Tips for your trip to Catania


catania

Catania is one of the most beautiful cities in Sicily. Graciously stretched between the sea and the volcano, Mt Etna, it looks both elegant and dynamic. Its architectures describe the evolution during centuries, from the Greek time to modern days. Catania is a walk among ancient theatres, beautiful buildings, green paths of the Bellini Park, seaside boulevards. Enjoy the delicious breakfasts at the local cafés in Via Etnea, or the joyful night life as the live music plays. Catania is a nice place to discover, day after day.

When to go to Catania

You can always plan your trip to Catania. Any time of the year is perfect to visit this city. If you don’t like hot and humid days you should probably avoid summer (July and August). Walking through the centre of Catania can be exhausting, in those months. Any other season will be OK. We suggest you to come the first week of February so to enjoy the spectacular festival of the patron St Agatha, on the 5th.

How to get to Catania

Catania is connected to the rest of Sicily by three motorways: A18 to Messina, A19 to Palermo and the new highway to Syracuse. Regional and local bus lines help the people to move to and from the city everyday. The large railway station – where trains from the continent stop all the time – is central. Not far from the station you find the bus terminals.

Catania has a modern port and a new big airport. The international airport Vincenzo Bellini-Fontanarossa is 5,5 km south of the city. You can get to Catania from the airport by bus (Alibus, Sais, Etna Trasporti, AST), taxi, private transfer. You can easily rent a car and drive on your own. A brand new subway station will be opened at the airport within 5 to 10 years.

How to move

In Catania you often move by bus. The small orange AMT buses guarantee connection throughout the whole city area. Tourists can enjoy a short trip through the old core of Catania by the lovely double-decker bus lines. Many people also use the subway, though it only has 11 stations and is still incomplete. Taxis are available though not very common. More and more people love to move by bike.

What to see

The best part of Catania is its old historical centre. Along the 3-km long Via Etnea, the main street, you will admire monuments, buildings, parks and churches of rare beauty. The Bellini Park is the largest and most beautiful green area of the city. Not far from it you will admire the Roman Theatre of Stesicoro square. It is maybe the only ancient theatre in the world made of lava stone.

Going on, you will visit the Collegiata church, the wonderful baroque Crociferi street, the elegant University square and finally the Cathedral square. The majestic cathedral of Catania faces the fountain dedicated to the “Black Elephant” and the City Hall. From Cathedral square two long streets start: via Vittorio Emanuele, where you will visit another Roman Theatre and Via Garibaldi leading to Porta Garibaldi.

Not far from Via Garibaldi there is the spectacular Ursino Castle. While walking all the way up San Giuliano street you will enjoy the view of the beautiful St Nicola La Rena church and the great Benedictine Monastery. Both worth the visit! If you love the sea, go to the northern and more modern part of Catania and take a walk along the seaside street, from San Giovanni Li Cuti to Ognina harbor.

 

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