Catania’s historic core is a Unesco-listed wonder, where black-and-white palazzi tower over sweeping baroque piazzas. One minute you’re scanning the skyline from a dizzying dome, the next contemporary art in an 18th-century convent. Beneath it all are the ancient ruins of a town with over 2700 candles on its birthday cake. Indeed, food is another local forte. This is the home of Sicily’s iconic pasta alla Norma and the extraordinary La Pescheria market.
Keeping an eye on it all is Catania’s skyscraping frenemy, Mt Etna, a powerful presence that adds another layer of intensity and beauty to Sicily’s second-biggest city.
The city is noted for its history, culture, architecture and gastronomy, its old town besides being one of the biggest examples of baroque architecture in Italy, is a World Heritage Site, protected by UNESCO.
Catania has been a native or adoptive homeland of some of Italy’s most famous artists and writers as composers Vincenzo Bellini and Giovanni Pacini, and writers Giovanni Verga, Luigi Capuana, Federico De Roberto and Nino Martoglio.