Charismatic seaside Catania is a young, dynamic soul inhabiting a body of narrow alleys and ornate Baroque buildings mounted on top of well-preserved remains of ancient Greek and Roman settlements. Mount Etna defines the cityscape both in terms of the striking panorama and building material - Catania is even referred to as the "grey city" for the color of lava rocks used to construct many of its buildings.

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Piazza del Duomo

Piazza del Duomo, encircled by impressive Baroque buildings in the heart of Catania, recently became a UNESCO world heritage site. In the middle of the square is Fontana dell’Elefante, Catania’s most famous monument – the lava stone Elephant Fountain.

Piazza del Duomo, Catania
Catania Cathedral

Piazza del Duomo is also home to the elaborate Baroque Cattedrale di Sant’Agata (or simply the Catania Cathedral). Behind the marble walls is the final resting place of the city’s patron saint, Agata. Every February processions are held in her honour.

163 Via Vittorio Emanuele II, Catania
Ristorante il Locandiere

If you pay a visit to the town of Caltagirone, Ristorante il Locandiere is a good choice for lunch or dinner. This relaxed fish restaurant is known for its delicious seafood appetisers and mains. The staff is helpful and professional and gladly recommend a wine to accompany meals.

55 Via Don Luigi Sturzo, Caltagirone
Gisira Pizza and Drinks

Gisira Pizza and Drinks is a popular pizza restaurant in Catania where you can choose from a wide array of toppings, and for a different dining experience order your pizza by the meter. The menu also contains a choice of salads, wine, beer and delicious desserts.

62 Via Gisira, Catania
La Pescheria

The bustling, smelly market La Pescheria (next to the cathedral), is worth a visit even if you are not buying any fish. It's a cultural experience in its own right - seeing the busy vendors display all sorts of curious marine creatures is quite the uncommon sight.

Piazza Curo, Catania
Via Etnea

One of the city's main arteries and its busiest shopping street, Via Etnea stretches all the way from the Duomo square towards Etna (hence the telling name). The street is lined with all manner of shops and department stores, as well as a variety of eateries to suit any taste.

Via Etnea, Catania

Airport Catania-Fontanarossa

Catania’s airport, Fontanarossa (CTA), is located 7 kilometres south-west of the city and handles both domestic and international flights. Buses (AMT Alibus) connect the airport to Catania city centre and leave every 20 minutes from 5 am to midnight. There are also several other bus companies, operating other cities on Sicily such as Etna Trasporti to Taormina. The journey takes 50 minutes. Sais Autolinee takes travellers to Palermo in 2 1/2 hours. Bus tickets can be bought at the currency exchange office or at a newspaper shop inside the airport terminal. A taxi from the airport to the city takes about 15 minutes. There are taxi ranks outside the airport.

Airport Catania-Fontanarossa, Catania

Public Transport

A rental car is the best way to explore Sicily. The road network is well maintained, especially the toll roads (autostrade). To drive in the city of Catania can be quite tricky though. A majority of the city centre is for pedestrians and parking lots are difficult to find. An alternative to driving, is travelling by train to Messina, Syracuse, Palermo and other cities from the station at Piazza Giovanni XXIII. A cheaper mode of transport is the bus, which depart from the depot at Via d’Amico close to the train station. To get around in the city, the company AMT serves a number of lines. Bus tickets must be validated upon entering the bus (get them punched in the orange machine on board).

Piazza Giovanni XXIII, Catania