Catania's Top 10
Collected by Travis Marshall , AFAR Local Expert
Piazza del Duomo, 7, 95024 Acireale CT, Italy
This stretch of beaches and rocky islets north of Catania were named for their role in Homer’s legend of the Odyssey. In the story, it was here that Odysseus encountered the cyclops Polyphemus, and the lava rocks jutting from the sea are said to...
Piazza Federico di Svevia, 95121 Catania CT, Italy
Emperor Frederick II built this 13th-century castle near the shore, but the mighty 1669 eruption of Mt. Etna sent lava cascading around the walls, filling the moat and extending the coast, so now it sits further inland. Today it serves as a...
Via Vittorio Emanuele II, 266, 95124 Catania CT, Italy
Walk due west from Piazza del Duomo and you’ll find yourself at one of the city’s most impressive ancient sites. This theater complex was originally built by the Greeks but later expanded by the Romans, who added a second smaller theater, the...
Via Leonardo Da Vinci, 60, 98039 Taormina ME, Italy
A scenic 60-minute drive up the coast from Catania, the picturesque town of Taormina overlooks stunning beaches and the Ionian Sea from its hilltop perch. You can enjoy an incredible view of Mt. Etna from the ancient Greek Theater and visit...
Piazza Stesicoro, 95100 Catania CT, Italy
One of Catania’s busiest public squares, Piazza Stesicoro straddles the main shopping strip of Via Etnea. The eastern section has ample seating around a monument to Catanese composer Vincenzo Bellini, while the opposite end is home to the Church...
Via Giuseppe Perrotta, 12, 95131 Catania CT, Italy
Named after 19th-century composer Vincenzo Bellini, who was born in the Sicilian city, the opera house was inaugurated with a performance of his famous work Norma in 1890. Check the schedule to catch a show, or if you prefer to explore the ornate...
Via Mulino Santa Lucia, 95121 Catania CT, Italy
Maybe you're not looking to take a fresh branzino back to the ship with you, but that doesn’t mean you should skip this buzzing bazaar just off the Piazza del Duomo. The market happens weekday mornings and all day Saturday, with fishmongers...
Piazza Duomo, 1, 95124 Catania CT, Italy
The Piazza del Duomo is the city's hub and where you'll find many notable historic buildings—including the Duomo itself, which was originally built in 1070 but rebuilt after an earthquake in the 1600s. This Baroque reconstruction earned the entire...
95019 Zafferana Etnea CT, Italy
Sicily’s legendary active volcano rumbles and smokes along the island’s eastern coast, midway between Catania and Taormina. The mountain itself is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and while adventurous visitors can hike Etna’s upper reaches, a ride...
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