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Catania

The city of Catania lies at the foot of Mount Etna, on the coast of the Ionian Sea (Mare Ionico), in the eastern part of Sicily (Sicilia). The volcano is known for its temper and the city at times gets devastating surprises. The city of Catania was buried under hot lava seven times. Under thick layers of solidified lava there are Roman and Greek cities.

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Catania was founded by Greek colonists in 729 BC. Despite many earthquakes, the city has managed to retain traces of its ancient history.
The patrons of the city are a big elephant and a slim girl - a virgin and martyr named Agatha. The impressive Cathedral (Cattedrale di Sant'Agata) built in 1078-1093 is dedicated to the patroness of the city, Saint Agatha. It still houses her remains, as well as the grave of the famous composer Vincenzo Bellini, and the tombs of the Kings of Sicily. On the outside the Cathedral is decorated with marble and beautiful statues. Catania is a sunny city, because the sun shines here more often than in other parts of Italy. At the same time, it is a fun and noisy city. Tourists are drawn to its wonderful beaches, designer shops and excellent cuisine. Young people love this city for its loud nightclubs. And people of age appreciate this place for the healing hot springs and spectacular landscapes. The city also has unique and beautiful landmarks.

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On the Cathedral Square there is one of the most memorable monuments – the Elephant Fountain (Fontana dell'Elefante) – the work of Italian architect Giovanni Battista Vaccarini dating back to 1736. This monument is the symbol of the city. The elephant is made of black volcanic stone and it carries on its back an Egyptian obelisk.

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In Catania you can see many Roman buildings. On the street Vittorio Emanuele II (Via Vittorio Emanuele II) there are the ruins of a Roman theater, which once could accommodate more than seven million people. Nearby you can see a small stage of Odeon – this theater was intended for rehearsals and could seat up to 1,300 spectators.

Over a big square Piazza Stesicoro you will see the remains of a Roman amphitheater. At one point it could seat 16,000 spectators. In size this amphitheater was second only to the Roman Coliseum. Nowadays, you can see only fragments of its base. Real dimensions of this ancient structure can be estimated using three-dimensional museum models.

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Not far from Piazza Stesicoro there is the Church of Confinement of Saint Agatha (Chiesa di Sant'Agata al Carcere), built on top of ancient dungeons. Here, St. Agatha was imprisoned and tortured. Tourists are given an opportunity to see not only the decoration of the church, but her prison cell as well.

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An important architectural landmark is an impressive Ursino Castle (Castello Ursino) that was built in the 13th century. The castle used to be the residence of the kings of Aragon. The castle amazes with its size and design. Nowadays, the castle houses the town museum.

Also worthy of a visit is the Church of San Nicolo (Chiesa di San Nicolò l'Arena) - the largest church in Sicily, the Collegiate Basilica (Basilica della Collegiata), the Arch of Saint Benedict (Arca di San Benedetto), the Theater of Massimo Bellini (Teatro Massimo Bellini) and others. For fans of theater art, the city has 25 theaters, ready to delight their audiences every day.

In addition to historical landmarks and clean sandy beaches, the city of Catania is famous for its amazing wellness centers and hot springs. Along the city's waterfront there are plenty of luxurious hotels, restaurants and entertainment venues.

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TRANSFERS / EXCURSIONS
Price per car One/Way FROM / TO

CAR 1/3 PAXMINIBUS 4/7 PAX
Apt Catania / Hotel city25,0038,00
Night supplement for transfers (from 20:00 to 07:00) + 20%
 **GUIDES
Catania H/D 3 hours with Russian / English speaking guide € 178,00 – F/D 8 hours € 335,00
Supplement: night / Sunday / festivity + 20%
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