Catania is an incredibly popular destination for tourists, both for its cultural pursuits and architectural wonders. In the east of Sicily, this city is located in one of the most beautiful regions of Italy, which is renowned for its natural beauty, with a wealth of rural tourist attractions including the monumental Mount Etna. The city also enjoys convenient transport connections to destinations across Sicily, with Catania Centrale train station providing links to some of the most important sites around the island. It's easy to catch a train to Catania from Palermo, with services taking as little as 2h47mins during peak hours.
For those taking the train to Catania, the final stop will be at Catania Centrale train station in the heart of town. Once visitors have hopped off the train, they can enjoy a pleasant 15-minute walk through the city to one of the most impressive sights around, located on Piazza Duomo (Cathedral Square). Here, visitors be able to marvel at one of the most historic emblems of Catania, the Fontana dell’Elefante (Elephant Fountain). The Cattedrale di Sant’Agata is in this area too, and it’s the main place of worship within this Sicilian city. From here, the inspiring architecture of the town hall can also be admired. Continuing west from the cathedral, after a 5-minute walk, visitors will come upon the Teatro Romano, one of the most glorious examples of ancient architecture in the city. This historic theatre venue plays host to a constant schedule of live cultural events, including opera and dance performances. If travellers are looking for something to keep them occupied in the evening whilst in Catania, this is the perfect place to spend a few hours. Another worthwhile place to visit is the Castello Ursino, a further 5-minute walk from the theatre. This centuries-old building now houses the Museo Civico, which is host to a fascinating exhibition of Biscari archaeological finds. Finally, no visit to Catania is complete without a visit to the Teatro Massimo Bellin, an opera house named after the renowned composer and local, Vincenzo Bellini.
This beautiful building has been realised in Neo-Baroque style and is complemented by the gardens, which provide a sprawling place of relaxation and recreation with gorgeous floral displays and water fountains. This is the ideal spot to stop and reflect during a visit to this mesmerising Sicilian city.
Insider tip: Sicily gets very hot in the middle of summer (between July and August), so if you're after some more pleasant weather when the seas are still warm and it's not during school holidays, you should plan your visit sometime between April and June, or September to October. Find out more about the climate in Catania or Sicily here.