Catania, Sicilian Baroque

 

Nestled into the green, with its large squares and wide streets, with its lava rock architectures, the historical and artistic heritage and the wild beauty of Mount Etna, that dominates from above, Catania is a splendid city of art, undisputed example of Sicilian Baroque.

Catania is the city that gave birth to one of the most important Italian writers, Giovanni Verga, considered the greatest exponent of the literary movement of realism. The partnership between Verga’s human and literary figure and the historical and cultural context of the city, clearly shines through the many works of the Master, which are often set in the places of his youth. How can we forget his masterpiece, the novel I Malavoglia, set right near Catania, in the small fishing village of Aci Trezza. Nowadays, Catania and its province retain various points of interest related to Verga; first of all the study center called Verga Foundation, the House Museum Giovanni Verga, the writer’s ancient residence, and the Malavoglia Fountain, situated in Verga’s Square. In Aci Trezza, instead, we find the Civic Museum Casa del Nespolo, the place intended for the celebration of his masterpiece. If you are fond of the Sicilian writer, don’t miss them for any reason!

If you find yourself or you are planning your holidays in Catania and its surroundings, and youre seeking for the most beautiful places to see, for a good local restaurant or even a farmhouse where to stay, here are for you the Italian Traditions tips.

10 THINGS TO DO IN CATANIA

1. BEGIN THE CITY TOUR STARTING FROM PIAZZA DEL DUOMO, where all the baroque spirit of the city merges, and which welcomes the Elephant Fountain, the Sant'Agata cathedral, the Palace of the Elephants, the Palace of the Clerics and the Amenano fountain.

2. DISCOVER THE REAL SOUL OF THE CITY BY GOING TO THE FISH MARKET, situated just behind Piazza Del Duomo. Pescheria is an ancient and picturesque fish market that will make you truly enjoy the popular air of the city.

3. WALKING AND SHOPPING IN STREET ETNEA, beating heart of Catania’s worldliness. Here you will find the ruins of the ancient part often Catania and the beautiful city park, Villa Bellini.

4. BOOK A GUIDED TOUR FOR TEATRO MASSIMO BELLINI, dedicated to the immortal  great Italian composer. Today it has an orchestra of 105 items, a chorus of 84 elements and a rich season of concerts and operas.

5. ORGANIZE SUGGESTIVE EXCURSIONS ON MOUNT ETNA, Europe’s highest active volcano that never stops giving fire and lava shows.

6. TAKE PART IN THE TYPICAL SICILIAN RITE OF THE GRANITA WITH BRIOCHES heading to  Bar Alecci (via Antonio Gramsci, 62), an obligatory stop for those who want to taste one the best granita of entire province. A must whose quality exceeds the city average.

7. MOUTH-WATERING WITH ONE OF THE BEST CANNOLI ALL OF SICILY make a quick stop at the renowned bakery I dolci di Nonna Vincenza (piazza San Placido, 7), a short walk from the Duomo. Here cannoli are realized both in Catania and Enna version: in the first one, cannoli dough is fried, while in the second one are baked. History, tradition and goodness to discover in this little corner of Catania!

8. SAVOR THE TOP SPECIALTIES OF THE REGIONAL AND LOCAL CUISINE at  Canni & Pisci (via Museo Biscari, 8). The menu offers a wide selection of traditional town dishes, and also regional, accompanied by fine wines from the cellar.

9. TAKE PART TO CATANIA’S NIGHTLIFE by spending an evening at tavern  A Putia dell’Ostello (piazza Curro, 6), a place in which its cellar flows the Amenano River, which passes underneath the whole city.

10. STAY IN THE 19TH CENTURY RESIDENCE CASALE POGGIO DEL TIGLIO (via San Giovannello 1b, Viagrande), a holiday farmhouse nestled in the unspoiled nature of the Etna Park and just a few minutes away from the sea.