Catania, Mount Etna's black daughter27.05.2016
Catania lies at the foot of Mount Etna, Europe's largest and most active volcano. Tourists are attracted all year round by the Mediterranean climate of this Sicilian harbour city, its long sandy beaches and late-baroque cityscape. Catania is one of the sunniest places in Europe. With a population of around 350,000, it is the second-largest city in Sicily. The baroque-style old quarter has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage site. Largely black and white, the city's colours exude a magical elegance.
Bathing fun and sunshine
Summer temperatures of 40 °C are by no means rare in Catania. Temperatures which are easily endured in the coastal city. Around 70 kilometres of coastline make it ideal for relaxing and hanging out. The fascinating coastline with its white sandy beaches is a magnet for beach-lovers and water sports fans alike.
Extending around 30 kilometres, the Playa di Catania is the longest sandy beach on the eastern Sicilian coast. A relaxing beach holiday can be enjoyed in the hotels near the sea. And those who prefer peaceful and secluded surroundings will be in their element on the beaches by the rocky coastline.
La dolce vita in the baroque old quarter
The baroque old quarter of Catania in the Val di Noto has been a UNESCO World Heritage site since 2002. The Piazza del Duomo (Cathedral Square) is in the heart of the city with the impressive Catania Cathedral on its east side. It is dedicated to Saint Agatha, the city’s patron saint. The Piazza del Duomo is surrounded by elegant baroque buildings. The Fontana dell’ Elefante (Elephant Fountain) forms a centrepiece in the square and is also a city landmark. The elegant Palazzo degli Elefanti (Elephant Palace) is to the north and is now home to the City Hall. The Via Vittorio Emanuele II links the old quarter with the sea. And it's definitely worth walking along.
The city's best shops and boutiques can be found along the Via Etnea which stretches three kilometres past the Piazza del Duomo, the Piazza dell’ Università, the Piazza Stesicoro and the Giardino Bellini park.
Breath-taking location at the foot of the volcano
Still regarded as an awesome volcano, Mount Etna is omnipresent. And it still flexes its muscles from time to time. Not only does its panorama dominate the cityscape – it also contributes to the distinctively black colour of the city’s buildings. Catania is referred to as Mount Etna’s black daughter as many buildings are built using black lava rock.
No visit to Catania would be complete without a trip to Mount Etna. Along numerous trails, hikers can immerse themselves in the natural mountain landscape, discovering solidified lava flows and craters as well as dense forests and grottoes. Visitors can take a romantic round trip on the Circumetnea, a narrow-gauge railway, which almost entirely circumnavigates Mount Etna.
The Aeroporto di Catania-Fontanarossa “Vincenzo Bellini” (Catania-Fontanarossa Airport) is located to the south of the city. Shuttle buses and intercity buses link the airport to the city centre and central railway station. As of 28 June, easyJet will offer direct flights from Berlin Schönefeld to Catania on Tuesdays at 14:40h and Fridays at 12:20h. airberlin and Alitalia also fly from Berlin Tegel. There are a total of up to 13 direct connections between Berlin and Catania.