Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Sicily: Catania

After spending the previous day celebrating Carnevale in Acireale, we headed to nearby Catania the next morning.

Catania is not a touristy city, and it has a bit of a reputation. At first, Antonino was planning on staying with the car while we went sightseeing. He thought it was at risk of getting stolen since it has foreign plates.

When we found a parking spot, we were greeted by a somewhat sketchy man who offered to guard the car for a fee.

This was not the only time that happened in Sicily. I was pretty doubtful of this system, but since Antonino seemed to accept it as normal, we went with it. It all worked out in the end, because the car was safe and no one had to miss out on sightseeing.

Walking through the beautiful streets of Catania, it's hard to imagine that such a place could have a not-so-great reputation.

Our first stop was the Duomo di Catania, the city's main cathedral. It is decorated in the baroque style, like most of the city.

The Piazza Duomo in front of the cathedral is famous for its Fontana dell'Elefante. The fountain dates from the 1700s, but the elephant (carved from lava stone) and obelisk are ancient. The elephant has been known as the symbol of Catania for centuries.

Threatening clouds were starting to appear, so we hurried to get to our next destination before the rain came. 

The Teatro Romano is from the 2nd century and was only recently uncovered and restored. Back when Antonino lived here about 30 years ago, it was not in a state to be open to the public.

My favorite part was this view of the lovely church in the distance! 

The rain was coming down by the time we finished touring the theater, so it was the perfect time to stop for lunch. Sketchy Car Watcher guy suggested a nearby restaurant.

It might have been the best meal I had in Sicily. I wish I had a picture of my pizza, but I was too excited to eat it so that didn't happen.

Our last stop in Catania was the Castello Ursino, home to an art museum. I've seen more impressive art in Italy elsewhere, but walking through a castle on a rainy day wasn't a bad way to spend the afternoon.

More of Sicily:

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