Catania is an old port town on Sicily’s west coast. It sits at the foothills of Mt. Etna, an active volcanic volcano with stairways leading up to the top. The heart-shaped town’s central square, Piazza del Duomo features exquisite artwork depicting religious history and the whimsical, yet informative Catania Cathedral and Basilica. Further west in Encarnata you’ll find the charming seaside village of Citta Vecchio, where you can try a delicious Neapolitan pizza or simply bask in the warm Mediterranean sun. In the southwest corner of this square, La Pescheria, boasts a busy seafood restaurant while in the northeast corner, a small stone bridge crosses the shallow bed of Catania Creek which provides a short hike that leads to the Catania Cathedral and Basilica.
While in Catania, don’t forget to take back some souvenirs from your trip to Italy. Among the most popular souvenirs are artwork pieces made by local artists depicting scenes from Mount Etna and other beautiful landscape shots. Another popular souvenir are metal wall plaques that showcase the unique architecture of Catania’s many villages. These plaques have a unique and personal meaning for every visitor to the town.
If you like mountains, Sicily and the Catania area are ideal for hiking. A popular hiking trail starts near the southern part of the town of Catania and takes hikers on a challenging journey up to Catania’s main mountain, Cat uphill. The trail continues past Catania’s rustic seaside resort of San Gimignano, passing through rustic vineyards and down to Catania’s main mountain, Sessora, where the trail ends. The trail offers beautiful views of Catania’s urban center as well as a view of Sicily’s fertile rice fields. Hiking enthusiasts will also find plenty of ancient churches, Catania’s city center, along with donkey rides, boat rides, nature walks, and hot spring baths.
Sicily is also a great place for discovering history. Many tourists come to Sicily because of its rich history and museums. One of the best museums in Sicily is the Uffizi Museum in Catania. The Uffizi Museum contains great works of art including frescoes, sculptures, mosaics, and other works made during the Renaissance. Other museums in Sicily include the Archaeological Museum and the Louis IV Hotel, both in Catania, as well as the Santa Maria Novella Palace in Genoa.
Catania is also home to other unique sites that offer the best things to do and see. One of these is the Duomo, or Cathedral of St. Francis. Built in the thirteenth century, the Duomo is noted for its twelve doors featuring a sculpture of a man carrying a cross, and is one of the best places to see in Catania. Another highlight is Catania’s famous Saint Catherine’s Monastery, which is considered to be one of the best monasteries in the world. Saint Catherine’s Monastery was built over eight centuries ago, and has been housing the island’s monks ever since. The monastery was destroyed during World War II, but was rebuilt and now houses a number of visitors and pilgrims.
Other best things to do in Catania include visiting the Catania Cathedral, a converted Dominican church that now serves as a museum. You can also visit the Catania courthouse, which features an imposing colonnade and the world-renowned Santo Domingo Cathedral, which is the largest Catholic church in Sicily. Other attractions in Catania include the Catania racecourse, Catania harbor, and the Duomo. As you can see, there are many things to see and do in Catania, which makes it the perfect destination for a vacation in the sun.