Catania

At the base of Mount Etna, a city worth discovering

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Catania is a sicilian municipality at the southeastern base of Mount Etna. Its origins are very ancient and the city was dominated by numerous civilizations: greeks, romans, byzantines, arabs, normans, svevi, angevins, aragoneses and spanish that enriched its artistic, architectural and cultural patrimony. It was founded in the 729 B.C. by the greeks, it was the capital of the Kingdom of Sicily and, during the centuries, was touched by volcanic eruptions. Catania is a wonderful art city on the Ionian sea and uncontested example of the sicilian baroque, recognized as Unesco's world heritage together with the seven municipalities of Val di Noto: Caltagirone, Militello in Val di Catania, Modica, Noto, Palazzolo Acreide, Ragusa and Scicli.

Catania is full of historical and cultural monuments and places of interest: the Odeon, roman amphitheater; the roman thermal centres built with igneous rock; the castle of Ursino, founded by Federico II di Svevia and current civic museum; eighteenth-century boulevards and Via Etna, full of clubs and shops. The sea lovers will not be disappointed by its coastline that alternates sandy beaches and igneous rocky coasts, while the nature lovers can visit the Park of the Etna characterized by pinewoods, black-lava areas and smoking craters.

Catania's gastronomic tradition is one of the most delicious in the entire Sicily. The main specialties are: fish-based dishes like the typical "pasta alla Norma", the excellent D.O.C. wine of the Etna and the famous cannoli with ricotta.

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