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Catania, Sicily: beaches, sights, how to get

Catania - one of the oldest and second largest city of Sicily, situated on the Eastern coast of the island, lapped by the waters of the Ionian sea and close to the highest volcano in Europe - mount Etna.

Due to its proximity to the volcano, Catania, as the magnet attracts many Tourists. It is from Catania can be public buses to visit the Etna. Our independent visit to the Ents can be found here.

The old centre of Catania is situated near major sea port in this part of town prefer to stay with those who came to Catania for historical sites.

The coastline of Catania is quite long. An impressive part of the coast is a sea port, flanked by the city's beaches.

The historic city center is a bit removed from the city's beaches, but the walk is quite real. Due to this, in Catania there is a possibility to combine walking around the city, sightseeing and beach vacation. However, for the sake of a beach holiday to go to the center of Catania, we would not recommend, for these purposes it is better to choose places close to Catania, a small resort town, ideal for a beach holiday, for example: Marina di Ragusa, Taormina, Giardini Naxos and so on.

The beaches of Catania. The Coast Of Catania

On the South side of the coast of Catania is a long, sandy beach La Playa, going far beyond Skating.

This beach is completely sandy and wide. The sea water is clean enough, flat entrance at the bottom of the sand. The beach is cleaned regularly, sand dub. On the beach there is all necessary infrastructure: wooden decks, rescue towers and health centers, a dedicated space for games, and close to the beach, cafes and restaurants, night clubs and bars.

There is a Lido where you can rent sun loungers and parasols. Here toilets and showers, changing rooms and Luggage storage, as well as other benefits of comfortable beach living. Also on the beach you can stay absolutely free in their own beach towels.

On the North side are predominantly of volcanic coast, the common name of the beach - Whether Kuti (Cuti beach). This coast consists mostly of black lava rocks (volcanic beaches), of various shapes and sizes, there are less comfortable places, where volcanic rocks are large boulders, and there are more convenient - such small stones mixed with large black sand of volcanic origin. This part of the coast is unusual.

On the volcanic rocks there are equipped areas, which is a wooden or iron zone in a few levels. Such artificial beaches also has everything you need: sun beds and umbrellas, showers and toilets, has a small pool and play areas, cafes, audible music. The entrance to the sea equipped slopes in the form of stairs, as they will find themselves in the depths.

Along the Northern coast of Catania, in the street, which can be called the likeness of the embankment. A good place for walks along the sea. With one side of the street the coast and the equipped beach areas, and on the other roadway, on the opposite side houses, cafes, shops, etc.

And beach small Marina

The historical center of Catania. Sights Catania

Close to the beach Kuchi, near the port, the historic center of Catania.

The historical centre is small, it can be easily explored on foot, if not one, then two days for sure. In this part of Catania's main focus the historical and architectural attractions.

Conventionally, in the historical part of the city there are two Central streets, which often are the Hiking trails - via Vittorio Emanuele II (Corso Vittorio Emanuele II) and Etna street (Via Etnea).

Street Etna - the main shopping artery of the historical center. Along the street of buildings in the Baroque style, on the first floor which is full of boutiques and small shops of famous brands as well as cafes and restaurants.

From the streets narrow branches depart minor streets, less visited but no less attractive.

Walking down the street Etnea, you can see a lot of interesting sights. A great combination of shopping and explore the city.

Piazza Cavour, which the locals call a "Piazza Borgo". The area is a green Park, on whose territory the benches and in the middle, stands the fountain of Ceres, or goddess Pallas (Fountain of Ceres).

On both sides of the square tower of the Catholic Church: Sacramento al Borgo (Confraternita Ss. Sacramento Al Borgo) and Sant'agata al Borgo (Chiesa Cattolica Parrocchiale S. Agata Al Borgo).

City Botanical garden (Orto Botanico). Botanical garden of Catania dates back to 1858 year and extends over an area of about 16 thousand square meters. Admission is free.

Roman square (Piazza Roma)

Close to Romana square stretches an impressive size Park Bellini. The Park has multiple entrances, labyrinths of footpaths, fountains and ponds, green areas and places for recreation, children's play areas and interesting sculptures, and the main decoration of the Park is a fountain, erected near one of the main entrances. The Park is named for the famous native city of the composer Bellini. Currently, the Park is very popular with locals and visitors alike.

If from Etna street to turn onto the street Pacini (Via Pacini), then you can go to the Church - Sanctuary of the Madonna del Carmine (Sanctuary of the Madonna del Carmine). Near the Church daily, in the morning, organized exit the market. The market is quite big, it covers the area near the Church and several surrounding streets. Fruit and vegetables, meat and fish, cheese and sausages, clothing, bags and other goods.

Near sanctuary of the Madonna is another small but conspicuous Church-grotto - Chiesa San Gaetano alle Grotte.

Stesicoro square (Piazza Stesicoro) is one of the Central squares of the city. In the square the monument to Bellini, the archaeological area, the Roman amphitheatre (Roman amphitheatre) and the Church of San Biagio (Church of San Biagio).

Behind the Church of San Biagio is another interesting Church of Sant'agata al Carter (Church of Sant'agata al Carcere).

At the intersection of ENT and Minorite you can find the dominant - the Church of S. Michele Ai Minoriti.

Etna street intersects pleasant street Antonino Di Sangiuliano. This street leads to Church St. Nicholas Arena. In addition to the interesting exterior draws and the interior of the Church, the main hall is of enormous size with high arches and whitewashed walls, looks deserted.

On the upper area of the Church you can climb the spiral staircase. At the top is an observation deck. Entrance fee - 3 euros. From this height are nice views to the old part of Catania, seaport, seaside and the surrounding area.

Near the Church is a State University and you can see the archaeological site is another Greek theater (ruins) old Church, a young virgin of Sant'agata (Sant'agata alle vergini).

Historical monument (excavations) - Roman theatre, perhaps the largest of all the excavations of the center of Catania. Here Bellini Museum, a monument to Cardinal Dusmet (Monumento al Cardinale Dusmet) and Church Francisco (Church of St. Francis of Assisi Immaculate/Chiesa di San Franc).

Here we come to the most important, where most begin their stories about the city, and tourists, exploring the city is the main square of Catania , Piazza del Duomo (Piazza Del Duomo), which is the main Cathedral of the city - the Cathedral of SV. Agatha (Cattedrale di Sant'agata). The Cathedral is one of the most revered and visited places in Catania.

Piazza del Duomo is decorated with an old elephant fountain (Fontana Dell'elefante). The architecture of the fountain you can see the elephant made of black lava.

Also on the square you can see a small but interesting fountain jets which rush into the dungeon, the Catholic Church Badia di Sant'agata (Church of the Badia di Sant'agata) and the main gate of the city, called the Port of Usedom (Porta Uzeda).

Outside the gate there is a small garden Fix (in the garden greenery, a fountain and places to stay), near which a small tent market.

From the Piazza del Duomo originates in the street Giuseppe Garibaldi, which is just a kilometer will lead to the same goal - Garibaldi Gate (Porta Garibaldi/Porta Garibaldi). Garibaldi gate - another gate of the city, this time located in Piazza Palestro (Piazza Palestro).

On the other hand square Duoma street Etna, lies another elegant and strict area - the area of the University (Piazza Università). On the area of the University library and a theatre, and a little distance of Basilica della Collegiata.

What else is interesting in skating?!

Naturally, this fortress Ursino. Currently, the walls of the fortress is a Museum (Museo Civico al Castello Ursino)

Near the main entrance to the castle is a square Federico (Piazza Federico di Svevia), where the locals are walking their dogs. And a small but lovely Church of San Sebastian (Chiesa San Sebastiano). And around the square and the castle, as always, concentrated the abundance of cafes and restaurants, well, where do without them.

The Massimo Bellini theatre and the fish market (A Piscaria Mercato del Pesce). The fish market, it should be noted, landmark, famous, but still somewhat questionable and the Amateur.

The monument on the square Martiri della Libertà and impressive dimensions of the fountain near the main railway station

In addition to the above attractions in Catania many different churches and small squares, museums and theatres, and pleasant streets to explore that, if desired, may be walking, at first glance at the plain and dirty, but quite interesting city of Catania.

Where to stay in Catania

Hotel chain in Catania are presented very well. Here you can find a variety of options: from budget to most luxurious. If you come to see the sights, choose the accommodation more comfortable closer to the historical center.

All accommodation in Catania can view and book here.

How to get to Catania

Catania has a convenient location, for those who want to visit the Eastern and South-Eastern coast of Sicily.

5 kilometers from the city center is Catania international airport Fontanarossa (Catania Fontanarossa, CTA designation) receives flights from Europe and Russia. From Moscow, fly to Catania with direct flights, but with connections can be reached through many cities of Europe. To pick up cheap tickets here.

To get from Catania airport to the city center faster, easier and more comfortable by taxi. To order a taxi/Shuttle service in advance, even from home. At any time of the day, at the airport, you will meet your driver with a sign, which will be written your name and surname. For taxi is enough to tell us your flight details.

Or public buses. Stop right at the exit of the airport. Firm carrier - AMT "ALIBUS". Near the station there is a ticket office where you can purchase a ticket (or buy the ticket directly in the bus from the driver). The fare from the airport to the Catania city center is 4 euros one way. The bus in 20 minutes takes you to the Central railway station of Catania. Buses run frequently between 05:00 to 24:00 hours.

Directly from the airport, not stopping to Catania, you can reach the following cities: Messina, Palermo, Ragusa, Marina di Ragusa, Caltanissetta, Agrigento, Siracusa, Catania, Taormina and so on.

Immediately upon arrival you can rent a car and explore the island, which is very convenient and is very important in Sicily.

From the center of Catania it is easy to move around the East coast, run the buses and trains. Direct buses and trains will take you, for example, to Taormina or Messina. Also by direct bus you can reach the resort of Marina di Ragusa. In Palermo are direct trains and buses.

Find out the exact schedule of movement of trains (trains), and bus stops and cost of tickets on the Trenitalia website or at the website Rail Europe.

Tickets for trains can be purchased at the railway stations at vending machines or ticket offices and online as the Trenitalia website and on the website of Reil Europe. What's the difference: the Trenitalia website is not on the Russian language and payment only in euros, the website of Reil Europe Russian and to purchase tickets for rubles.

The railway station in Catania are located near each other in the city centre, Piazza Papa Giovanni XXIII.

All accommodation facilities in Sicily, you can view and book here

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