Not just sea and food...
3 Jul 2019
Sicily’s second-largest regional capital, Catania, is an integral part of the transport network across the Mediterranean. It constitutes an important port of call for exports and an international airport, making it easy to access and enables it to be the centre of trade expos and major events. However, the capital is not only about briefcases and business suits, but also made up of an excellent mixture of fascinating culture, traditions and history to experience whenever one visits.
One of the fascinating things you will find in this region is the Catania underground remains. The archaeological Catania underground tour will allow you to experience a mass of the historical heritage of Catania. Visitors will discover the remains of Domus, large theatres, spas, places of worship linked to St. Euplio and St. Agatha and the medieval city. Deeper below the city, tourists will have the opportunity to see more churches, roads and whole buildings, providing a remarkable experience.
The archaeological Catania.
Besides the fascinating Catania underground city, there are other many unique things to see and do in Catania. Tourists can visit beaches, old theatres and markets, among other exciting places. Other interest things to see in Catania are:
San Giovanni li Cuti.
This is perhaps the most celebrated beach in Catania. Black rocks and ashes from volcanic eruptions make San Giovanni li Cuti a top distinctive natural place in the city. During summer, this beach welcomes locals to bask in the pleasant sea air. It also harbours several wooden boats which are employed by local fishermen, making this place both a cultural and a natural point of interest.
The Roman Theatre.
Since the 2nd century AD, the Roman theatre has partially been discovered by excavations during the first half of the 20th century. The theatre is made of brick, lava stone and marble and it still maintains its oval shape. This place is a must visit, whether you are passionate about antiquity and archaeology or not. With the help of a guide, you can learn so much about the past. Parts of this theatre are still covered below Piazza Stesicoro and under the nearby streets via Penninello and via Manzoni.
Catania: traditions and food.
The esteemed patroness of Catania is honoured in one of the most decorated and famous religious festivals in the world. Catania comes to life with the local’s faith, fireworks, suggestive processions, decorative lights spreading out through the streets and markets, among other events around the city. For theatre lovers, the Teatro Stabile Catania is a lively part of Catania’s cultural life. Throughout the year, the theatre hosts a fusion of contemporary Italian theatre, international theatre, classical performances and a focus on the Sicilian playwrights like the twentieth-century Nobel Luigi Pirandello.
The fish market and more.
Located in the middle of the city, a few meters from Piazza Duomo, this fish market cannot be missed. The market is located on the coast, making the sea a dominant part of Catania's atmosphere, and there is not a better way to experience the environment than by strolling across this market. The bright colours and unique aromas, accompanied by the audacious shouts of the fishmongers, this is the best venue in Italy for locally-sourced, quality seafood.
There is plenty of must taste signature delicacies in Catania including pasta alla Norma. There is also the caponata, a side dish that features fried up onions, sweet peppers, aubergines, zucchini, capers, carrots and celery.
Catania: where to stay (and eat).
Catania is a port city and, therefore, offers the most impressive seafood including pasta made with Pesce Spada (swordfish), sarde beccafico (sardine wraps) and Nero di seppia (squid ink). Some of the best hotels offering such delicacies include Palace Catania | UNA Esperienze, UNAHOTELS Capotaormina, UNAHOTELS Naxos Beach Sicilia among others. And of course, the people of Sicily have a sweet tooth, so grab a cannolo if you visit during winter in the winter or granita ice drink with brioche bread or a traditional Sicilian Cassata.
Tourists can also enjoy great wine produced in the region. The volcanic soils of Mount Etna have produced some of the best wines around the world. Outside of Catania in the valley below Etna, there are many wineries, bed and breakfasts, and farm stay experiences and other facilities to visit and taste the local fare.