Catania is located on the east side of Sicily, at the foot of the most active volcano in Italy, Mount Etna. It is the capital of Province of Catania and the second largest city in Sicily after Palermo with a population of around 300 000 people. The proximity of the city to the Mount Etna volcano has both the advantages and disadvantages. The fertile volcanic soil brings many benefits but eruptions from the volcano have already destroyed the city twice in 1169 and in 1693. Frequent seismic activity remains a constant threat.
Like the rest of Sicily, Catania was occupied by many different civilizations including Greeks, Romans, Spanish, Arabs and Bourbons. That is the reason why city has rich and varied cultural heritage. Also after volcano eruptions people always came back and created an even better city built in Baroque style. Therefore, Catania has one of the richest repositories of Baroque architecture in Europe. There are wide avenues and square in Catania with amazing churches, monasteries built by combining lava stone with the white calcareous stone from Syracuse.
The city has much to offer such as visiting museums and Roman ruins, skiing on Etna as well as numerous nautical activities. Catania has an excellent geographical position allowing visitors an easy access to the main tourist resorts on the island such as Taomina, Mount Etna and Syracuse.
The city has a Mediterranean climate with hot and long summers and mild winters. The summers in Catania are the hottest in the whole Italy with a 40 C temperature with record highs over 45 C. Winters are mild and wet. Most of the precipitations are concentrated from October to March leaving late spring and summer very dry. Due to presence of Mount Etna, snows are very rare.
Location: On the east side of Sicily
Nearby sights: Mount Etna, Monastero dei Benedettini, Piazza Duomo
How to get there: Alibus is running between 4.40 am until midnight from the airport to the train station, city center, etc. for € 4 every 25 minutes.
Nearby hotels: Liberty Hotel, NH Catania Centro, Katane Palace Hotel