Ten things to do in Catania unusual

18 Nov

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Things to do in Catania

In a previous article we told what for us is the perfect weekend in Catania: the places you absolutely must see and experience essential for an unforgettable weekend in the magnificence of the town of Etna.

But if you’re among the many who left a piece of their  heart in Catania and decide to go back, or just love the less traditional destinations, this is the article for you.

Here are ten things to do in Catania, but not too unusual, selected for you by B & B Globetrotter Catania, that will make you love the town of Etna even more.

Impossible? Seeing is believing!


1. A sip of wine at the riverside underground …


Have you ever thought of sipping a glass of wine on the banks of a river … underground?

The Amenano is the underground river of Catania, sentenced to be confined underground by the devastating earthquake that devastated the city in 1693 and re-emerging on the surface only in Piazza Duomo, feeds water to the beautiful Fountain linzolu dell’Amenano. Yet habit is to see it in its “natural” the true experience. Especially if the whole is accompanied by a good glass of Sicilian wine.

For a drink at the wine bar on the edge dell’Amenano introduce the Hostel Agora Piazza Curro 6, a few steps from Piazza del Duomo. The Agora is a meeting place especially on Monday night, Tuesday night drinks are half price.

2. An experience goose bumps at the Museum of the US landing


Diving in Italy in 1943 is an experience of great emotional impact, especially when the reconstructions are detailed and realistic as to this well-kept museum, considered by all a real gem (just read the TripAdvisor reviews). Including an extensive collection of uniforms and war relics, the spearhead is undoubtedly a shelter within which to experiment – or revive – the terrible experience of a bombing during the Second World War.

The Museum is located in the former industrial area of Catania, Viale  Africa, near the Central Station. Until the end of May the museum will be open from Tuesday to Sunday from 09.00 to 16.45 (last entry at 15.45, admission € 4.)

3. Among the narrow streets of the red light district: San Berillo


Among the things to do in Catania could not miss a visit to San Berillo.

The fame of San Beryl goes beyond the boundaries of the town of Etna, since the time when it became the biggest red light district of the Mediterranean basin, and transsexual prostitutes calling from all over the world. In the 50s, a large real estate speculation and the approval of the Merlin law drastically changed the character of the neighborhood, which was largely destroyed and emptied of almost all activities, including the oldest known to man. Now San Beryl returned to recover, thanks to the Senegalese community, but almost no shops, bars and makes it a place suspended in time, whose decadent spreads among the empty chairs in front of the dilapidated houses (a sign that someone in there, he is working), in the tiny lanes swollen graffiti and spicy smells, in eerie silence from which it is caught going there for a walk one morning whatsoever.

San Beryl, however, is not just prostitution but also original and creative initiatives, as OpificioZeronove, the Ciclofficina with bar where every piece of furniture is the son of a bicycle, and the Museum Reba, the modern art gallery opened in 2009 to ‘ inside of a project never completed redevelopment of the historic district of Catania.

4. A bit ‘of shopping in a Arabic: the Fera’ o Luni


If you want to see the “real” Catania, take a trip in one of its markets. To fish, to Piscaria, it is part of every tourist route but there is another less known market that is without a doubt worth an hour of your time lafera ‘o Luni, the market in Piazza Carlo Alberto. Despite the name (luni means “Monday”) square and nearby streets come alive every day, except Sunday, turning into a confusing and varied gathering of stalls Arabic style, where you can find everything from clothes to CD, from products fruit and vegetables to shoes. What awaits you is a sensory bath between smells inviting, the cries of vendors and the colors of the multi-ethnic clientele that will not easily forget.

5. A terrace at the heart of baroque Catania: the Badia di Sant’Agata


On 25 May, after years of restoration, it has finally been re-opened to the public the terraces and the dome of the Badia di Sant’Agata, one of the finest jewels of the late-baroque Catania, Palermo by a priest-architect Giambattista Vaccarini. Rediscover one of the most beautiful churches in the city and admire the Etna Catania from a privileged point of view.

The guided tours are held from Thursday to Sunday, from 9 to 12 (3 euro), while Friday and Saturday you can visit the terraces from 19 to 22 within the path Baroque (7 euro and visit to Terme yarrow, 9 euro with Diocesan Museum, 12 € for all three monuments).

6. A chat with the Palace Biscari family


Built after the catastrophic earthquake of 1693 on some surviving bastions, Biscari Palace is one of the oldest buildings in the city and one of the most prestigious representatives of the Sicilian Baroque. Between “apartments princess”, ballrooms rococo and marble floors of the Roman era, Palazzo Biscari was born to leave open-mouthed, as well as scholarly and ironic narrative that traces the history of the current owner of the building and his ancestors condendola of rich anecdotes and curiosities. Among the most famous guests that boasts Palazzo Biscari spicca Goethe, who admired the beauty during the famous trip to Sicily, and more recently the British band Coldplay, who in 2008 filmed here the video of the song Violet Hill.

Visits are by appointment, for information visit the website.

7.  A vintage travel along the slopes of Etna: the Circumetnea


A different way to see Mount Etna and take a step back in time on a narrow-gauge train (the only one still operating in Sicily) is relying on the rails of the historic train station on the railway line from the center of Catania up to Riposto (3 hours), visiting many countries Etnea, including Paterno, Adrano and Bronte.

The journey is slow and noisy but of great charm. It slips into a chameleon-like landscape that goes from desert areas of lunar atmosphere at times lush plant pistachio, lemon and tangerine. If you can make a stop aRandazzo, the country “black” famous for the buildings built in lava stone, then take the next train to Riposto, where you can return to Catania with the faster (and less glamorous) train Trenitalia.

It starts from the Catania Borgo station (reachable from the railway station with the underground) in Via Caronda 352.

8. Children again: the Antica Bottega del puppeteer Brothers Naples


Hard to turn the center of Catania without seeing hang from some store a “baby”. Evolution of traditional puppets  eighteenth century, the “puppets” Catania are a credit of the ancient town of Etna which has its roots in the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century, flourished when the Puppet Theatre, a puppet theater dedicated almost completely a knightly narratives largely derived from novels and poems of the Carolingian cycle.

Antica Bottega del puppeteer Brothers Naples, managed by a family of puppeteers Catania, is located in Via Reitano 55 (Castello Ursino-registry office) and can be visited every day by reservation (sito web).

9. A Crack in Time: the Roman amphitheater in 3D

anfiteatro_3d_ catania

Step back in time to the third or fourth century AD to admire a 360 ° the majesty of the Roman Amphitheatre in Piazza Stesicoro. Here is the ambitious project carried out last July from Catania in Italy Living Lab, the experimental laboratory for the development and communication of cultural heritage that has reconstructed in 3D interior and missing parts of the structure thanks to a team of archaeologists, geophysicists, architects, and surveyors.

The Living Lab is located in Via Manzoni 91 / A and is open Monday to Friday from 9.30 to 12.30 and from 17.00 to 19.00.

10. Dining with tradition: in Putia do Calabrisi


We close our list of ten things to do in Catania unusual (but not too) with a place that’s close to our heart.

It looks like a museum, but it is “only” a tavern. The Italian term, however, do they make it, because the putia is much more it is tradition, quality, you can taste the best cuisine of Catania rates immersed in a friendly and quaint. Until the ’50s and’ 60s Catania teeming with places like this, but then began to disappear and laPutia Do Calabrisi is one of the few survivors. The management is familiar, the atmosphere authentic, hearty meals and flavors. With less than 10 euro you’ll get up from the table fully satisfied, accompanied by the pleasant sensation of being in a unique place, of those who make history of a country.

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