Cheap Tickets to Catania
Sicily's second-largest city is a boisterous, colourful, charismatic delight. Down to earth and with a thriving nightlife scene, Catania is a city that contrasts the modern and the ancient like few others. At its core is a UNESCO-protected old city (and by old, we mean thousands of years old). Baroque churches and splendid town houses make the winding streets of the old town a magical place for a stroll before you duck into a trattoria for some characteristic aubergine pasta "alla Norma" or a glass of Sicilian red. If you just want to soak up history and find out about Sicily's deeper past, there are plenty of options as well. From the Greek and Roman ruins in the Parque Archeologico, to majestic 19th century creations like the Fontana dell'Elefante in the cathedral square, this is a city that offers endless attractions for history fans. And, when the sun goes down, the city benefits from its huge student population and youthful demographic, which has spurred countless new restaurants and bars to open up. But you don't need to mix with the kids. Ending your day with a performance at the beautiful Teatro Massimo Bellini is just as thrilling. However, you want to spend your time, you can take your pick in Catania.
Things to do
With so much history, culture, music and food to explore, Catania is a destination where boredom isn't a factor. Here are some ideas about how to make the most of a trip:
Paradise for seafood fans
If you love frutti di mare, taking a trip to La Pescheria is essential. The city's premier fish market handles the catch of one of Italy's largest fishing fleets, preparing everything with the utmost skill. Watching the fishmongers at work is fascinating, but even better are the superb restaurants lining the market.
Take a walk into history in the Old Town
The Old Town is the city's beating heart. Thousands of years old, it boasts architectural treasures like the Duomo of Sant'Agata, where an intact set of Roman baths was discovered underneath the nave. The Teatro Bellini and the Fontana dell'Elefante are just two of the other highlights in a wonderful area.
Shop till you drop on Via Etnea
The city's leading shopping street Via Etnea is named after the volcano which soars over this part of Sicily. Start at the south, where the Piazza dell'Università is a great breakfast spot, and work your way past boutiques and department stores all the way to the Duomo.
Calendar of Events
Festivals play a big part of life in Catania and eastern Sicily, and here are some of the standout occasions for tourists to enjoy:
The Tango Festival. One of the world's biggest festivals of Tango music takes place in the city every august, blending high-octane DJ sets and dance marathons with stately performances by the masters.
The Feast of St Agatha. The city's saint's day is a time for everyone to come together and celebrate their home town. Starting on February 3, it's a three-day extravaganza of processions and fireworks (and food).
Sicily Swing Fest. Dance is definitely one of the city's favourite activities. Along with the Tango Festival, November sees the arrival of world-leading swing musicians and dancers to strut their stuff.