A stunning UNESCO World Heritage city centre, enchanting baroque palaces and churches built after the tragic eruption of the 17th century, one of the most vibrant cities of the Mediterranean: we’re talking about the city of Catania!

Discovering the treasures of the also called “Black City” (because of the colour of its buildings, blackened by the soot and ashes of the imposing Mount Etna dominating Catania) could take at least three or four days, but if you’re planning a short getaway in Sicily this spring, we can suggest you a brief itinerary to get a glimpse into the baroque wonders of this ancient city that could also take half a day. Staying in one of our holiday apartments in Sicily near city centre will allow you to live an unforgettable holiday experience!

So, get ready to wear your most comfortable shoes and let’s start!

Our visit starts in Piazza Federico di Svevia with the Ursino Castle: a Norman castle, wanted by Emperor Frederick II of Swabia built in the 13th century, which houses now the Civic Museum where you can admire sculptures, porcelains, weapons and paintings of the Sicilian school.

Leaving the square and walking towards Via Auteri we reach A Piscaria, the famous ancient fish market of Catania, where you can buy some delicious fresh fish and a divine place to take a step into the past and into the most authentic Sicilian traditions, with a touch of the allure of a magical Arab bazaar. And then, here we are, in the pedestrian area of Piazza Duomo. The buildings surrounding the square create a perfect baroque composition: Porta Uzeda, the majestic Cathedral of Sant’Agata with its marvellous façade, a beautiful example of the Sicilian baroque, Palazzo degli Elefanti, the city hall, and the black lava-stone statue of the elephant, the symbol of the city, called “U Liotru”, which dates back to Roman times and has an Egyptian obelisk on its back.

We recommend you to visit the Teatro Bellini nearby, one of the greatest architectural masterpieces of the city and also worldwide known for its excellent acoustics. 

If you’re looking for the most outstanding evidence of Sicilian Baroque architecture you cannot miss Via dei Crociferi, extending from Villa Cerami to the Church of San Francesco d’Assisi all’Immacolata in Piazza San Francesco d’Assisi: this little alley is studded with enchanting buildings and Eighteenth-Century churches. Returning to Piazza Duomo, we suggest you to stop by one of the many typical cafe to have a little break and regain your strenght, maybe tasting a delicious Cannolo or a traditional Arancino. Then you can reach Palazzo Bisconti, the most important palace of Catania, project of Alonzo di Benedetto at the behest of the Paternò Castello family, built from 1707 to 1763.

Discover one of the most welcoming and lively destinations in Sicily booking one of our holiday villas in Catania!