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The 8 Best Things To Do In Catania

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Catania is a beautiful city located on the east coast of Sicily, Italy. The city is known for its stunning Baroque architecture, delicious food, and lively nightlife. Whether you are a history buff, a foodie, or just looking for a relaxing vacation, there are plenty of things to do in Catania that will leave you enchanted. In this article, we will take a look at the 8 best things to do in Catania.

Read also: The 7 Most Instagrammable Places Of Palermo

Quick Sicily Travel Guide

Sicily Accommodation: San Domenico Palace and Grand Hotel Timeo for luxury accommodation in Taormina, and Casa Nostra Boutique Hotel or Palazzo Natoli Boutique Hotel for intimate vibes in Palermo. Dome or B&B Oriental Palace in Catania. Room Of Andrea Hotel or Gaura Apartments in Trapani. Le Tre Campane Ortigia or Palazzo Alfeo Aparthotel in Syracuse. Principe Di Salina Boutique Hotel or Il Gabbiano Relais in Stromboli on the Aeolian Islands.

Top Sicily Activities:

1. Visit Piazza del Duomo and the Cathedral

Piazza del Duomo, Catania, Sicily

Piazza del Duomo is the main square in Catania, and it is home to the city’s most famous attraction, the Cathedral. The Cathedral was built in the 11th century, and it is a beautiful example of Baroque architecture. The façade is made of volcanic stone, and the interior is adorned with beautiful frescoes and paintings.

2. Explore the Fish Market

The fish market of Catania

The Fish Market in Catania is one of the largest in Italy, and it is a must-see for foodies. The market is located near the Piazza del Duomo, and it is open every day except Sunday. Here you can find a wide variety of fresh seafood, as well as other local products such as fruits, vegetables, and cheese.

3. Walk along Via Etnea

Via Etnea in Catania

Via Etnea is the main shopping street in Catania, and it is lined with beautiful Baroque buildings, shops, and restaurants. The street is named after Mount Etna, which is visible in the distance on clear days. It is a great place to stroll and soak up the atmosphere of the city.

4. Visit the Ursino Castle

Catania panoramic view

The Ursino Castle is a medieval fortress that was built in the 13th century. It is located in the heart of the city, and it is home to the Museum of the History of Sicily. The museum displays artifacts and exhibits that showcase the history of Sicily, from ancient times to the present day.

5. Enjoy the greenery in Villa Bellini

Villa Bellini in Catania

You should definitely see the gardens of Villa Bellini, one of the places to visit in Catania perfect for enjoying some fresh breeze, resting or having a picnic. The park, located in Via Etnea, is open until 10pm. You can stroll among its large trees and multiple fountains or simply sit on a bench in the shade. The place is really pleasant, with a playground dedicated to children (in case you have children!). Events and concerts are regularly organized here.

5. Go to Piazza dell’Università

Palazzo dell'Università in Catania

At the southern end of Via Etnea, there is the University Square (Piazza dell’Università). This square is surrounded by two magnificent buildings facing each other: the Palazzo dell’Università which houses the ancient university and the Palazzo San Giuliano. Both palaces have splendid facades and beautiful internal courtyards. Do not hesitate to enter the university to be able to admire them.

6. Admire all the churches of Via Crociferi

Via Crociferi in Catania

Via Crociferi is another street you have to visit during your stay in Catania. It could easily be called “The Road of Churches”, as it is possible to admire many churches along the way. If you want to see the churches from inside, you have to keep in mind that most of them are only open in the morning.

7. Visit the enchanting Roman Theater of Catania

The Roman Theatre in Catania

Although today there is not much left, in case you have some extra time available, go and see the Roman Theater, near the Piazza del Duomo. You will be surprised by its architecture and vaults. Seeing it there, surrounded by modern buildings, you will surely be enchanted!

8. Visit the umbrella street

Umbrella street in Catania, Via Pardo in Catania

This popular tourist attraction is located in the historic city center. The main street with umbrellas is called “Via Pardo,” and it’s lined with colorful umbrellas suspended overhead, creating a beautiful canopy of colors that provide shade and shelter from the sun.

What to do in Catania and its surroundings

  1. Visit Mount Etna: Mount Etna is an active volcano and one of the most popular tourist attractions in Sicily. You can take a guided tour to the summit or explore the lower slopes on foot or by cable car. Book your Mt. Etna and Taormina full day your here.
  2. Enjoy the beaches: Catania is located on the coast, and there are several beaches nearby where you can relax and soak up the sun. Some popular beaches include Playa Catania, San Giovanni Li Cuti, and La Plaja.
  3. Visit Taormina: Taormina is a picturesque hilltop town located about an hour’s drive from Catania. It’s famous for its stunning views of the Mediterranean, the ancient Greek Theater, and the charming cobblestone streets.
  4. Visit Syracuse: Syracuse is one of the most historic cities of Sicily, located about an hour’s drive to the south from Catania. In Syracuse you must see the old town and the ancient Greek ruins, including the Temple of Apollo, the Greek Theater, and the Ear of Dionysius. Book your Syracuse and Noto walking tour here.
  5. Explore the Alcantara Gorges: The Alcantara Gorges are a series of natural canyons and waterfalls located about an hour’s drive from Catania. You can hike along the river, swim in the natural pools, or take a guided tour.
  6. Visit the town of Noto: Noto is a beautiful Baroque town. It’s famous its stunning architecture, including the Cathedral of San Nicolò and the Palazzo Ducezio. Noto seems to be more like an open-air museum than a real town.
  7. Go wine tasting in the Etna region: The Etna region is known for its excellent wines, including reds, whites, and rosés. You can take a wine tasting tour of the vineyards and wineries in the area. Book your private wine tasting tour with food here.
  8. Visit the town of Acireale: Acireale is a charming town in the north from Catania. It’s stunning Baroque architecture and streets are perfect for an afternoon walk.
  9. Explore the Cyclops Riviera: The Cyclops Riviera is a scenic stretch of coastline located between Catania and Acireale. It’s famous for its volcanic rock formations, crystal-clear water, and ancient legends. You can take a boat tour of the area or explore on foot.

Catania is a wonderful destination that offers something for everyone. Whether you are interested in history, food, or just relaxing on the beach, there are plenty of things to do in Catania that will leave you with unforgettable memories. So pack your bags and head to Catania, you won’t regret it!

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Chiara Magi
Chiara Magi
I'm a photographer and filmmaker, and most of all probably the biggest lover of Sicily! I am also the creator of Sicily Insider, sharing the best travel information, tips and advice.

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