Catania monuments - Catania historical buildings - Catania Via dei Crociferi - Catania Bellini Theater - Catania Piazza Duomo - Italy Katane - travel links
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Catania Guide Italy

Historical buildings and monuments

Getting there
History and culture

Churches and Museums
Historical buildings and monuments

Eating and drinking
Hotels and lodgings

La Dolce Vita

A special day
Caltagirone: the pottery city
Mount Etna and nearby area

Directories of Web Sites
Catania Italy
Catania Hotels
Catania Guide in PDF format

Historical buildings and monuments

Botanic gardens
These beautiful gardens spread over a surface area of 16,000 square meters where there are also some neoclassical buildings. Inside these buildings that are used as greenhouses, there are many rare, exotic, aquatic and Sicilian plants.

Bellini Gardens
This is the Catania inhabitants’ famous place for relaxing, going for a walk and admiring the wonderful view that spreads from the city to Mount Etna. The Villa Bellini Gardens spread over about 70,000 square meters where there are avenues, squares, bridges, borders and fountains. There are statues representing the seven arts at the main entrance to the gardens.

Via dei Crociferi
This Avenue is a true triumph of eighteenth-century Baroque style, one of the most charming in Catania, where there is a never-ending, opulent line of religious buildings such as the Church of San Benedetto, the Church of the Jesuits and the Church of San Giuliano.

Piazza Duomo
This is the heart of Catania, with the city’s symbol monument: the fountain with the Elephant. The city’s cathedral with the Chapel of Sant’Agata looks out onto this square, where precious treasures are kept. There is also Palazzo degli Elefanti which is the City Hall. One of Catania’s most interesting roads starts from Piazza Duomo - Via Etnea, where there are splendid Baroque buildings with lava dust façades and a multitude of shops and confectioners.

The Elephant
The Elephant, symbol of the city of Catania since 1200, is located in the center of Piazza Duomo. This is a lava-stone statue that dates back to the Roman era, mounted on a more modern structure by Vaccarini from the eighteenth century. Legend goes that this animal became the city symbol because in ancient times pigmy elephants lived in this place, that protected the city’s inhabitants by chasing away fierce animals.

Castel Ursino
This fortress is the only medieval building that survived the destruction that nature wreaked upon the city and is still almost intact today. It was built around 1240 to protect the city from the sea, and was used as a royal residence and as a prison. It has been the home of the Civic Museum since 1934 and it houses paintings, sculptures, bronzes and ceramics from various eras.

Bellini Theater
This impressive theater was opened in 1890 with the staging of Bellini’s famous opera the “Norma”. The Theater style reminds one of the Opera House in Paris: there is a lot of wrought iron in the portico, a large theater with four tiers and a gallery, corridors, and frescoed ceilings.

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