Visit Catania, Aci Castello, Acitrezza

Catania, the most beautiful baroque city in Sicily

Visit Catania

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.




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.



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.


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