Baroque Architecture in Catania

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Baroque architecture flourished on Sicily following the massive earthquake of 1693, when authorities began rebuilding the island. With traditional baroque curves and flourishes, the buildings stand out for their flair and artistry. Here are a few key baroque-style landmarks to look out for in UNESCO World Heritage–listed Catania.
 
Piazza del Duomo
The three palaces situated around the Piazza del Duomo (Duomo Square) include the Bishop’s Palace and the Seminario—and combined they boast some of the most impressive baroque buildings in Italy. Skilled architect Alonzo di Benedetto worked alongside fellow local architects, and the divisions between their working styles are seamless.

Basilica della Collegiata
The 18th-century Basilica della Collegiata is one of the religious sites reconstructed following the earthquake in 1693. With ornate curvature and intricate facade, it’s widely considered among Catania’s top attractions.
 
Town Hall
Built in 1741, Catania’s grand town hall takes pride of place on the Piazza del Duomo. The key feature here is the Fountain of the Elephant—intricately carved from Mt. Etna’s black lava in the baroque style.
 
Teatro Massimo Bellini
The Teatro Massimo Bellini (Massimo Bellini Theater) is an opera house named after local 19th-century composer Vincenzo Bellini. The building was almost 200 years in the making, and the final product features the ornate, stuccoed design for which the distinctive Sicilian baroque style is known.
 
Catania Cathedral
Dedicated to Saint Agatha, Catania Cathedral has fallen to earthquakes and been rebuilt many times over the centuries. The current construction shows bold baroque design with strong Roman and Spanish influence, and dates back to the rebuilding of Catania following the 1693 earthquake.
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Catania Street Food Walking Tour

Discover the street food and snacks of Catania on a daytime walking tour around the city. Visit the main piazza, and the elegant Via dei Crociferi or Benedettini enclave, learning about Catania’s food and its place in Sicilian culture as you stroll. Sample treats at market stalls and bakeries, and then leave armed with tips for the best places to eat in town. A food 'passport' is included so you can keep track of your favorite bites along the way.
  • Duration: 4 hours
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US$56.39
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  • Duration: 4 hours
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US$56.39

Wine and Local Delicacies Tasting at a Sicilian Traditional Palmento

Taste wines and Sicilian delicacies on a local farm and vineyards with a 2-hour tasting near Catania. Sample locally-made salami, cheeses, breads, and more, enjoying a generous spread of treats served in the farm’s palmento, where grapes were once crushed into wine. This 2-hour gourmet tasting makes a generous lunch, and includes a discount at the farm store.
  • Duration: 2 hours
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US$40.28
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  • Duration: 2 hours
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US$40.28

Catania Private Walking Tour with Option of Food and Wine Tasting

Catania has a world of offerings for travelers: UNESCO World Heritage sites, fascinating history, street markets, and a cuisine that is the envy of the Mediterranean. It can be a challenge to pack it all in one day, but this private half-day walking tour—which pairs the city’s top sights with traditional street food and wine—allows you to do just that. Upgrade to end the tour with a wine and food tasting at a local restaurant.
  • Duration: 4 hours
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US$108.18
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  • Duration: 4 hours
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US$108.18

Catania Segway Tour

Glide through the historic streets of Catania on a 3-hour Segway tour. Follow a local guide through the UNESCO-listed city center, passing the Fountain of the Elephant, the bustling street of Via Etnea and the park of Villa Bellini. Pause to admire the 13th-century Castle Ursino and learn more about the city’s medieval history. Your tour will conclude back at your original departure point.
  • Duration: 3 hours
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US$113.93
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  • Duration: 3 hours
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US$113.93

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Best of Sicily in 1 Day: Volcano Etna, Naxos Bay, Taormina and Castelmola

THIS TOUR IS THE BEST YOU CAN VISIT IN ONE DAY TOUR IN SICILY AND IT IS SPECIFICALLY INDICATED AND SUITABLE FOR PASSEGNERS DISEMBARKING IN MESSINA BY CRUISE SHIP - DURATION APPROX. 8 HRS
  • Duration: 6 to 8 hours
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US$155.36
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  • Duration: 6 to 8 hours
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US$155.36

Private tour from Catania: Etna Volcano and Lunch at Etna Winery

Explore the Mount Etna region on a full-day private tour from Catania. Learn about Europe’s highest active volcano and the folklore from your informative guide. Drive through mountain villages, visit a local honey farm and the Cyclops Cave, and drive up to Rifugio Sapienza at 2000 meters above sea level to admire the beautiful views. Then head to a local winery to enjoy a delicious lunch complete with local wines.
  • Duration: 6 to 8 hours
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US$148.45
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  • Duration: 6 to 8 hours
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US$148.45

Admission to Benedectine Monastery of Saint Nicola

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.
  • Duration: 90 to 110 mins
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US$8.06
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  • Duration: 90 to 110 mins
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US$8.06

Private Shore Excursion from Catania (Sicily) to Etna Volcano and Wine Tasting

Discover Sicily’s Mount Etna on this full-day private shore excursion from Catania. Take a drive through the scenic Sicilian countryside to reach the active volcano. Pass through small mountain towns and stop at the Etna Winery Gambino to sample some of the delicious wine grown in this region. Visit the Silvestri craters at 2,000 meters as well as the newest lava flows and craters before heading back to your ship.
  • Duration: 8 to 9 hours
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US$115.08
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  • Duration: 8 to 9 hours
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US$115.08

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Admission Ticket to Church of Saint Benedict

Only A few minutes walk from the Cathedral of Catania there is the Church of San Benedetto, right in the middle of the famous baroque street called Via Crociferi. The church is considered a small Sicilian Sistine chapel because of the richness of its frescoes realized by Giovanni Tuccari, a painter from Messina, in the 18th century. But the church is not just a triumph of baroque painting, there is also a large choir that looks like a Spanish galleon, a huge and beautiful reminder of the secluded life of the cloistered nuns that still live here, and the famous Angels' staircaise made of marble and stucco. The Church of San Benedetto is also famous because it was part of the set for "Storia di una Capinera" by Franco Zeffirelli, a movie from the short story by Giovanni Verga.For the city of Catania it is a symbol of religious faith that reaches its peak during the festivities of Sant'Agata when the Benedictine nuns sing, for the patron saint, from the central gate.
  • Duration: 30 to 50 minutes
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US$5.75
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  • Duration: 30 to 50 minutes
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US$5.75


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