Feel the sand between your toes as you sit back and relax on a Catania holiday. As Sicily's second largest city and backed by the dramatic Mount Etna, it's a diverse destination, where you can spend the morning discovering the historic city roots, a lazy afternoon on the sun-kissed beaches and the evening soaking up the vibrant nightlife. It's also steeped in history and filled with natural wonders to discover. So whether you're travelling as a family, a couple or a group of friends, there'll never be a dull moment on a Catania holiday.
Things to do in Catania
Soak up the city's history and delve into the museums on offer. Try the Museo Storico dello Sbarco in Sicilia for a chance to learn about Catania in the wartime, or Museo Diocesano for an intriguing insight to Catania's patron saint, St. Agatha. There are also great city views from the rooftop terrace. Kids will love the Teatro dei Pupi della Marionettistica Fratelli Napoli, where they can learn all about the puppetry world through fun interactive shows.
While in Italy, you must catch some Italian opera. The Teatro Massimo Bellini is one of Catania's most prestigious, where you can catch world-class opera while Teatro Romano may not play host to any shows any more, but is a spectacular set of ruins to see.
Don't miss out on visiting the Aci Castello. The Norman fortress is built out of black lava stone and is a great place to catch gorgeous views of the Catania Gulf, its historic town, the gigantic Mount Etna and the turquoise ocean. Finish the trip off with a splash on the beach.
Catania holidays - a slice of Sicily
Located on Sicily's east coast, the sun, sea and sand in Catania is just a short flight away from Ireland's airports. Stay in one of the beautiful hotels along the seafront that boasts luxurious rooms and gorgeous sea views, or head inland and stay in one of the cosy city hotels for a true taste of Italian luxury. The area is also great as a base for exploring Sicily's gorgeous coast, where you'll find the historic towns of Taormina and Syracuse that are perfect for shopping, grabbing a coffee or wining and dining. Also, you won't be able to miss Europe's biggest volcano, Mount Etna. Take a walk on the wild side and enjoy a day of volcano hiking. Expect fascinating views and plenty of photo opportunities, so don't forget to fully charge the camera!
Escape to Catania
Catania's biggest attraction is the city itself. Once covered by a surge of lava from nearby Mount Etna, it's now filled with an attractive mix of grand, Baroque-style buildings and ancient ruins that still remain to this day. The main city action takes place in Piazzo Duomo where you'll find a plethora of al fresco dining spots, extravagant gelaterias and perfectly placed coffee shops to indulge in a bit of people watching. There's also an array of historic museums where you can delve into the city history as well as unique boutiques to pick up some souvenirs and plenty of majestic cathedrals.
Conveniently, Catania is also located near to the coastal towns of Taormina and Syracuse that are great for days away from the beach. Messina Port is a particularly great spot for an afternoon of shopping and also has a lively nightlife scene for those who are looking to let their hair down.
When you're looking for some time out, head to the gorgeous stretches of sandy beach. Expect idyllic aquamarine waters and great views of Mount Etna. There is also a wealth of beaches close by the Catania Gulf, so don't be afraid to head off the beaten track and seek out some secluded bays!