Catania, a bustling port city on Sicily's eastern coast, is steeped in history and culture. With the mighty Mount Etna as its backdrop, Catania invites visitors to immerse themselves in a rich tapestry of flavors, ancient ruins, Baroque architecture, and Mediterranean charm.


  1. Arancini: Begin your culinary journey with Arancini, the quintessential Sicilian street food. These fried rice balls are stuffed with various fillings like meat sauce, cheese, and peas.
  2. Pasta alla Norma: Pay homage to Catania with this local pasta dish made with tomatoes, fried aubergines, grated ricotta cheese, and basil.
  3. Granita: Cool off with a granita, a semi-frozen dessert made with sugar, water, and various flavorings. The almond and lemon flavors are trendy in Catania.
  4. Horse Meat: Adventurous eaters can try this local delicacy, often served as a steak or a sandwich.
  5. Etna Wines: The volcanic soils around Mount Etna produce some exceptional wines. Try the local Nerello Mascalese and Carricante varieties.


  1. Festival of Sant'Agata: Every February, Catania hosts one of the largest religious festivals in the world, honoring its patron saint, Agatha. The city comes alive with processions, food, and fireworks.
  2. Baroque Architecture: Catania's city center is a UNESCO World Heritage site due to its stunning Baroque architecture, built after the devastating earthquake of 1693.
  3. Opera and Theatre: Teatro Massimo Bellini is Catania's majestic opera house. Named after local composer Vincenzo Bellini, it's an excellent place to experience opera.
  4. Fish Market: Visit the bustling La Pescheria market for a dose of local life and pick up fresh seafood for a picnic.

Travel Tips

  1. Explore on Foot: The city center is best explored on foot. Wander the narrow streets and piazzas to soak in the atmosphere.
  2. Sun Protection: Catania can be very hot, especially in summer. Remember to wear sunblock and carry water.
  3. Day Trips to Mount Etna: Take a day trip to Mount Etna. Join guided tours that include hiking or driving up the volcano.
  4. Use Public Transport: Use efficient public transportation to explore the city and surrounding areas.
  5. Learn Basic Italian Phrases: While English is spoken in tourist areas, knowing some basic Italian can be helpful in local markets and eateries.

Interesting Facts

  1. Catania has been destroyed and rebuilt several times due to eruptions from Mount Etna and earthquakes.
  2. The Elephant Fountain (Fontana dell'Elefante) is considered the symbol of Catania.
  3. Catania is the second-largest city in Sicily, after Palermo.
  4. The University of Catania, founded in 1434, is one of the oldest universities in Italy.

Top Places

  1. Piazza Duomo: Explore the city's main square, home to the Elephant Fountain and the beautiful Catania Cathedral.
  2. Teatro Romano and Odeon: These ancient Roman structures are reminders of Catania's ancient past.
  3. Castello Ursino: This imposing castle, now a museum, was originally built as a royal castle for the Kingdom of Sicily.
  4. Via Etnea: Stroll along this bustling street with shops, cafes, and baroque buildings.
  5. La Pescheria Market: Immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of this traditional fish market.
  6. Monastero dei Benedettini: Visit one of the largest monasteries in Europe and discover its intricate interiors.
  7. Bellini Gardens: Relax in this lush park, named after the composer Vincenzo Bellini, and enjoy views of Mount Etna.
  8. Aci Castello: A short drive from Catania, this seaside town boasts a medieval castle and stunning sea views.

Catania is a city that fuses ancient history with a vibrant street life. The shadow of Mount Etna, the flavors of the local cuisine, the rich history, and the exuberant spirit of its people make Catania a captivating destination for any traveler seeking to experience the soul of Sicily. Whether navigating the energetic fish market or gazing at the baroque splendor of Piazza Duomo, Catania is a city that demands to be savored.