Is it worth staying in Catania itself for a few days? Many people will tell you „no”! And after 8 months in this wonderful city, I have a completely different opinion in this case. I’m furious with all the negative, discouraging opinions on the internet about Catania! It was because of them that I almost resigned to move here, and that would be a serious mistake.
Let’s make an agreement: Catania isn’t a classically beautiful city. The frozen lava used in the construction of buildings has made many of them gray-black, which probably takes away their charm.
Seemingly Catania is obviously not as attractive as Taormina, Ortygia or Noto! But it has a wonderful interior and… lots of delicious food, perhaps the tastiest in all of Sicily! If you only want to get to know her a little closer, she will repay you with everything she has the best. And there’s quite a lot of it!
In this case, I’m asking you for one thing – don’t be typical visual learners, this time look at the nature. Spend a few days in Catania and, above all, don’t limit yourself to typical tourist attractions located on via Etnea and Piazza Duomo. Catania has so much more to offer! Below I’m going to present you 5 reasons why you should stay in Catania a little longer!
GREAT STARTING POINT FOR EAST SICILY
Let’s start with the obvious. Catania is brilliantly connected with various towns in the eastern part of Sicily. As for transport in Sicily – you probably heard a lot of bad things about it. I’d like to deny some rumors.
In fact, when it comes to typical city buses, you can’t trust them. I won’t count how many times I waited at least 40 minutes for the late bus coming back from the beach.
However, when it comes to buses going to other towns, I can say (based on my experience) that they run amazingly on time!
If I were planning a few days stay in the eastern part of Sicily, I’d definitely choose Catania as an accommodation base. It will be comfortable starting point to all the most beautiful cities in the area, and when you come back hungry from your trip in the evening, a long list of Sicilian dishes and brilliant restaurants await you to test them.
FOOD AND STREET-FOOD
Before moving to Catania, I had absolutely no idea that I would spend the next months in a gluten paradise. The number of fantastic eateries and restaurants in Catania and the surrounding area is impressive (also gluten-free;))! All thanks to the good-natured Etna, which supplies the inhabitants of Catania with some of the best pistachios in the world, and this taste has a huge impact on the local cuisine.
Regardless of whether you like meat or you are vegetarians, or you prefer sweet or salty – the incredibly diverse Katan cuisine will satisfy every, even the most demanding person!
Besides, in the south of Italy there’s nothing more important than food. Sicilians themselves can talk about it for hours. This is their meaning in life! There are even crossword puzzles with only this category! And Catania is the undisputed kingdom of delicious street food.
Therefore, only through delicious food (a lot of food!) You will experience the real Sicily and understand the local culture. So, if you really love to eat, I recommend you to spend more time in Catania, instead of overpaying for the same (or worse) in touristic Taormina.
And if you would like to get to know the tastiest corners of Eastern Sicily and Catania, sign up to the waiting list for my culinary guides!
Thanks to them, you will learn the addresses of unique bars and restaurants, inaccessible to ordinary tourists, where mainly locals go, and you will save money spent on disappointing food, recommended by random people on Internet who spent little time in Sicily and did not manage to get to know it from the inside out. Click on the banner below for more details!
Much can be said about Catania, but not that it’s a quiet city. Local people are very expressive, they gesticulate a lot, they like to have loud discussions in the street accompanied by espresso.
Don’t be fooled by the empty streets and the apparent silence on the weekends between 2pm and 6pm. It’s just a Sicilian siesta! The city awakens lazily to life around 7 p.m. and turns up for good at 10 p.m. Then you can meet a lot of Sicilians on the streets of Catania and be a witness of a real fashion show!
Therefore, if you are the proverbial “owl” and appreciate the rich nightlife, I guarantee you that you’ll love Catania. Mingle to the crowd of locals and… have fun! Even on a winter Monday after 11pm, the premises aren’t empty – especially since Sicilians tend to eat dinner veeery late 🙂
It all depends on what you are looking for. I’m always focused on delicious food and people – their behavior and habits. Catania isn’t a typical tourist city, so you can observe and experience the real Sicilian lifestyle there. I could write a book about the people of Catania and their kindness.
Besides, you have to adapt to Catania, not vice versa. Don’t be angry with her when all the restaurants are closed between 3pm and 7pm. It’s a good sign! This means that Sicilians eat in these places, and you’ll avoid a tourist menu that has little to do with Sicilian cuisine.
And the markets in Catania … If you want to get to know the true soul of this city, you must experience this amazing mixture of colors, fragrances, chaos and folklore on your own skin. You can read more about them in my E-book.
Catania and Etna are basically one and unbreakable thing. They can’t and couldn’t live without each other. Although the capricious volcano often manifest itself, the inhabitants of Catania have a passionate affection for it and speak only in superlatives. During numerous walks around Catania, one of my favorite pastimes is to look for Mount Etna in the distance and see if she decided to show her beautiful face this time or if she hid behind the clouds again.
Catania is definitely not a city for everyone. You need at least a few days to get to know it well, to be enchanted and feel the atmosphere. Don’t write it off just because theoretically it doesn’t impress at first sight!
Have you ever been to Catania? How was it? Let me know in the comments! Follow my Instagram profile to stay in touch with me and see the backstage of my culinary journeys 🙂