Buongiorno! As you sip your espresso and the sun rises over Mount Etna and the sparkling Ionian coast, you’re planning a leisurely day of sightseeing during your summer break in Catania. But where to begin? |
If you’re an art connoisseur, the choice isn’t easy: Catania’s intricately decorated buildings are not only magnificent from the outside, but also enclose a wealth of enchanting paintings and statues. If you’re looking for a guide to help you navigate Catania’s artistic scene, begin with my three favourite spots in the city!
Palazzo degli Elefanti
In Catania’s cathedral square, you’ll stop in your tracks when you lay your eyes on the imposing Palazzo degli Elefanti. Built shortly after Catania’s biggest earthquake in the seventeenth century, this palace is the perfect place to quench your thirst for spectacular art. Along with the Baroque-style building’s sensational facade, its interior contains a wealth of frescoes and paintings, some of which are by the renowned Sicilian painter Giuseppe Sciuti. Given the palace’s and its artwork’s beauty, it’s not at all surprising that the site serves as Catania’s town hall today.
Basilica della Collegiata
After visiting the Palazzo degli Elefanti, you probably won’t stop raving about the building’s beautiful Baroque style. Luckily, you’ll have another chance to view another, equally stunning Baroque building: the Basilica della Collegiata. As a prime instance of Sicilian Baroque architecture, this eighteenth-century church has an impressive dome and vaults, which are adorned with intricate frescoes by Giuseppe Sciuti. If you walk around the Basilica, you’re sure to spot skilfully painted depictions of various Angels, Saints, and of the Life of Mary.
To top off your summer break in Catania, be sure to pop into the Catania Cathedral, whose array of paintings, monuments, and tombs are truly a sight to behold. The Baroque cathedral, which dates back to the eleventh century but was rebuilt in the seventeenth century, contains extraordinary seventeenth-century paintings depicting saints, one of which was created by the celebrated Belgian painter Michaël Borremans. You also won’t want to miss the charming Baroque-style monument that honours Catania’s Bishop Pietro Galletti, who died in the mid-eighteenth century.
Before concluding your visit, don’t forget to venture into the Chapel of the Holy Crucifix, which was constructed by Domenico Mazzola in the sixteenth century and contains lavishly decorated tombs.
How to Get There
Lucky for you, Catania has a local airport: Catania Fontanarossa. This airport is easily accessible from many famous European cities, including London, Rome, Madrid, and Paris. To make your life even easier, consider pre-booking a shared or private airport transfer with Shuttle Direct, whose outstanding and always-helpful drivers will make sure that your summer break in Catania starts quickly and comfortably.
Lukas Johannes is a driver for Shuttle Direct, the number one provider of shared and private airport transfers all over Europe and northern Africa. If you’re planning a relaxing summer break in Catania, Lukas and his colleagues can make sure that you and your luggage get to and from the airport swiftly and safely.
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