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marianne Catania - A travel report by Marianne
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Catania,  Italy - flag Italy -  Sicilia
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marianne's travel reports

Catania: Lavastone City

  18 votes
Page: 1 2 3 4
Catania looks gloomy as it is built from grey-black lava stone. Not many tourists stay because they think this city is not interesting enough. Still it is a good place to be for some days. It is small enough to see in one or two days. No need to take public transport.


Fontanarossa, Catania’s Airport is five kilometres south of the city. In front of the airport is the bus stations with regular buses to all directions: Siracusa, Taormina, Ragusa, Agrigento, Enna and even as far as Palermo.

There is good public transport: buses and trains to all parts of Sicily. e.g. Taormina is only one hour and forty minutes by bus. There are some nine buses a day, but on Sundays only three. Siracusa is one hour and twenty minutes and there are hourly buses and eleven on Sunday. It is therefore very well possible to stay in Catania for some days and use it as a base for outings.

Favourite spots:
The open air market is just behind the cathedral: a jumble of people stalls and merchandise. The most interesting parts are the fish market, full of glistening fresh fish and shelfish. and the butchers who display their meat in such a way to show that is has freshly been slaughtered. The warren of streets around the fish market is a good place to explore. There are several bars that sell cappuccino, pizzas and cornetto, cream-filled buns.

What's really great:
circumetnea train
circumetnea train
Etna is still very much an active volcano. Circumetnea is the narrow gauge railway which circumnavigates Mount Etna. You can from Catania to Riposta at € 5,50 this includes metro transport in Catania. The Circumetnea railway station is on Via Etnea a 30-minute walk from the central railway station. Along the route you see the slopes of mount Etna, irregular flows of solid lava, field dotted with flowers if you happen to be here in spring.

Sights:
Elephant Fountain
Elephant Fountain
Piazza del Duomo surrounded by elegant buildings and in the middle the Elephant Fountain: an elephant made of lava , on its back it carries an obelisque. Via Etnea is the main shopping street

Accommodations:
Frescoed Ceiling
Frescoed Ceiling
Hotel Holland International at no 8 Via Vittorio Emanuele is run by a Dutchman who speaks Dutch, German and Italian. The hotel is on the first floor of an historic 18th century palazzo. It is five minutes on foot from the railway and bus station, and about ten minutes to the centre. All rooms have frescoed ceilings and are huge. At € 43 for a double room, it is very good value for money.

Hangouts:
Many pubs and bars along Via Etnea

Restaurants:
At Piazza el Duomo there are several restaurants and pizzerias. Spaghetti all Norma is a local specialty: it’s cooked with tomatoes and eggplant. Very much worth to try.

Other recommendations:
Buy a ticket from the ticket booth in front of the airport building. You cannot buy tickets from the bus driver. When you enter the bus you must validate your ticket in the machine. Don’t worry the driver will come round and see to it that all foreigners have stamped their tickets. There are buses to Catania every 20 minutes from 5 AM – midnight. They drop you at the Central Station.

In front of the Central station is the bus station. There are several companies, and their time tables are outside their offices.

Published on Friday July 2th, 2004


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Thu, Feb 03 2005 - 05:07 AM rating by picasso

Very intetesting and informative report,sound's like very intetesting part of Italy to visit and without a crowd of tourists around.

Thank you .****
Boris

Wed, Jan 05 2005 - 10:10 AM rating by davidx

Good stuff. I admit to having been one of the many and neglecting Catania somewhat.

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