Catania in Sicily© Dror Feitelson / Wikimedia Commons [CC BY-SA 3.0]

Catania - the second largest city in Sicily

In terms of population, Catania is the second largest town in Sicily with almost 300,000 residents. Catania was founded in about 800 B.C., and over the following centuries became a very important maritime trading town. The region was also used by the Arabs for the production of agricultural goods. In the 17th century, Catania experienced two blows in a very short period of time: first of all Mount Etna erupted, wreaking havoc all throughout the town, and just 24 years later a massive earthquake almost levelled Catania completely.  

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Tourism in Catania

Like many of the towns in Sicily, Catania, situated at the foot of Mount Etna, has a rich cultural heritage. Particularly worth visiting is the cathedral built by the Normans in the 11th century, located at the famous Piazza Duomo. The cathedral was rebuilt by Gian Battista Vaccarini after it was destroyed in the disastrous earthquake of 1693. Also very popular is the fountain at Piazza Duomo, its centrepiece a large elephant crafted from igneous rock.

Fans of bustling markets should not miss a trip to the fish market, where locals loudly bargain and haggle with each other for all they’re worth over the fresh, delicious fish.

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