Catania is the second largest city in Sicily, one of its most interesting. Ravaged centuries ago by the eruption of Mount Etna, it has proved its resilience and today is a busy, entertaining place to visit, that has an impressive history and lots to see. It makes a good base for those exploring Sicily or Mount Etna, or a good destination in itself for a break. With so much to see and do and with the guarantee of great food and weather, it will provide something a little different on your holiday this year.
Good things to see and do on holidays to Catania
Catania is sometimes overlooked as a Sicilian holiday destination, but the city is really something special. It is a treasure trove of incredible architecture with a bloody history that has left some impressive monuments. It’s also a university city, giving it more of a young, lively vibe than many places in Sicily. The locals are tough but friendly, preserving their history and traditions with great hospitality – a good tradition being the fantastic food. The city is a great place to eat, drink, shop and people watch.
Kick off a day of sightseeing with a visit to the Piazza Stesicoro, where you’ll find the ruins of one of the largest Roman amphitheatres. Dating back to the 2nd century AD, it is believed to have housed 17,000 spectators. The city is crammed with interesting sights that you can find easily by just wandering around. Look out for the baroque architecture – the city is one of the best places in Europe for it – and you’ll also find plenty of interesting cathedrals and museums. A benefit of exploring on foot, aside from enjoying the good weather, is strolling past some of the local cafés, bars and eateries. The area is rich in seafood, which is a must try, and there is lots of delicious Sicilian pasta and pizza.
If you need a break from the bustle and heat of the city, the Villa Bellini is perfect. A large park crammed with exotic plants, it is tranquil and very beautiful, and is an ideal place to relax after sightseeing. Keeping with the great outdoors, Catania is famous for its large neighbour, Mount Etna. The city is a good place for visiting the volcano, and there are panoramic views of its incredible range from the park.
The nightlife in Catania is surprisingly buzzing and diverse, helped along by the student population. The Teatre Massimo makes for a good night out, with a frequent supply of gigs and productions. As for bars and pubs, there is something for everyone. Clubs with big-name DJs, elegant wine bars, Irish pubs and chilled out lounges. Lots of places have comfortable outdoor spaces that are perfect on warm evenings. The vibe is pretty relaxed, so a grab a seat and strike up a conversation with a local.
Go somewhere different on your summer holiday
Do something memorable this year and book a holiday to Catania. With lastminute.com, you can grab an affordable deal and be in a Roman amphitheatre before you know it. Whether you’re after art and culture on your summer break or you just love good pizza, Sicily is a fantastic destination for mates, families and couples. Book your holiday to Italy with lastminute.com for amazing value.