Exploring Catania: 10 Places to Visit and 5 to Avoid
Catania is a beautiful city in Sicily, Italy, with plenty of attractions and activities for visitors to explore. From its stunning architecture to its delicious food and delightful beaches, Catania has something for everyone. Here are 10 places to visit and 5 to avoid when exploring Catania.
1. Piazza del Duomo
Piazza del Duomo is the main square of Catania and is located in the center of the city. This vibrant square is home to many of the city’s historical monuments, such as the Cathedral of Catania, the Palazzo degli Elefanti, and the Fontana dell’Elefante. Visitors can enjoy a pleasant stroll around the square or take a seat at one of the many cafes and restaurants that line the square.
2. The Greek Theatre
The Greek Theatre of Catania is an impressive 2,000-year-old amphitheatre that was built by the Greeks in the fourth century BC. Visitors can explore the ruins of this ancient theatre, which is still used to host concerts and theatrical performances.
3. Monastero dei Benedettini
The Monastero dei Benedettini is a stunning Baroque monastery located in the heart of Catania. This majestic building was constructed in the 17th century and features beautiful frescoes, ornate decoration, and impressive architectural elements. Visitors can also admire the stunning views of the Etna volcano from the balcony of the monastery.
4. Catania Fish Market
The Catania Fish Market is one of the most popular attractions in the city. Here, visitors can purchase fresh seafood from the local fishermen, as well as taste some of the delicious dishes prepared by the local vendors.
5. Castello Ursino
Castello Ursino is a grand castle located in the heart of Catania. This 13th-century castle was constructed by the Aragonese and features stunning views of the city. Visitors can explore the castle’s many rooms, which are filled with historical artifacts and artwork.
6. Teatro Massimo Bellini
The Teatro Massimo Bellini is a stunning opera house located in the center of Catania. This elegant theater was constructed in the 19th century and is home to some of the finest operas and ballets in the world. Visitors can attend a show or take a guided tour of the theater.
7. Villa Cerami
Villa Cerami is a beautiful villa located in the outskirts of Catania. This 18th-century villa features stunning gardens and terraces, as well as a breathtaking view of Mount Etna. Visitors can explore the villa’s many rooms, which are filled with antiques and artwork.
8. Catania Beach
Catania Beach is the perfect spot for sunbathing and swimming. This stunning beach is located on the Ionian Sea and is lined with beach bars, restaurants, and shops. Visitors can also explore the nearby caves and take boat trips to the nearby islands.
9. Parco Gioeni
Parco Gioeni is a beautiful park located in the center of Catania. Visitors can explore the park’s many gardens and trails, as well as take part in the local activities, such as bird watching, fishing, and horseback riding.
10. Piazza Università
Piazza Università is a lively square located in the heart of Catania. This bustling square is home to many of the city’s universities and is a popular spot for students and locals alike. Visitors can take a stroll around the square or take a seat at one of the many cafes and restaurants that line the square.
Places to Avoid
1. La Playa – This beach club is known for its unsavory characters and rowdy behavior, so it’s best to avoid it.
2. Via Etnea – This busy street is filled with pickpockets, so it’s best to avoid it during the night.
3. Bar Centrale – This bar is known for its high prices and poor service, so it’s best to find another place to get a drink.
4. Via Crociferi – This street is known for its brothels, so it’s best to avoid it.
5. Piazza Stesicoro – This square is often crowded with aggressive beggars, so it’s best to avoid it.