In 2019, why not experience the magic of Sicily with a week or two in Catania?

20 Dec 2018

At Gruppo UNA, we're huge fans of Catania, which is why we've made the Palace Catania | UNA Esperienze one of our premium locations in the south of Italy. The Hotel Palace is the perfect spot to head for southern Italy travel in 2019, with its rooftop terrace, views of Mount Etna, and wonderful onsite restaurant.

Catania is also a great base to use when exploring Syracuse, Messina, or even Palermo.

There's so much to explore in Catania.

In summer, Catania is a joy to explore on foot. It's not too large (at least in the historic centre), and visitors can uncover architectural marvels around every corner. With thousands of years of history, the city has accumulated a treasure trove of churches, palaces, and stories to discover.

Standouts include the Cathedral of Sant'Agata, dedicated to Sicily's patron saint, who died a martyr in 251AD. When you enter the church, you'll get a feel for the city's diverse history, with Norman and Italian Renaissance elements all vying for attention.

The same goes for the Castello, which wouldn't look out of place in northern Europe. That's no surprise, as it was built by the island's German rulers in the 13th century. Nowadays, it's a great place to picnic, while the Museo Civico features stunning finds from the Greek and Roman periods.

From the Benedictine Monastery to the splendid Palazzo Biscari, Catania's historical legacy is remarkable for a city of 300,000 people.

Head to the beach for some Sicilian summer sunshine.

If you're visiting Sicily in the summer, expect scorching temperatures and wall to wall sunshine. You'll probably want to enjoy some time by the Mediterranean, and in Catania, that's not a problem.

Near the city itself, you can relax on a selection of clean, safe beaches, including the 11 mile long Playa, which boasts gorgeous golden sands. But it's worth venturing further afield (our concierges will help hook you up with hire cars if needed).

Just a few miles north of the city, you'll find the Riviera Dei Cyclopi (Coast of the Cyclops), with fascinating rock formations, fine swimming beaches and some enticing beach-side restaurants.

Soar to the peak of Etna for views and volcanic surprises.

However, one of the best things about choosing Catania for Italy travel in 2019 is the chance to head inland for completely different experiences. It's not all about sand and swimming in this part of Sicily. As you'll see, Mount Etna dominates the area, and it's an unmissable attraction.

This active volcano is over 3,000 metres tall, so you may want to drive. Or better still, take the Funivia (cable car) right to the summit. After taking a few snaps from the top, make time to visit Zafferana Etnea, which is famous for producing delicious honey.

Before you go, our staff can book a ristorante or trattoria on the slopes, allowing you to round off your mountain adventure in style.

Discover Sicilian cuisine during your Catania break.

Whether you climb Etna or remain at ground level, you simply have to explore the region's food and drink. Sicily is famous worldwide for its food culture, and is undergoing a modern Renaissance, so it's a great time for foodies to visit.

If you love pasta, make room for some pasta alla norma (cooked with aubergines, ricotta and tomato), and pick up some arancini (deep-fried rice balls stuffed with meat or cheese) as you make your way around town. It's some of the most incredible fast food you'll ever taste.

Sicilian pizza tends to have thick crusts and not too much cheese - a little like focaccia, instead of the thin, crispy varieties most common elsewhere. And there are some unique desserts to enjoy. Granita is just the thing for searing hot afternoons, with its mixture of sweetened ice and pistachio or fruit flavourings.

The quality of restaurants is high in Catania, but we have our favourites (and the Palace Catania | UNA Esperienze has a wonderful rooftop eatery, too.) So ask at the reception desk and we'll book somewhere to enjoy the best meals eastern Sicily has to offer.

Arrange a summer escape to Catania with Gruppo UNA

If you love the idea of spending some time in the Sicilian sunshine, Catania will make an excellent destination. Our local hotels are the ideal place to stay as you explore what the area has to offer.

From fine food and sublime beaches to endless historical attractions and stunning mountain views, this part of Sicily has a magic of its own. Visit us and find out for yourself.