If you travel to Italy and you’ve never been to Sicily, then you haven’t really been to Italy.
And if you visit Sicily and you skip Catania, you are missing out on some seriously good eats!
Sicily is not only one of the most beautiful places to visit in Italy, but you can find some of the best food on that beautiful island.
Sicilia was ruled by the Arabs for hundreds of years and you can see that cultural influence in the architecture, art, and even food on the island as well as the Greek and Roman influences. Learn more about the history of Sicily HERE
I spent three of a five-week vacation in Italy in the Sicily region. While I truly enjoyed my experience, I know I have not scratched the surface.
In this blog post, I will summarize my visit to Catania Sicily. You can learn more about the history of Catania HERE
HERE is also a link to a review of the Airbnb where I stayed in Catania. Perfect location for walking to many of the spots mentioned in this blog post.
Catania is an ancient port city on the east coast of Sicily. It sits right at the foot of Mount Etna, one of the largest active volcanoes in the world. Catania is the second-largest city in Sicily after Palermo faces the Ionian Sea. Its airport is the largest in Southern Italy and is an entry point to getting to places like Taormina and Ragusa Ibla. The city has Roman, Greek and Arab influences in its design and architecture. The city and area have a history of earthquakes and volcano eruptions but that should not dissuade from giving it a visit and close look.
The city symbol is the Elephant and if you know me, you know the Elephant is one of my favorite animals so I fell in love pretty immediately. When you get to the Piazza Duomo, don’t forget to take a walk to the Fish Market (look for the red/white awnings) and check out one of the oldest fish markets in the world. Also consider taking a tour of parts of the cities buried due to volcanic eruptions and, of course, do a walking tour of Mount Etna.
Frankly, my favorite thing to do in Catania is EAT. The food in the city is just AMAZING. Catania is most famous for Arancini — balls of rice stuffed with goodies like seafood, eggplant, or meat sauce and deep-fried. Hands down the best Arancini that I had in all of Sicily was in Catania at Pasticceria Savia. My favorite arancini is arancini Al RAGU. it has mozzarella and meat-tomato sauce. So, freaking good!
Here is a rundown of my favorite things to do and eat in Catania!
- Pasticceria Savia – get the arancini and thank me later and don’t skip the Gelato either!
- Eat Pizza at Pizzeria al Vicolo or Eat Pizzeria both fantastic!
- Get fried seafood at Scirocco Sicilian Fish Lab
- Get Pasta Alla Norma at Al Tortellino. Casual, inexpensive, and DELICIOUS!
- Grab a Granita at a sidewalk cafe and people watch for a bit.
Things to See & Do
- Piazza Duomo, the Cathedral, and u’liotru (the elephant)
- The Fish Market
- Historical Monastery San Benedetto on via Crociferi
- The Kiosks of Catania
- Do a walking tour of Underground (subterrain) Catania
Travel Tip: Do a hop/off bus Tour and see lots of the sites in Catania. It is a great way to cover a lot of ground in a short period of time.
Catania is a foodie paradise. I even spotted a Mexican restaurant there but sadly it was still closed due to COVID.
Catania was wonderful and I plan to return to explore more of the food and fun in the City.
Enjoy this short video that summarizes how much I enjoyed Catania.