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27 July 2018
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Things to do in Catania: our best recommendations

Visit Catania and its surroundings in just 3 days? We suggest you things to do in Catania!

A city full of life and a thousand opportunities: how can you capture all this vitality in just a few days? Follow us. With us you won’t need anything but a map and some comfy shoes. All in all, Catania has everything you need for an amazing stay: the sea, the mountains (a volcano!), the beauty of Baroque architecture, extraordinary food, and last but not least, shopping. Catania also has one of the biggest airports in Sicily, ideally located for the beginning or end of your trip.

In the city

A stroll through the city centre is in itself an extraordinary journey. You’ll see the ‘Palazzo degli Elefanti’ (the Elefant’s Palace), the municipal halls, and the facade of the Cathedral in Piazza Duomo, and in the middle of the piazza, the symbol of the city: the elephant on the fountain. Not far away, there’s the stunning Via Crociferi and its churches (Saint Benedetto, Saint Francesco, Saint Guiliano, Saint Camillo), which climbs up towards the imposing Benedictine monastery. Nor should you miss the Roman theatre of Catania, escavated at the end of the 19th Century. The throbbing heart of the city are the old markets, the ‘Pescheria’ fish market and the market of Piazza Carlo Alberto: places thronging with bustle, noise, colours and smells.

If you find yourselves in the city centre and you need some information, or even just a map, there are a number of information points close to Piazza Duomo and on Via Garibaldi, but don’t worry because any local (known as a ‘cittadino’) will be happy to help you!

Wondering what to eat in Catania?

No worries, you’ll find something! At the ‘Pescheria’ fish market you’ll find street food – a gastronomic tour of the city. You’ve got to try the ‘sanceli’ (local blood sausage) and ‘zuzzo’ (pork jelly), and then along the street of Via Plebescito, popular with locals, you’ll find outdoor grills preparing artichokes, succulent horse meat, steaks, meatballs and onions. The rotisseries of Catania are also unmissable, with their arancini, pies, mini pizzas and much much more in the bars that run along the famous Via Etnea. And then to the sweets: granita, sweet pastries, cannoli, cakes, to be enjoyed in the renowned pattiseries that look over the Duomo. But this city is not only the capital of street food. If you’re looking for a restaurant then the city centre is full of charming local eateries with traditional dishes such as caponata and ‘pasta alla norma’, the famous parmigiana, and fish dishes.

Outside the city

What is there to do out of the city, in one day? Well first off, you’ve got to visit Mount Etna, a World Heritage Site of UNESCO. You simply cannot miss the lunar landscapes, the caves and craters forged by the sheer power of the highest most active volcano in Europe. And then there are the towns of Etna, full of tradition and cultural heritage, with the two-tone architecture of black lava stone and white stone. With the mountain to one side, and the sea to the other. To the north of the city you’ll find the unmissable coast of ‘scogliera’ black rocks meeting the fiery sea, creating a rich seabed of life. You cannot miss the ‘faraglioni’ rock stacks and the port of Acitrezza, the fort of Acicastello, the Timpa nature reserve, and Acireale, with its Baroque palaces and churches, to be enjoyed while eating fish on a terrace looking over the sea. To the south you’ll find the sandy beach known as ‘la playa’, which stretches kilometres south from the lighthouse towards Syracuse. A perfect place for watersports, such as surfing lessons, windsurfing, bodyrafting, or simply enjoying a dip in the sea.

Discover things to do in Catania with Sicilying!