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A trip to Catania will remain etched in your memory: From Piazza del Duomo to Etna, from the Acitrezza "Faraglioni" stacks to San Giovanni Li Cuti, a summer is Catania will stay with you forever. With all the energy of its history (and literature) and a life-enhancing panorama, recharging your batteries and enjoying a great vacation has never been so exciting. Here is a small—but very appetizing—taste of what it means to experience Catania.
U LIOTRU AND VERGA
One city, one symbol: Rome has the Colosseum, Paris has the Eiffel Tower and Milan has the Cathedral. In Catania, on the other hand, we have U Liotru. U Liotru is the Elephant Fountain, the symbol of the city that you can admire close up in Piazza del Duomo. If you are wondering why it's called Liotru, then you don't know the legend of Heliodorus!
It was in fact the sorcerer Heliodorus who sculpted the elephant he rode on out of lava from Etna, and the name Liotru derives from the name of this legendary sorcerer.
One thing is certain: In Catania, myths and legends are in the air, and you can see elephants supporting Egyptian obelisks, but that's not all. There is also history, and a lot of it, and museums are a must to get to know ancient and literary Catania. Three museums in particular: Ursino Castle, the Bellini Museum and Giovanni Verga's House Museum.
Who hasn't read I Malavoglia or Rosso Malpelo? The story of the greatest exponent of Italian realism is told in the museum in his house. A curious fact: The museum library contains the 2,500 volumes that the writer actually owned.
EVERYONE TO THE SEASIDE, WITH ETNA AS THE BACKDROP
Catania means the sea. And the sea, when talking of summer vacations, is exactly what we want, for relaxation and fun. Before diving headlong into one of the wonderful Catania beaches, like the golden La Playa, take a detour by the striking seaside village San Giovanni Li Cuti, a really picturesque port, perfect for taking photos to show your friends on Instagram!
But also take a trip to the Acitrezza "Faraglioni" stacks, or else you'll miss a view and a legend that will take your breath away: We are talking about Ulysses, of the Land of the Cyclopes and of Polyphemus, who tried to take revenge on the King of Ithaca by throwing them against other mountain tops. These were the "faraglioni."
This may be a legend, but Catania makes history... And enters into it fully, together with Etna. Did you know that since June 2013 Etna has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site? An irresistible attraction for the curious, and an unmissable destination for trekkers, Etna is more than a simple active volcano, it's a visual treasure. So a visit to the Etna Park is a must, to experience Etna and the surrounding nature to the full.
Appetite comes with eating. But also with smelling the typical scents that herald lunch. Or devouring the dish in front of you with your eyes! Sicilian cooking is a real force of nature in terms of smells and flavors: Sicilian cooking is full of dishes that are beautiful to look at, colorful, fragrant and, above all, extremely tasty. An example of a menu to wolf down in one mouthful? Squid ink pasta; sarde a beccafico (stuffed sardines) and, for dessert, Sicilian cassata, orange gelo pudding and tetù, biscuit pairs for you and for me: chocolate and white.
Have you ever been to Catania? Seize the opportunity and spend a special vacation in Sicily, with Alitalia!