Lat: 37° 30' 27.16950" N - Long: 15° 4' 58.27880" E
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Who image a Sicily inactive, certainly has never visited Catania, a town repeatedly destroyed by lava and many times reborn.
Catania is located at the foot of Mount Etna in the Ionian sea coastline.
Nature has been very benevolent towards Catania.
It boasts a thousand-year history characterized by various dominations.
It was a Sicilian settlement refounded, in 729 BC, by Greek settlers from Calcide.
They occupied the hill on which even today it is possible to visit the Greek-Roman theater.
In the Roman period many public works were built, including an amphitheater with a big arena, the third biggest after those of the Colosseum and the Arena of Verona; the town had a lot of spas too, so as to deserve the nickname "Town of Baths".
During the Swabian period the Ursino Castle was erected.
The Aragonese made Catania the capital of the Kingdom of Trinacria.
There are two events to keep in mind when visiting Catania: the eruption of Etna that struck the city in 1669 and, above all, the terrible earthquake in 1692, which destroyed the entire eastern part of Sicily.
Only five buildings in Catania remained standing after this event; the rest of the town was totally razed to the ground.
For the reconstruction a young architect named Gianbattista Vaccarini was designated; he left a very deep Baroque imprint to Catania and endowed it with harmony and architectural unity.
In 2002 the baroque of Catania was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Giardino Bellini, the Pacini Garden, the Gioeni Park and the Botanical Garden all deserve a visit for the biodiversity that is stored there, for the landscape or for the simple beauty of the well-kept green.
Catania is crossed by an underground river, the Amenano, which is visible only to the "Acqua a linzolu", a white marble fountain that rises between the so-called "Pescheria" and the Piazza del Duomo, and in the Ostello della Gioventù, as well as in the Pacini Garden.
The south coast of Catania, the "Plaia", is sandy while the rest of the coast is a cliff formed with lava flows.
In San Giovanni Li Cuti black beach, you can have a bath 12 months a year; neare here there is the picturesque village of Ognina, with "Porto Ulisse", of which Virgilio also spoke.
Piazza Duomo is one of the most beautiful squares in Italy; here there is "'u liotru", the elephant symbol of Catania, dominant in the center.
From the Porta Uzeda, facing Piazza Duomo, Via Etnea starts, the most important road of Catania; Via dei Crociferi is a rare example of architectural unity, defined as the most beautiful road of the eighteenth-century Catania.
Do not miss a visit to the Benedictine Monastery, now it's a part of the University of Catania.
While the finds of antiquity are on display at the Civic Museum of the Ursino Castle, among others in the historical center are the Vincenzo Bellini and Giovanni Verga's house-museum, and in the "Ciminiere" exhibition center, a fine example of industrial architecture, the innovative museum of anglo-american landing in Sicily in 1943.
Among the most characteristic places of Catania there are the fish market Pescheria, always full of colors, voices and smells, and the market of Piazza Carlo Alberto.
An important culinary attraction in Catania are undoubtedly the beverage kiosks, where refreshing summer drinks are served, typical of the town's culture.
The most famous drink to be enjoyed at the kiosk is the seltz with lemon and salt, a simple recipe very refreshing.
Catania has an intense nightlife, being one of the busiest town for fun and entertainment with nightclubs that offer "concert cafes" between the streets of the center, especially during the summer.
What happened in Sicily: 27 September
Today we discover...
The only castle in Sicily with a fortress appearance with a fortified village
Castello di Carini
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