What to See in Catania-Italy

Italian street image

The Sixth International Symposium on Thymosins in Health & Disease will be held at the Grand Hotel Baia Verde, Bia Angelo Musco, 8/10, 95021, Aci Castello CT, Italy on October 1-3, 2020.

Catania is one of the unmissable stops when you are visiting Sicily.

Located on the south eastern slopes of the Mount Etna (UNESCO World Heritage from 2013), Catania is defined “precious gem” of the east part of the island.

The city boasts a millennia-long history characterized by various dominations whose remains enrich its artistic, architectural and cultural heritage.

The magnificent coastal strip of the province of Catania overlooks the waters of the Ionian Sea; there are several villages along the coast, such as Acireale, Aci Trezza and Aci Castello where our Congress Centre is located.

Just a taste of Catania and…

Illustrious example of Sicilian baroque, Catania offers numerous heritage sites to see starting from the testimonies of the Roman Period with the Odeon and the Roman Amphitheatre built in igneous rock, that is the second biggest Roman building after the Coliseum in Rome, to the Medieval time with Ursino Castle built in 1250, that was the symbol of Frederick II Holy Roman Emperor’s power and that holds now the Civic Museum, which collects several Roman artefacts.

A huge number of churches have been built over the centuries, most of them were demolished, disappeared and deconsecrated, but a big number is currently standing and represents an important part of the heritage of the city.

One of the most important is the  Cathedral of St. Agata with its imposing baroque façade, that is located in Piazza Duomo holding the Elephant Fountain, the town’s symbol, and the Fontana dell’Amenano that takes its name from the subterranean river Amenano; furthermore there are the Church and the Monastery of St. Nicolò l’Arena, both UNESCO World Heritage. The entire complex is considered one of the best example of baroque in Italy, and it’s the second biggest Benedictine Monastery in Europe.

Catania is also known for its cultural and musical life. One of the most important architectonical jewel is the Bellini Theatre considered the theatre with the best acoustics in the world and dedicated to the great composer Vincenzo Bellini.

…its Sorrounding

ACIREALE

Theatre of one of the oldest Carnivals in Italy; mythical place of love between the shepherd Acis and the nymph Galatea is nowadays the city of a hundred bells, testimony of the great number of churches that attracted the faithful between squares and alleys. Forty are in the historic centre, the others in the surrounding villages, treasures largely unknown.

The city was rebuilt in the sign of the Baroque after the earthquake of 1693. But the foundation is very ancient: with the Greeks and the Romans it was a famous spa, thanks to sulphurous waters from Etna, the same ones appreciated centuries later by Wagner and Queen Margherita.

Piazza Duomo, St Sebastian Basilica, St Anna lighthouse, the Sicilian Puppets Collection and the Radicepura gardens, in the territory of Giarre, to discover a treasure trove of green works of art, are just some of the attractions to see in Acireale.

ACI TREZZA

Small village of fishermen, Aci Trezza is considered an enchanted place a priceless small heaven.

The place is known because it’s the setting of the novel I Malavoglia by Giovanni Verga. Its most fascinating attraction is the Riviera dei Ciclopi (Shore of the Cyclops) which inspired the mythological scenes of Omero and Virgilio.

ACI CASTELLO

The city takes its name from the Norman Castle built in 1076 on a lava promontory entirely surrounded by the sea. Only in 1169, following a lava flow, it was connected to the mainland.

The castle became the residence of important lords of the past and used as military prisons. Today it is home to the Civic Museum.

Sicilia bedda – for food lovers

Perfect destination for foodies, Catania has two fabulous markets, the Fera o Luni in Piazza Carlo Alberto and the pescheria (fish market) that sells not only fish but also meat, vegetables, cheese, and street food; the ideal places to get to know and appreciate the atmosphere and the local folklore.

Arancini (the famous balls of rice, deep-fried in breadcrumbs, with various fillings at the centre), Cannoli with ricotta and chocolate, Cartocciata, Cipollina and Pasta alla Norma are just a taste of what awaits you in Catania.