Catania

Taormina and Greek Theatre

You will depart from the port of Catania by AC deluxe coach and with your local guide.

You will reach Taormina, a town with a charming medieval character, perched on a natural terrace overlooking the beautiful coastline and Mount Etna.

You will first stop to admire the famous Palazzo Corvaja, a 15th Century Palace. The building is indicative of the architectural style of the period and is adorned with classic double windows. The portal is in Gothic-Catalan style. In 1410 it was the seat of the Sicilian Parliament.

The guide will then lead you to the imposing Theatre.

The ancient Greek theatre in Taormina, is a beautiful example of Greek architecture. Its setting, acoustics, preservation and care of construction is the reminder of the ancient splendor. The monument dates back to the 2nd century BC and these ruins are still used for performances.

Fantastic views overlook the bay of Naxos out to the Calabrian coasts, Mount Etna, and the majestic Castle Mola.

Before returning to the ship, there will be time for some free time in “Corso Umberto”, with its elegant shops, restaurants and cafés.

 

Catania City Tour

Depart from the port towards Catania town centre, famous for its artistic and naturalistic views. The baroque town of Catania, surrounded by orange orchards and lava stone coasts, is dominated by the view of Mount Etna, more than 3,000 metres high.

Your knowledgeable local guide will make you discover the highlights of the centre.

Hidden behind a fountain in one corner of Catania’s Piazza Duomo lies the city’s bustling fish market (La Pescheria). From the hectic central area, red-canopied stalls sprawl through the adjoining labyrinth of narrow medieval streets and shadowy alleys. Vendors peddle all varieties of fresh seafood, meat, fruit, vegetables, cheese and nuts. This makes the market similar to an Arab ‘Souk’.

You will then continue through the main points of the old city.

The Castello Ursino, which is an severe and solid-looking structure built on the sea-front by Frederick II of Swabia, now not so close to the sea because of the lava flow that invaded the city in 1669 pushing the water offshore.

The Teatro Antico (Ancient Theatre), whose current layout goes back to the Roman Age even if there is the possibility that it was built on an older Greek site.

It was made of lava stone, while seats were of white limestone or marble, and had a capacity of up to 7000 spectators.

The Cathedral, dedicated to S. Agata, Catania’s patron saint, erected in the late 11th century at Roger I’s behest, and rebuilt after the 1693’s earthquake. Its façade stands among Vaccarini’s masterpieces. Along via Vittorio Emanuele II, by the courtyard of the Bishop’s Palace, one can admire the tall lava apses, of Norman age. The cathedral’s solid-looking structure suggests that it was conceived as a fortified church.

Via Crociferi, regarded as Catania’s baroque street par excellence. Several buildings, particularly in its first section, give the place a magnificent effect.

Fountain of the Elephant, conceived in 1735, it recalls Bellini’s famous obelisk in Piazza Minerva, Rome. The black lava elephant, perhaps of Byzantine epoch, graces the square since the 1500’s; it stands on a stone platform and bears on its back an ancient Egyptian obelisk covered with hieroglyphics that celebrate the cult of Isis.

 

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Mount Etna Drive

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Mount Etna 4×4 Expedition

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