Italy
Catania

Here you’ll find travel reports about Catania. Discover travel destinations in Italy of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

18 travelers at this place:

  • Day14

    Catania

    April 16, 2017 in Italy

    Dimanche de Pâques, 16 avril 2017
    Personne ne pouvait nous dire, quand circulent les bus le dimanche de Pâques! Pour finir on a trouvé la réponse: il y en a jusqu'à 13h et à partir de 17h. Nous sommes pile-poile à 9.30h au Duomo pour la messe et avons donc le temps d'admirer le beau décore de cet édifice dédié à Sant'Agatha la patronne de Catania. Miracle: aujourd'hui toutes les églises sont ouvertes! Nous arrivons juste après l'office à nous faufiler dans l'église du monastère de San Benedetto, splendide. Un apéro sous les arbres dans une ruelle à côté de la via Etnea et c'est l'heure d’attraper le bus du retour avant qu'il n'en a plus. La piazza Mancini Battaglia, "notre" bus-stop, située sur un petit port a tout pour plaire: des bars, poissonneries, pâtisserie et un restau "sushis". Notre repas de Pâques est donc "giapponese". Un orage impressionnant s'abat pendant ce temps sur notre lieu de vacances et arrose copieusement nos chaises de camping, la siesta ne se fera pas dehors aujourd'hui.Read more

  • Day1

    Catania en Aci Trezza

    May 28, 2017 in Italy

    Met wat vertraging kunnen vertrekken deze morgen luchthavens tijdje gesloten nog door G7. Ook wat geduld oefenen bij de autoverhuur. Maar we zijn er! Vandaag Catania (waar we geland en zijn) en klein plaatsje langs de kust Aci Trezza gedaan. Catania grote stad maar bezienswaardigheden in kleine mooie kern. Alle kerken wel dicht vandaag. Mooie zichten langs de kust.

  • Day13

    Catania

    April 15, 2017 in Italy

    Samedi, 15 avril 2017
    85 km au nord se trouve notre prochain lieu d'étape, Catania. Le seul camping, situé à 4km du centre, et bâti sur les rochers de lave, nous hébergera pour le week-end de Pâques. Nouvelle ville, nouveau système de transports publics. Mais nous partons illico presto en direction du centre historique pour arriver au marché aux poissons, le plus grand et le plus authentique de la Sicile, avant l'heure de fermeture. Ce n'était pas exagéré, il y a de la marchandise, des marchands bruyants et beaucoup de clients ou de touristes. Nous nous attablons chez Les Fratelli Vittorio, propriétaire d'un étal et d'un coin de cave-restau où on peut se faire cuire ce qu'on veut de leurs produits. Trop bien! Ainsi repus, nous partons à la découverte de cette belle ville, capitale pendant le règne des Espagnols, que nous trouvons différente des autres villes siciliennes. Sa position au pied de l'Etna, lui a value d'être plusieurs fois ensevelie sous la lave. On voit qu'elle est riche, grâce aux gisement de gaz et pétrole, jeune avec une grande université et dynamique. Ses rues sont larges et ses palais et églises grandioses. La piazza del Duomo avec son éléphant est superbe. La Via Etnea va d'ici jusqu'au pied de l'Etna et accueille les mêmes enseignes que la Bahnhofstrasse à Zurich. Nous sommes plus attirés par le marché coloré de la Piazza C. Alberto. Nous admirons la Via Crociferi, mais le monastère des Bénédictines est fermée pendant la semaine sainte, dommage ça doit être sublime. Le Duomo ne veut pas nous ouvrir ses portes non plus, même que s'est affiché. Nous allons donc voir les restes du théâtre grec et du théâtre romain. Le traditionnel gelati avalé, nous rentrons au camping et essayerons de retourner demain pour voir la cathédrale.Read more

  • Day13

    Valetta, Malta

    November 9, 2016 in Italy

    Valetta is the port city where we arrived. We rode an open-topped bus to and from Mdina, which was slightly terrifying but with interesting views, when my eyes weren't squeezed shut against the dust and wind. We stopped at the Barrakas Garden at the top of the old city wall before heading down the lift to the port. We were treated to a gorgeous sunset as we waited for the boat to take us back to our ship.Read more

  • Day13

    Catania, Italy, part 1

    November 9, 2016 in Italy

    We had a fabulous day in Catania, despite the pall of the election news hovering over us throughout the day. Dad has a cold and Mom is still uneasy about walking any distance at all, unfortunately, so it was just Kathryn and I once again. After talking with the local tourist guide, we decided to walk through the outdoor fish market first. It was charmingly boisterous, with the produce sellers and fishmongers hawking their catches-of-the-day.

    Past the market was the 13th century Castello Ursino, which is now a museum. We looked at the free part, but didn't pay the 10 euros for the museum of antiquities it houses.
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  • Day19

    Catania, Sicily

    September 13, 2014 in Italy

    Not giving an endorsement for this place as you can see in later posts. I keep reminding myself I'm here to climb Etna. They say what you can see is far more amazing than Vesuvius as it is truly active. I found an all day hike of Etna for tomorrow. I plan to leave on Monday and head north.

    Pic 1 - Seriously those are the doors to get into the building where the hostel is located. They are nearly 15ft high and several hundred pounds each. They take some effort to get moving.

    Pic 2 - From the dorm window looking past Catania to Mount Etna.

    Pic 3 - A theater in one of the piazas.
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  • Day19

    Catania, Sicily

    September 13, 2014 in Italy

    This city is a disaster.

    Pic 1 - Next door to the police station. This is an abandoned building with razor wire... I chose not to take a picture of the police station as given the past "politics" down here I didn't know how that would go over. It looked like a fortress more than local police.

    Pic 2 - Looks like a war zone.

    Pic 3 - Trash was everywhere but this said it all. A mummified cat. This animal had been there for a while.

    Next stop downtown where if I cropped well I could avoid the graffiti.

    Volcano tomorrow then gone.
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  • Day19

    Catania, Sicily

    September 13, 2014 in Italy

    Okay, so the down town area is a little better. I did however point the camera up to avoid the graffiti.

    Pic 1 - Elephants? Did Hannibal invade this place? Anyone? Buehler?

    Pic 2 and Pic 3 - Clearly the little money here is spent on churches that I and clearly mostly euro's care nothIng about as well as fountains. Good work guys.

    On Monday I'll be headed to Roma and away from the Mexico of Europe. Yes, I really did post a pic of a mummified cat on here previously.Read more

  • Day28

    And on to Scily

    September 16, 2017 in Italy

    It has felt like a very long day today. We were up early so that we would be packed and ready for the taxi at 7am – we were able to have a coffee at least before it arrived so that was something. I am sure we were taken advantage of as the trip cost 30 euros and we made our way to the harbour by the mist circuitous route – anyway – we were there in plenty of time ready to board the high-speed hydrofoil for Naples. After a bit of a wait we were permitted to board and were soon underway for our 40-minute trip directly across the Bay of Naples. The price was only 15euro ea including baggage and the trip was very smooth. Disembarking in Naples at the Beverello Port, we tossed up taking a taxi versus a shuttle bus. We decided on the taxi and it proved a wise decision – having negotiated a 25euro fare the driver was out to “beat his meter” and made it to the airport in 13 minutes. Although the shuttle would have only cost us a total of 12euros, its estimated transit time was 30 – 35 minutes – this would have been ok if we had had a longer window until departure, however when we arrived we had to queue for over 45 minutes to drop our bags so thank heavens we arrived when we did as we may not have made it before cut off otherwise.
    We boarded our “Alitalia” flight and were soon taking off - I was surprised when they announced “cabin service” although this did turn out to mean a drink of water, soft drink or juice (welcome none-the-less). It seemed that we had barely taken off when suddenly we were told to fasten seatbelts for decent and we started to see amazing views of Mt Etna. The landing was a bit bouncy but we arrived safe and sound and were soon transferring to the terminal via a coach while sweltering in the 32 degree heat – such a nice change from the low to mid 20’s we had been experiencing. Collecting our bags we then went to find the “Alibus” this is an airport bus service that does a loop from the airport, via the station, through the centre of town with multiple drop off points including one which was only a few hundred metres from our accommodation. We purchased the 4euro ticket on the bus and were soon on our way. All up it took about 20 minutes to get to our stop (the ticket would have lasted 90 had we wanted to keep looping around. From there it was only a short walk to the Habitat B&B.
    The accommodation is in Via Teatro Massimo – a wide, pedestrian mall that actually looked kind of scruffy (but as we were to later learn is the hub of “night life” in Catania – thank heavens for double glazing!. We arrived at the rather motheaten door we buzzed and were let in, passing through what looked kind of like a building site to a large glass and metal door. Inside however was a whole new world a really hipster place with clean lines, air conditioning, neutral colours and a really nice room (including a lovely bathroom). The breakfast room was pretty cool and even included a funky coffee machine and all-day croissants and cake. We spent some time getting sorted and then decided to head out to explore the area
    Our first stop was the tourist office where we acquired maps and information about local beaches (also about how to get to Agrigento – but that turned out to be no good as when we googled how to get there, there seemed to be a whole heap of road closures and we are now going to have to cancel the hire car – I am SO over this whole not being able to do stuff, thing!!!!!). From there we walked into town where we found a local market – local produce, all kinds of household stuff and knock off designer items. We wandered there for a while and then headed up Via Etnea, through the Bellini and Roma Gardens, through the Botanical Gardens and then back down via Etnea to a restaurant recommended for dinner.
    We arrived at 7pm as per the website and were informed that they didn’t actually open until 730 – we sat and waited and it was worth it. We ordered a pizza (me; truffle infused mozzarella, mushrooms and spinach sauce) and a Calzone (Kirstin) and a salad to share – WAY WAY too much food the pizza was huge (even though the crust was wafer thing) and the Calzone was perhaps twice the size – thank heavens they allow “doggie bags”! We then wandered - or perhaps staggered - back to the hotel well and truly sated!
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  • Day29

    Catania – Ruins, Escher & Fish

    September 17, 2017 in Italy

    I woke feeling sad and sooky – call it the Birthday Blues, I don’t know but if I could have magic’d myself home would have done it in a flash. However birthday wishes from Sam and then Kirstin brightened my day and we meandered off to breakfast, something, we were to discover, not to be missed. They certainly take the “breakfast” part of B&B very seriously here as there was soooo much lovely food.
    Once we had eaten, we ventured out into the city. Catania is both old and young – old in that there is evidence of Greek settlement 100’s of years BC but young in that most of the city was destroyed following an earthquake in the late 1600’s. We visited many of the significant sites of the city, several churches as well as the Roman Theatre – the latter was a fascinating archaeological site - originally constructed by the Greeks in approx. 730BC, it was subsequently rebuilt and then modified by the Romans in the 1st through 4th Centuries AD before being abandoned around the 5th or 6th Century. It was completely built over in the 11th and 13th Centuries but rediscovered after the 1693 earthquake – excavations followed intermittently from the late 18th Century and have been steadily ongoing since the 1960’s. The site is now used frequently for live performances and was really quite amazingly intact, although it was much smaller than the theatre we saw at Verona (9 sections with a capacity of about 12,000) and was only used for theatre rather than Gladiatorial activities. We also visited the Castle Ursino – this was originally a fortress and strategic military position built between 1239 and 1250. When it was built it was on the edge of the sea, however during an eruption of Mt Etna in the mid 1600’s the moat filled with lava and the shoreline shifted such that the castle is now more than a kilometre inland, it is also one of the few buildings to have survived the 1693 earthquake which caused more than 60,000 deaths (about 2/3 of the population of Catania at the time). We didn’t go into the castle as we were a bit over looking at old things but had a wander around outside admiring the lava flow that surrounded it.
    We moved on to the Duomo (Cathedral of St Agata) where the local Indian community was celebrating what appeared to be a first communion – it was vibrant and noisy and the Cathedral was thronging with people posing in family groups to take celebratory photos. The Cathedral itself is massive and certainly the largest of the many many churches (there seems to be at least 2 on every corner!) in Catania. Originally built between 1078 and 1093 the structure was battered by earthquakes and volcanic eruptions of Mount Etna several times and had to be rebuilt. The original cathedral was then totally destroyed in 1693 and is an interesting mix of Norman and Baroque architecture. Most of the churches we visited were similarly decorated ornate but less over the top than those we had seen in other cities – they reminded me of an old-fashioned wedding cake or as Kirstin suggested Wedgewood plates – gold scroll work, cream plaster, cream and pale pink marble and soft hued ceiling frescos.
    It was a lovely warm to hot morning but with a pleasant breeze. We wandered past fountains and an open air market until about 1pm when we called in at a café called Prestepino which had been recommended as serving tasty snacks aimed at locals rather than tourists. I enjoyed a birthday been and a pistachio cannoli.
    While exploring the previous afternoon we had noticed that there was a MC Escher (the Dutch graphic artist who made mathematically inspired woodcuts, lithographs, and mezzotints) exhibition at Plazzo della Cultura (about 3 minutes’ walk from where we are staying. It was only 12euro to visit and we spent about 2 hours enjoying the pieces – really a fantastic exhibition with over a hundred works, a free audio guide and even some interactive stations – just great. With full brains we headed back to the B&B to fill our stomachs with left over pizza and calzone.
    With a such a lovely afternoon and several hours to spare we decided to head down to “free beach number one”, that really is the name of the beach, it isn’t far from “free beach number two” and, you guessed it… “free beach number three”. It was about a 2.2km walk but the google maps directions made for some hairy road crossings as the Italian ideas about what constitutes a safe foot path are well…interesting to say the least! We arrived to find a fairly grubby beach but still it was nice to sit on the sand in the sun for an hour and I even went for a quick dip before we headed back to the B&B for a shower and change.
    Federico (one of the B&B staff had recommended Corte dei Biscari as a local fish restaurant for good (non tourist) food, seeing as he had been spot on with Locanda Cerami where we ate last night and Prestipino (mmmm that cannoli) we decided this would be a good place for my birthday tea (I only wish we had been hungrier!!) It was lovely, the service was fantastic and it was 50euro for the best meal that I have eaten in Italy so far. There was eggplant and zucchini bruschetta to start (complimentary, along with the fizzy mineral water and a HUGE basket of delicious bread and grissini), we then chose swordfish croquettes (me) and tuna with black and white sesame, almonds and a type of marmalade (for Kirstin) plus a huge plate of delicious grilled veggies AND Wine (plus I got a free glass of prosecco because it was my birthday! There was also a visit by the restaurant cat - they were amazed when I said I really liked the cat, but that it wouldn’t be allowed in Australia!
    After all that food I needed a walk and went for a stroll up into the centre of town – the place was absolutely humming 930 at night and people just seemed to be getting going, streets clogged, restaurants packed, cars going everywhere! Amazing … but apparently that’s Sicily for you.
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Catania, كاتانيا, Катания, Catània, Κατάνη, Catane, קטניה, CTA, カターニア, კატანია, Catina, Katānija, Katania, Catânia, Катанија

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