Holidays in

Catania

A handsome volcanic city

Overlooked by the hulking presence of Mount Etna, Catania is a handsome city, built out of silver-grey volcanic stone and dotted with ancient ruins. Catania holidays are an amazing chance to visit Mount Etna, for the unforgettable experience of peering over the volcano’s edge into its huge crater.

Back down the slopes, Catania’s cathedral piazza, like the mountain, is a Unesco World Heritage site, and the streets are full of Baroque architecture. What’s more, Catania offers excellent food, with some great restaurants and stalls selling Sicily’s famous street food. Look out for treats such as succulent deep-fried arancini balls, or ‘cartocciate’ – bread stuffed with ham, olives and tomato.

Once you’ve built up your energy, there are countless adventures to be had in the hills and towns that surround Catania itself. If you’re looking to explore gorgeous countryside and ancient sites, and to enjoy Sicilian food and streetlife to the full, Catania makes an ideal base.

Your Catania questions, answered

You can visit Mount Etna at any time of year, including winter. Experienced tour leaders can take groups up to the crater even during minor eruptions.

If you’re only staying in Catania, you won’t need a car, but if you’re heading further afield it will be useful. It’ll make visiting Mount Etna easier as well.

Definitely. Catania is a great base for exploring the southeast of Sicily, with the magnificent ruins of Taormina a short trip away, as well as some fantastic coastline.

Best things to do in Catania

See the cathedral piazza

Catania’s magnificent Baroque cathedral and its square is striped in lava and marble. In the centre, an elephant sculpted from lava supports an Egyptian obelisk.

Visit Mount Etna

Take a tour to visit Europe’s largest active volcano. This huge conical mountain still has regular minor eruptions, but not large enough to affect visitors.

Relax on the beach

Catania has some fine beaches within easy reach. La Playa is the largest, where a 4-kilometre stretch of shimmering sand meets turquoise waters, in the shadow of Mount Etna.

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