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Catane-Sicily
Visiting-Catane

Visit Catania, Aci Castello, Acitrezza

Travel to Sicily in history and see authentic and unusual places. Discover on foot the historic center of Catania, the Baroque city. With our French-speaking tour guide is also scheduled the visit of Aci Castello and Norman castle lava stone. Not to mention a walk to Acitrezza, to see the rocks of the Cyclops and the giant Polyphemus

Visit baroque city of Catania, the castle of Aci Castello and Acitrezza

Catania is a splendid Baroque city located on an extensive plain of citrus groves on the Ionian Sea at the foot of Mount Etna. Already a Chalcidians colony in 729 BC, it was dominated by different tyrants and populations, with a period of great glory that went on till Imperial and Byzantine domination.

A terrible eruption of the Etna in 1669 has severely damaged the city, and the disastrous 1693’earthquake hastened its steady decline: the nowadays urban arrangement goes back to the city’s 18th-century reconstruction.

Catania can boast of some magnificent interesting ruins, one of those the Greek-Roman theatre in Via Teatro Greco, with a 7000-seating capacity: only part of it is visible, the rest has been incorporated by the surrounding buildings.

The excavations have brought to light some parts of the stage, the wide auditorium and the orchestra pit. On the side of the monumental building there is an Odeon, a small theatre used for the choruses, with a seating capacity of 1300 people.

The portico and architectural features make it an unusual archaeological remain.  In Piazza Stesicoro we can see the great amphitheatre dating to the II century AD: it is one of the greatest Roman remains still existing, with a seating capacity of 15000 people, partly hidden by modern buildings and roads.

 

The tour, with our tour guide, explores these different times of Catania:

  • The ancient Roman age: the Roman theater, the Odeon, the Roman amphitheater and the baths.
  • The Middle Ages: the Bonaiuto Chapel, the Cathedral of Sant'Agata, the Church of Sant'Agata al Carcere, Ursino Castle.
  • The Renaissance: the Benedictine monastery, the walls of Charles V, the fountain of the "seven channels".
  • Baroque: after the eruption of 1669 and the 1693 earthquakes, Catania was almost entirely rebuilt in Baroque style.

 

Aci Castello

Aci Castello is 9 km far from Catania, and it’s an agricultural town at the foot of basalt rock in a wide east-coast bay. The interesting Castle (Norman, 11th century) built from lava stands on the top of the crag formed as a result of underwater eruptions and has a particularly rare geological structure.

 

Acitrezza 

11 km far from Catania (2km from Aci Castello), Acitrezza is a busy seaside resort and fishing village with a small harbour.

It’s famous as the set of Giovanni Verga's verist novel "I Malavoglia”, and for the Isole dei Ciclopi, beautiful basalt rocks near the shore that according to the mythology are those that the cyclops Polyphemus threw against Ulysses trying to leave the island: the largest, Isola di Aci, is the site of a biology/marine physics station belonging to the University of Catania.

Do not hesitate to contact us for any particular request: we can organise multilingual guided tour, transfer and lunch. It is also possible to combine the visits of several destinations.

Visit Catania, the Baroque city

Catania is the second largest city in Sicily, it lies at the foot of Mount Etna and offers many views of the active volcano. Catania has a strong personality given its past and eventful past, it is an ancient city that was almost rebuilt following the terrible earthquake of 1693.

Catania is a late Baroque city of the Val di Noto (south-east of Sicily), which offers an exceptional testimony of the exuberant genius of art and late Baroque architecture, the final blossoming of art Baroque in Europe at its peak. It is inscribed on the Unesco World Heritage List.

The old historic center of Catania starts from the hill Montevergine (currently corresponding to Piazza Dante), which is characterized by "archaeological layers" since the Neolithic Age.

The top of the hill was the place where it was built, around the 8th century BC, the legendary Greek Acropolis Katane, the center of religious and political life, which rode the housing and roads of Catina Romaine.

Catania is a city of about 350,000 inhabitants, the metropolitan area of ​​Catania is the seventh of Italy for residents. Founded in 729 BC by the Chalcis, has a long history characterized by various leaders whose remains enrich the artistic, architectural and cultural.

It was conquered by the Romans in 263 BC, leaving architectural vestiges of the Augustan era. After the Byzantine domination followed the Arab domination, then the Normans, who brought many changes and innovations in the city, as, for example, the construction of the Cathedral of Piazza Duomo and the many monasteries. Under the Aragonese dynasty it was the capital of the kingdom of Sicily and it was at that time that was born the first university of the island.

Over the centuries, Catania has been hit repeatedly by volcanic eruptions (the last is that of 1669) and earthquakes (the most catastrophic in 1693). Since the end of the 17th century, an important phase of reconstruction has started according to "modern standards".

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