After taking the bus from Palermo to Catania, I had exactly 24 hours to explore the second largest city on Sicily. Catania is located in the east of Sicily and next to the Mediterranean sea. With its ancient past and a magnificent view of Mount Etna, it was the ideal addition to my Sicilian travels. So, here is everything (and more) that I have been up to during my 24 hours in Catania:
What To Do And See
Go up Mount Etna
Catania is known for Mount Etna, which is one of the most active volcanos in the world. If you’re just spending a day in Catania (like us), you will need to make a though decision. Hiking Mount Etna or exploring Catania? We chose the later due to our lack of time, but next time it’s Etna for sure.
Visit the Piazza Duomo
Piazza Duomo is the heart of the city and boasts with beautiful baroque buildings. And anyone who knows me, can tell you that I can’t get enough of these! Cathedrale Di Sant’Agata (picture on the top) has to be my favorite building in Catania. In the midst of it all, stands the emblem of the city – an Elephant made out of lava rock.
Stroll through the markets
When exploring the city, we stumbled upon the open-air fish market Pescheria. The vibrant market is known for its fresh fish and locally-sourced sea food. Besides that, it offers vegetables and fruits, colorful spices, cheese and everything in between. The bustling and chaotic market is filled with locals and a lively atmosphere – a typical Italian market.
Mingle with locals on Via Etnea
Via Etnea is the main street in Catania, full of stores, cafés and restaurants. When walking up this long street, you will pass most of Catanias sights like the Piazza Duomo, the vibrant square Piazza Stesicoro and the beautiful University of Catania. There is no better way to explore the city!
Relax at the beach or at the park
When you need a break, head to the beach or the Park Giardino Bellini. The beach, called simply la playa, is an 18 km long and sandy beach along the coast of Catania. The best thing about it must be the stunning view of Mount Etna, which casts its shadow over the city! The Park Giardino Bellini is the ideal spot to relax and enjoy your gelato in the center of the Catania.
Where To Eat
In these 24 hours I managed to eat ice cream twice. I mean, that’s what you do in Italy, right? The first thing that you have to eat, when in Sicily is Brioche Gelato. Imagine the creamiest Italian gelato inside a soft and fluffy Brioche bun. The Italian eat it with an extra portion of panna aka whipped cream. The perfect dessert!
If you need something refreshing during a hot day exploring Catania, then head to Gelaterie Stecco Natura. There you will not find your typical Italian gelato, but natural, iced coolies. They come in fruity flavors like strawberry, melon and lemon and nutty ones like hazelnut, pistachio and almond. Yumm!
When wandering the streets and looking for place to have dinner, we came across this charming restaurants. Razmataz Wine Bar is a cosy restaurant tucked away in a tiny street. They offer daily homemade Sicilian dishes and local wines. The menu was in Italian only, so a kind waiter translated and explained each item and made some great recommendations. A hidden gem with delicious food, nice wines and a buzzing atmosphere!
Have you been to Catania or Sicily? What are your tips and recommendations?