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Sicily’s second largest city is an attraction of experiences and impressions for the senses. The sea and Mount Etna, the gigantic volcano, set its limits. It looks like the volcano is the guardian of the city although the city has not stopped reinventing itself after multiple eruptions and earth quakes. Catania, founded by the Greeks in the 8th century BC, is blue and cobalt, and plain: it extends from the mountain as a sheet until reaching the Ionian Sea. It is a mixture of culture, nostalgic and joy. If you are a lover of gastronomy prepared to be delighted with the mixture of local products. Not every thing that glitters in Italy is pasta: discover the local Arancini, (stuffed fried rice balls) a taste explosion. Enjoy the spectacular architecture of its wide streets. Sit in the Piazza del Duomo and open your eyes, real wide, and just enjoy.
Main City Rome
Surface 180 km²
There are several open-air markets that will surprise you as you walk the streets of this city. The picturesque Pescheria Market next to the Piazza del Duomo is one of the most noteworthy ones, perhaps because of the joy it inspires. Here one will find order within chaos. This market, open from 5am to midday, conserves the aromas and the colours of the old bazaars. Prepared to be thrown into a frenetic world of shapes and flavours. You will find an incredible variety of fresh fish: seafood, tuna, swordfish to snails and sea urchins. Get to know its people, talk to the friendly storeowners and enjoy true Italian every day interaction.
When one thinks of Sicilian gardens, the first place that probably comes to mind is Palermo. The noble palaces of the Kingdom of the two Sicilies are most often associated with the idealized splendor of flowerbeds and carriages. Yet, Catania has a long list of gardens – somewhat secret, as in the novel by Frances Burnett – which are rather overlooked but still very impressive. The type of gardens where you imagine yourself having a picnic or reading a book. And no, I'm not talking about the villa Bellini, the most central and well-known park in the city.
For years, we have bragged about being the birthplace of a national water polo team that was capable of winning everything there was to be won. Recently, we've been very content about a young gymnast from Catania who went all the way to the Olympics. I, however, believe that sport in Catania has the potential to be something even more.