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.
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.