Catania, Sicily

We wrapped up our tour of Sicily in Catania, on the east coast.  On a clear day, we should be able to look down Via Etna and see Mt Etna.  But not today. 

DSC05231 C

 

Founded in 729 BC, Catania was a major power during the 4th and 5th centuries BC.   It was a prosperous commercial center during the 1600s until disaster struck in 1669, when Mt Etna erupted, engulfing the city in molten lava.  That was followed by an earthquake in 1693 that left 12,000 people dead.

The new city of Catania was designed to provide escape routes and shelter in case of another eruption.  Grand palazzi and churches were built out of the volcanic rock.

DSC05260 C

DSC05254 C

On the Piazza del Duomo is the Cattedrale di Sant’Agata.

DSC05270 C

These marble columns were taken from the ruins of the city’s Roman amphitheater.

DSC05240 C

DSC05233 C

DSC05237 C  DSC05239 C

DSC05238 C

DSC05236 C  DSC05234 Bellini's Tomb C

The famous Catanian composer, Vincenzo Bellini, is buried here.

DSC05230 Cattedrale di Sant'Agata C

DSC05262 dome of Chiesa Badia di Sant'Agata C  DSC05263 C

DSC05264 C  DSC05266 St Rosalia C

DSC05268 C

In the center of Piazza del Duomo is the Fontana dell’Elefante.  This black-lava elephant dates from Roman times.

DSC05271 C

DSC05258 C

DSC05269 C

DSC05228 Fontana dell'Amenano C  DSC05255 Amenano River & Fountain C

On the other side of the piazza is the Fontana dell’Amenano. It commemorates the Amenano River, which once ran above ground.  This is where the Greeks first founded the city of Katane (Catania).

DSC05256 C

La Pescheria, the fish market, is one of Catania’s most famous sites.

DSC05246 La Pescheria - Fish Market C

DSC05249 C

Will checked out the local coffee shop.

DSC05250 Coffee break C

DSC05251 C

DSC05252 C

DSC05253 C

DSC05242 C

DSC05244 C

This guy staked out a good spot and had a clever display for earrings and other jewelry.

DSC05243 C

DSC05245 C

For some more recent history of Sicily our group toured the Museum of the 1943 Landings in Sicily (Museo Storico dello Sbarco), housed in an unused brick factory that has been transformed into a cultural center near the main railway station. 

The July 10, 1943 Allied landing was the beginning of the end of the WWII conflict in Italy.  Nearly one year before D-Day, Allied troops found themselves fighting against – and at the same time liberating – their Italian adversaries. 

DSC05209 WWII Museum C

DSC05210 C

The museum recreates Catania street scenes from before the invasion.  We were taken into a mock bomb shelter to experience the shaking and noise of an air raid in an interactive simulation, then exited to a recreated scene of post-bombing devastation.

DSC05212 C

DSC05213 C

DSC05214 C

There are multiple galleries and exhibits of photos and artifacts that delve into the history surrounding the devastation in Sicily and its effect on the lives of the local people. 

DSC05216 C

DSC05217 C

DSC05218 C

DSC05219 C

DSC05220 C

DSC05221 C

DSC05222 C

DSC05223 C

DSC05224 C

The last evening of our tour we visited the Benanti Winery, on the slopes of Mt Etna.

DSC05276 Benanti Winery C

DSC05280 C

DSC05284 C

DSC05285 C

DSC05288 C

One of the Benanti brothers gave us the tour.

DSC05291 C

DSC05293 C  DSC05294 C

DSC05298 C

DSC05299 C

DSC05302 C

DSC05304 C

The original wine press

DSC05305 C  DSC05307 C

DSC05309 C  DSC05308 C

DSC05311 C

Our last Sicilian dinner

DSC05310 C  DSC05313 C 

DSC05314 C

Wine pairings with each course – one of the dishes was a risotto with herbed cream sauce and green tangerines.

DSC05315 C

DSC05316 C

It was a lovely evening and a lovely ending to our tour of Sicily. 

Advertisements

About graciamc

Gracia's Travels is a photo blog. I always take too many pictures on trips so I justify my compulsion with this blog! The blog is mostly photos - they tell the best part of the story. Please contact me if you would like to use any of my photos.
This entry was posted in Catania, Italy, Sicily and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Catania, Sicily

  1. Catherine says:

    Wow, you covered this tour from A to Z with everything imaginable shown. Thanks so much for that!

  2. jmfre2013 says:

    Hi Gracia, Such a lot of history in this town. I wondered what kind of escape routes they made for volcanic eruptions. Were they underground? Did your tour guide mention it at all. Thanks for the tour. Love, Janet

    >

  3. Mona Stage says:

    I now really want to travel to Sicily, your photos tell the story of your journey through this region of Italy.

  4. Tammy says:

    I am sad to end this beautiful tour of Sicily! I wish we had taken your offer to join you on this tour. As always, you do such an outstanding job of photos and information! Thank you so much for sharing!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s