10 minutes walk from the Cathedral square you find the Monastery of San Nicolò l’Arena, a late baroque monument and one of the biggest Benedictine monastery in Europe. The construction of the building started in 1500 and has continued until today. It is an example of architectonical integration of different styles through different epochs.
It leads the visitors through the most important spaces of the Monastery: the two cloisters, the cellars of the XVI century today transformed into the faculty library, the roman domus (house), the ‘Night Choir’ with its ‘balcony’ on the main altar of San Nicolò l’Arena Church, the Novices Garden and the kitchen and cellars of the XVIII century realised by the architect Vaccarini.
The monastery is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It hosts the Department of Humanities of the University of Catania.