What to see in Catania in 3 days

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Lluis Enric Mayans

wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

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Port city of eastern Sicily located at the foot of Etna and overlooking the Ionian Sea, Catania it is a real baroque jewel where to spend a long weekend. Noble palaces, churches, squares, popular markets and clear sea but also culinary delicacies that will make you fall in love with these places. Ready to organize your weekend in Eastern Sicily? Here what to see in Catania in 3 days.


  1. 1 day
  2. 2 day
  3. 3 day
  4. How much does a weekend in Catania cost
  5. User questions and comments

1 day

1 - Morning: Breakfast, Bellini Park, Roman Amphitheater, The Collegiate University Square

We suggest you start your visit to Catania with a good one breakfast at the Savia pastry shop (costs from € 3,00 to € 6,00) to taste one of the best cannoli in the city. Visit the neighbors from here Gardens of the Bellini Park, a real green lung of the city dedicated to the great musician. Remember to climb the grand staircase leading to the park entrance to admire the botanical clock.

Then take the via Etnea one of the most beautiful streets, built in the th century and recently repaved with lava stone. The first square you will encounter is that of Stesicoro where theAnfiteatro Romano built in the nd century, one of the largest after the Colosseum and the Arena, although today unfortunately only a small portion is visible externally.

A little further on, stop at the Collegiate Basilica in typical Baroque style, very beautiful from the outside but it is worth entering to visit it also inside (opening hours from Tue-Sun from 9:00 to 12:00 and from 17:00 to 19:00). In a few minutes you will arrive in the big one University Square with 4 bronze street lamps which guard 4 legends. Finish the morning tour here and stop for a good lunch based on Sicilian and Catania dishes.

2 - Afternoon: Lunch, Piazza del Duomo and Castello Ursino

After having refreshed yourself at Trattoria Sicilia (prices € 10,00-30,00) head to the nearby Piazza del Duomo with the Elephant Fountain in the center. Turning 360 ° you will find in front of you the beautiful and imposing Cathedral of S. Agata (open on weekdays from 7:00 to 12:00 and from 16:00 to 19:00, on holidays from 7:30 to 12:30 and from 16:30 to 19:00) late Baroque style masterpiece that worth a 10 minute visit. Once out of the Cathedral, admire the Porta Utzeda, the Amenano Fountain and the Palazzo degli Elefanti (seat of the Municipality) which are always located inside the square.

End the afternoon with the visit of the Ursino Castle (About 1 hour), one of the most important buildings in the city that houses the Civic Museum of Catania with finds of inestimable value inside (opening hours Mon-Sun 9: 00-19: 00, full admission € 6,00, reduced € 3,00).

3 - Evening: Dinner, clubs in Piazza Bellini

For dinner we suggest you go to the Canni & Pisci-Meat & Fish Restaurant (fixed menu prices € 25,00 or € 30,00) which in addition to having an exquisite cuisine, it is located in a particular location: the stable of a noble palace. Finally, if you are not tired, head to the nearby Piazza Bellini where there are several places of the Catania nightlife such as IlMezzaparola and Il Fondo Bianco.

In summary:

  • Distance traveled: 5,9 km / 1 h 13 min
  • Places visited: Bellini Park, Via Etnea, Roman Amphitheater, Palazzo Toscano Palazzo Minoriti La Collegiata University Square, Piazza del Duomo, Elephant Fountain, Sant'Agata Cathedral, Porta Utzeda, Amenano Fountain, Town Hall and Palazzo degli Elephants, Ursino Castle
  • Catania: 2-hour private walking tour
  • Breakfast at the Pasticceria Savia (Get directions), Lunch at Trattoria Sicilia (Get directions), Dinner at Canni & Pisci- Meat & Fish (Get directions)

2 day

1 - Morning: Breakfast, Massimo Bellini Theater, Palazzo Biscari, Piscaria Market

To start your second day in Catania we suggest a good breakfast at the Caffè Opera in the Piazza del Teatro Massimo Bellini. Then, if possible, pay a visit inside the building to admire the historic hall with four tiers of boxes, the gallery and the theater museum dedicated to Vincenzo Bellini (opening hours Tue-Wed-Thu from 9:00 to 12:00 , admission € 6,00).

From here in 3 minutes on foot you reach Palazzo Biscari, one of the most beautiful in Catania: luxurious, elegant, internally frescoed. We recommend a visit to the rooms open to the public which can be done every day from 7:00 to 13:00 and from 15:19 to 00: (free admission).

To end your morning reach the noisy and colorful market della Piscaria, in Piazza Alonzo di Benedetto, behind the Cathedral: here the stalls remain open as long as there is fish and you will be fascinated by the smells, colors and screams of the people.

2 - Afternoon: Lunch, Via Crociferi, Benedictine Monastery

If the sight of all this fish has made you hungry, we recommend that you stop for lunch at Mm Street Food a little place with tables also outside that offers excellent sandwiches with fresh fish, fried food and some traditional Sicilian dishes (lunch from € 10,00 to € 15,00). In less than 10 minutes on foot, then, you reach Via dei Crociferi, one of the oldest streets in Catania which in 200 meters contains 4 churches symbol of the Baroque.

From Piazza San Francesco d'Assisi cross the'Triumphal Arch of San Benedetto, admire the church of the same name (hours Tue-Fri-Sat from 10:00 to 17:00, every first Sunday of the month from 11:00 to 17:00 admission € 5,00) connected to the convent and then visit the Church of San Francesco Borgia (opening hours Mon and Wed from 13:30 pm to 19:00 pm; Tuesday - Saturday from 9:00 am to 13:00 pm; Fri from 9:00 am to 19:00 pm free admission). Not far from here is the Jesuit College (temporarily closed to the public) and the Church of San Giuliano.

After crossing the Sangiuliano slope you will find yourself at the Convent of the Crociferi with the adjoining Church of San Camillo, famous for the Madonna with child on a table. To end the afternoon visit, walk along Via dei Gesuiti and reach the Benedictine Monastery, one of the largest monastic complexes in Europe with a wonderful roof garden and which today houses the University of Human Sciences (opening hours from Mon-Sun from 9: 00-17: 00. In August from 11:00 to 18:00 ).

3 - Evening: Dinner and evening in via Santa Filomena

For dinner, we recommend another area of ​​the Catania nightlife around Via Santa Filomena: the Sale Art Cafè allows you to eat while admiring some art exhibitions (prices from € 15,00 to € 40,00). If you want to end the evening with a good cocktail or a beer, we suggest the nearby Mr Hyde, in via Filomena 30 open until late.

In summary:

  • Distance traveled: 3,1 km / 40 min
  • Places visited: Piscaria Market, Palazzo Biscari, Massimo Bellini Theater, Via Crociferi, Benedictine Monastery
  • Catania like a local: customized private walking tour
  • Breakfast at the Caffe Opera (Get directions); Lunch at Mm Street Food (Get directions); Dinner at Sale Art Cafè (Get directions)

3 day

1 - Morning: breakfast and visit of aci trezza

For the last day we suggest a trip outside the city to two very beautiful locations, only 12 km away from Catania.
First of all, start the day with a good breakfast at the Chiosco Dusmet (€ 3,00 coffee and pasta), then, if you don't have a car, go to the adjacent Piazza Borsellino from where the buses leave. Take the number 534 (weekdays one every hour in each direction, while on holidays only one every two hours, cost € 1,00) which takes you to the Via Livorno stop in Aci Trezza in about 40 minutes.

Once you get off, immediately reach the Casa del Nespolo Museum which allows you to immerse yourself in the history of Acitrezza between traditions and the life of fishermen (opening hours Mon-Sun 09:30 - 13:00 and 17:00 - 21:00; cost € 1,50). After the visit that will take you no more than 20 minutes, reach the adjacent one Parish Church of San Giovanni Battista, the main religious building of the town and the Fishermen's House which shows a scene taken from "I Malavoglia" on the outside.

At this point, move to the neighbor Lungomare dei Ciclopi, one of the most beautiful stretches of coast and details of eastern Sicily from where you can admire the lava stone stacks called Isole dei Ciclopi. Those who wish can discover the nature reserve up close by booking a visit at the AMP Isole Ciclopi Visitor Center.

2 - Afternoon: lunch and visit of Acicastello

For lunch stop at the Anchovy Fish Bar, a simple place to do street food (tuna sandwich € 12,00) but very close to the sea and with exquisite fish dishes: you will want to eat everything. After having rested, walk along the walk that in 20 minutes on foot will allow you to reach Aci Castello and immediately visit the beautiful Norman Castle which is in a privileged position. The panoramic view from here is worth admission (cost € 3,00; opening hours Mon-Sun 09:00 - 13:00 and 15:00 - 17:00 during the winter months; 09:00 - 13:00 and 15:00 - 19:00 in the spring months; 09:00 - 13:00 and 16:30 - 20:30 in summer). Before returning to Catania, treat yourself to Sicilian granita accompanied by brioche at Bar Sicilia in via Savoia, one of the best in the area. Catch the bus from the Lungomare Cristorforo Colombo stop and return to the city to spend the last evening.

3 - Evening: Dinner and after dinner in the center

For the last dinner Catania we suggest the Trattoria Da Nuccio (main courses from € 12,00 to € 18,00), in the city center, which serves excellent fish dishes at competitive prices. Finally, if you want to end the evening in some club, we recommend the nearby Bar Cuore which also has tables outside and often organizes events with DJs and music on weekends.

In summary:

  • Distance traveled: 22,6 km / 4 h 44 min
  • Places visited: Acitrezza and Acicastello
  • Catania, Cyclops Islands: Snorkeling Trip
  • Breakfast at the Kiosk Dusmet (Get directions); Lunch at Anchovy Fish Bar (Get Directions); Dinner at the Trattoria da Nuccio (Get directions)

How much does a weekend in Catania cost

Catania is a city that offers several possibilities and therefore it is accessible to all budgets. To eat there are many places: trattorias, street food places and renowned restaurants. Moving mostly on foot, the cost of transport is low and the costs for visits are also quite low. Most of the attractions are free to enter and where you pay on the ticket, the cost is rather negligible. There are also several proposals for accommodation; you can choose simple but comfortable b & b or luxury hotels equipped with every comfort.

  • Costs to eat: about € 40,00 per day per person (including breakfast, lunch, dinner)
  • Costs for museums and attractions: about € 20,00 per person following the itinerary we suggest
  • Transportation: about € 10,00, per person (€ 8,00 return ticket airport-city, € 2,00 return bus Catania-Acicastello)
  • Hotels, accommodation and b & b: Hotel and b & b starting from € 39,00 per room -
  • Fun: from € 15,00 per person (including snacks, coffee, aperitifs, drinks, ...)
  • Total cost of a weekend in Catania: from € 290,00 per person

Before leaving: useful tips

  • When to visit Catania: any period is good for a weekend in this city. However, spring and autumn are the best seasons, the mild temperatures allow you to visit Catania and its surroundings and also enjoy a little of the sea. Those who love folklore, on the other hand, should go to Catania in the first days of February on the occasion of the Feast of Sant'Agata - find out more
  • Fontanarossa airport is 7 km from the city. It is possible to reach the center in different ways, the buses of the AMT ALIBUS line depart every 25 minutes, they operate from 5:00 to 24:00 and the single ride, lasting about 25 minutes, costs € 4,00 (the ticket it is done directly on board). Alternatively, you can take a taxi which takes 15 to 25 minutes depending on traffic and at a cost of around € 25,00. Catania also has a central train station and there are several connections from the main Italian cities although the duration of the journey is quite long and also includes the passage by ship (Ex: Milan - Catania takes almost 13 hours).
    Flights starting from € 35,00 -
  • the city is full of clubs, shops and accommodation; the advice is to find a central accommodation near Piazza Duomo, Via Garibaldi, Via Vittorio Emanuele or Via Mario Rapisardi so that you can walk almost everywhere
    Hotel and b & b starting from € 30,00 per room -
  • Getting around: the best way to get around Catania is on foot since most of the museums and attractions are located in the center.
    It is also possible to use the buses of the Amt line especially to reach places such as Acitrezza and Acicastello (the day ticket costs € 2,50 while the normal one valid for 90 minutes costs € 1,00) - find out more

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