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  • Day53

    Piazza Universita, Catania

    October 21, 2018 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 25 °C

    Once the rain cleared we ventured out to see what Catania’s historic centre was like, hoping to change our first impressions. Thankfully they were. Although the buildings need a good clean, at least the laneways and squares are rubbish and graffiti free.

    Our apartment overlooks the Piazza Universita, so that was our first stop. The Piazza’s existence dates back to 1696 when the University building was built after the destruction caused by the Earthquake of the Val di Noto of 1693, the largest catastrophic event that struck eastern Sicily in historical times. Once thing that we have noticed in the historical areas is the lack of greenery and at least in this Piazza they have made a little effort to bring some colour in with flower beds surrounding the four artistic bronze candlesticks that decorate the square. These sculptures were created by Catania sculptors in 1957 to represent four ancient Catanese legends.

    On one side of the Piazza is the Universita degli Studi di Catania, the university, and on the other is the Teatro Machiavelli, in what was once the San Giuliano palace built in 1738. Cafes and shops surround the rest of the piazza, built in converted historic palaces and building. The Piazza has quite a sparse feel and it seems to be used more as thoroughfare than a square to sit and relax in. We did, however, try out a couple of the cafes on our stay here, with Café Prestipino becoming a quick favourite.

    With the weather not being the best, we had a quick walk around, did some grocery shopping and headed back to our apartment for the afternoon and evening, resting up before we hit the sites tomorrow.
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