Facing the Ionian Sea, Catania lies under the shade of Mount Etna. It has been Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Arab, Norman, Swabian, Angevin, Aragonese, Spanish and, in its 2700 years of history, has experienced periods of splendor that are still visible in its nearby villages and this makes it unique.
Today visitors can admire one of the most beautiful cities in Sicily, with a coastline that alternates between sandy beaches and lava rocks, and whose Baroque architecture is a UNESCO World Heritage.
Via Etnea, Via Vittorio Emanuele and the adjacent streets are a succession of eighteenth century buildings, including Palazzo Biscari, the most important and imposing city mansion, in Cathedral Square stands out the Cathedral and, going up to Via Antonino di San Giuliano, after the ManganelliPalace, crosses Via dei Crucifer,an ancient roman-era sacred street, with its extraordinary theory of churches and convents in the Baroque style.
Further up there is Piazza Dante and the colossal Monastery of San Nicolò the Arena – known as the Benedictines – a masterpiece of the late Sicilian baroque and a monastic complex which is among the largest in Europe, in which is housed a Domus Romana, the cloisters and a wonderful roof garden
There are numerous Roman-era records in Catania, including the ancient RomanTheatre, which boasts Greek origins and borders a minor theatre called Odeon,and theRoman Amphitheatre of Piazza Stesicoro,also part of the Greek-Roman Archaeological Park of Catania.
In the 13th century Frederick II of Svevia did not fail to erect, as a symbol of authority and imperial power, Castello Ursino, a colossal manor that is now the Civic Museum of the city.