earthquakes and eruptions that occurred, it does not remain much of the monuments from the Greek period – when Catania was known as Katane -by the way, many ruins from the Roman period can be admired, such asGreek Roman Theatre,Amphitheatre,Achillean Baths,“Terme dell'indirizzo”, “Terme della Rotonda”
Don't miss the suggestive“Pescheria”, the colorful and screaming fish (and not only) market, held every morning. Arefreshing stop in one of the kiosks is a must-do, to drink a “seltz” the typical soft drink so beloved by locals. Those who stay in Catania at the beginning of February should not miss the festival of Saint Agatha, so fascinating and deeply felt by citizens of Catania that it is included among three most important catholic festivals in the world
In addition to sites of cultural interest, Catania offers nice shops and a well-known, lively night life, in fact it is a city that never sleeps.It is worth making a trip some kilometers north along the black Riviera dei Ciclopi,to have a good “granita”, or to visit Acicastello and its Norman castle made of lava stone overlooking the sea, Acitrezza and“Faraglioni” ( cyclopean rocks), and in the end Acireale with its splendid baroque.