If you’re looking for an unforgettable 2017 holiday surrounded by culture, charm, and incredible coastline, as well as delicious cuisine, Catania is the destination for you. Situated at the foot of Mount Etna, Catania is the second largest city in Sicily; an Italian oasis full of delights for any kind of traveller.
Are you looking to explore history and the arts? Catania is packed with culture. Plus, the nearby town of Taormina features an Ancient Greek theatre with one the most breath-taking views in the world.
For those in search of adventure, Catania is the perfect place to enjoy both water sports and winter sports. You can also climb Mount Etna to take in the breath-taking view all the way down to the sea.
If you’re looking for beautiful beaches, you couldn’t choose a better destination. Catania offers an incredible varied coastline—all you need to perfect your inner and outer glow under the sun.
Catania holidays will never leave you short of things to do. The city is bright, spacious, and approachable, and it’s a lovely representation of everything that people most love about Sicily.
For the maximum chance of being completely sun-kissed, go in the summertime: summer holidays in Catania will give you over 30 degree temperatures and longer days. Meanwhile, travellers who prefer smaller crowds should go during the off-peak months of May and September.
Potential living quarters during your holidays in Catania range from traditional hotels to more modern B&Bs, with a few self-catered options in between – whatever you’re looking for in Catania, you’ll find a great location from which to base your getaway.
Top hotels in Catania
Hotel Eden Riviera
Grand Hotel Baia Verde
President Park Hotel
Four Points by Sheraton Catania Hotel & Conference Center
Mareneve Resort Spa
Albergo Diffuso Borgo Santa Caterina
At a glance
- Currency: Euro
- Language: Italian
- Time Zone: GMT +1
- Average flight time: 3h 15m
When to go
(°C) Avg. High Temp
Whether you want to take a hike or simply gaze up at the view, one of your first stops upon arrival should be Mount Etna. This stunning volcano sets the tone for the entire island with its massive presence always visible from any part of the city, including the beach.
For sights close to the city centre, spend quality time wandering through the historical district. Home of several landmarks, this area features both the Duomo di Catania and the legendary Fontana dell’Elefante which stands tall in the stylish neighbouring Piazza del Duomo. The architecture throughout the city is an example of the brilliant blend of different historical styles that have been modernised through the years.
If you want to mingle with the locals, take a stroll through one of the centrally-located open-air street markets or go for a walk through the long via Etnea - Catania’s main-street - which cuts the city in half and abounds with shops, bars, restaurants, and churches.
Wine and Dine
Are you looking to turn your 2017 holiday in Catania into a gastronomic gateway?
A typical meal in Catania consists of fresh pasta, fish, meats, vegetables, and fruits. If you prefer quick, cheap options, you will find an abundance of Tavola Calda (literally “hot table”, Catania’s street food) in every local bar. Tavola Calda includes typical snacks such as arancini, cipollina, cartocciata, pizzetta, siciliana—all for ridiculous prices.
Typical desserts are cannoli, tiramisù, babà, and a large variety of gelato (Italian ice cream).
Breakfast is cornetto (the Italian version of French croissant) or similar pastries with different fillings, either chocolate, white cream, or jam, served with hot cappuccino or espresso. In the summertime, you can also choose to start your day with a granita (the typical local sorbet) which is served with a brioche, and will make your mouth water and refresh your mornings!
Families looking to spend their 2017 holidays in Catania can be sure they’ll have the time of their lives. Catania is a bright, friendly city blessed by regular sunny days, gorgeous beaches, and many open spaces where the kids can play. Family life is highly valued in Sicily, and family-friendly attractions abound. Besides, if you’re travelling with kids, don’t miss Etnaland, Sicily’s biggest Acquapark and Themepark!
Action and Adventure
If you’re looking for action and adventure, a holiday in Catania won’t disappoint you! You can climb Mount Etna, try all sorts of water sports, and immerse yourself in nature.
Don’t miss the nearby Gole dell’Alcantara, an astounding natural reserve (one of Italy’s most spectacular natural sights!) where you can go body rafting and river trekking on the Alcantara River. The crystal-clear water of the river tumbles down the canyon walls creating gorgeous pools at its base.
Life's a Beach
Graced by the astounding view of Mount Etna, Catania offers an incredible varied coastline – from the sandy beaches of the Playa, to the long coastline of black lava cliffs of Scogliera, to the gravel pebbles of the nearby Fondachello, one the most popular beaches on the east coast of Sicily.
Lovers of the great outdoors can take surfing lessons or learn to kayak, which would make your 2017 holiday in Catania a wonderful destination to start a new hobby under the sun!
As a student city, Catania is well known for its lively nightlife and its abundance of pubs, bars, restaurants, and clubs. Whatever you’re looking for, you can be sure to find it here. Try the bars around Teatro Massimo or take a stroll on the Lungomare (promenade) during the weekends for the lively night scene and gorgeous view of the sea!
Summertime also brings a variety of festivals and night-time events. The nearby town of Motta Sant’Anastasia features an unmissable Medieval Festival which turns the town’s centre into a medieval village full of folk dances, magicians, fire-eaters, catapults, historical re-enactments, and delicious food!
Lovers looking to leave all the hustle and bustle behind should prefer the romantic seaside: Catania’s promenade (Lungomare) offers and incredible view of the sea and the nearby Aci Castello features one of the most romantic views you could hope for. For more romantic sights, take a walk through Villa Bellini, Catania’s main park, and don’t forget to visit the Botanical Garden!
The culture of modern day Catania is rooted deep in ruins of the past, especially Phoenician, Carthaginian, Greek, and Roman. Sicily is a melting pot of different cultures and ethnicities, from the Greeks, to the Romans, the Byzantines to the Normans — each contributing to the island's culture and genetic makeup.
If you’re looking to explore the local culture, then you can’t miss Palazzo Biscari - probably the most beautiful example of Catanese baroque architecture - and the gorgeous Benedictine Monastery, now home of the Department of Humanities of the University of Catania. And what about the variety of local castles? Castello Ursino was built by order of Frederick II of Swabia and served as the residence of the Aragonese Royal family in the 14th century; the nearby towns of Paternò, Adrano, and Motta Sant’Anastasia feature Norman dungeons (which, according to legend, are all connected by underground tunnels!); and the lava stone castle in the nearby Aci Castello has been a fortified strong post since Roman times.
Take your time to explore the area: Catania features superb Norman architecture, vibrant Roman floor mosaics, Arab-inspired gardens, and if you feel like taking a trip around Sicily, you’ll find that Siracusa offers some of the finest Greek temples in the world. Did you know that, according to the legend, King Arthur resides in a castle on Mount Etna? There’s plenty to see in this glorious city.