Welcome to Catania!
The second largest city in Sicily, Catania, Italy, is well-known for its laid-back vibe and youthful character. Whether you wish to hike to the summit of an active volcano, go on a street food tour and try Sicilian delicacies, or spend a day on the beach, this vibrant city has got you covered. This insider’s guide offers useful tips from the locals and takes you from Catania Airport to some of the best lesser-known attractions. Visiting Catania as a worldwide local is the best way to travel. It keeps you away from all the touristy spots, allowing you to discover the finest sights, and experience the city like a local.
Enjoy the Nature of Sicily
A part of Catania University, Orto Botanico is located just a short walk from the city center and houses a variety of plants and trees. Nature lovers can admire the rich and extensive fauna, including everything from Gibbaeum varieties to Cereus and Echinocactus.
To escape the busy streets of the city center while mingling with the locals, visit the picturesque San Giovanni li Cuti. With black volcanic sands and rocks, this beach is a real natural phenomenon. A couple of nice bars and restaurants can be found in the area.
Travelers with a passion for archaeology will definitely want to check out Catania’s Teatro Romano, a magnificent amphitheater that dates back to the 2nd century AD. The seating rows here are covered in marble, while the steps of the amphitheater are made of lava.
Worldwide Local Tip: The best time to visit is in late spring and early fall when the Catania weather is ideal for sightseeing, hiking, and other activities. During summer and winter, expect fewer crowds and reduced rates at Catania hotels.
Eat Your Way Around
For a local experience, book the fantastic Catania Street Food Tour. A local guide will take you to the best markets in the city where you can try a variety of Sicilian food specialties like horse meatballs, cipollata, arancini, and cannoli. The tour lasts for three hours and includes an overview of Catania’s main historical landmarks.
Worldwide Local Tip: Sicilians are very proud of their cuisine, and some of the must-try foods in Catania include Cannolo, Pasta Alla Norma, Arancini, Sfincione, Cassata, and Panelle. You can find these delicacies in every food market in Catania.
Beer Catania is the largest beer festival in the south of Italy. Attracting around 20,000 visitors, the festival is held twice a year, during May and November. Besides many local and international breweries, offering a variety of beers, the festival boasts culinary workshops, tasting sessions, food stands, and live music performances.
Locals know the best place to drink wine in the city is A Putia dell’Ostello, a lovely wine restaurant and bar, located next to an underground river. Besides wine, the fantastic Catania restaurant also serves delicious pizza and pasta.
Worldwide Local Tip: The easiest way to explore Catania is by walking, as most attractions are reachable on foot. However, you can also use the city’s metro system, which has only 6 stations, operating from Stazione Centrale to Catania Borgo. To visit the local beaches, hop on Bus D at Piazza Borsellino.
Enjoy Your Stay!
Catania, Sicily, is one of those underrated destinations that doesn’t get the attention it deserves. Exploring the city as a worldwide local enables you to discover all the hidden gems known only to the locals.