Catania Inside the city of Catania you can discover the secrets and hidden wonders of places magically sculpted over time. Culture, origins, traditions and history of a city with a magical atmosphere where folklore sees the most truthful expression in the feast of St. Agatha and its historical markets. Of crucial importance is a visit to the cathedral square, surrounded by baroque palaces, the center of the square stands the Elephant Fountain, a very special monument and symbol of the city, consisting of a lava elephant holding an Egyptian obelisk. On the north side of the square stands the magnificent Town Hall and opposite the Palace of the former Seminary of the Clerics. On the east side stands the majestic architecture of the Cathedral, in the nearby of the splendid Palazzo Biscari, a magnificent example of baroque Catania and the great eighteenth-century Benedictine Monastery of St. Nicholas Arena, originally built in 1558, rebuilt after the 1693 earthquake and even expanded on most grandiose facility in 1703. the Castello Ursino, built by Frederick II of Swabia, now houses the Museo Civico. Important the spectacular via Etnea, Catania’s historic drawing room, and the Via dei Crociferi with its superb churches including that of St. Benedict and St. Giuliano. Among the testimonies of classical times we find the Greek Theatre and the Roman Amphitheatre. A rich program of opera and symphonic is held in the beautiful Teatro Massimo.
Acireale The city of “hundred bell towers”, home of the flowered baroque, the spa town, home to ancient religious and folk. Undisputed “queen” of the Sicilian Carnival preserves the best traditions, such as the Opera dei Pupi or the typical pastry. Near the city of Catania, between the volcano and the Ionian coast, it founded on lava stone making up most of the streets and buildings of the eighteenth century. Of ancient origin, its foundation goes back even to the legendary Cyclops. The 1693 earthquake destroyed it but was rebuilt with its baroque aspect has many valuable buildings and monuments contained mainly in the Piazza del Duomo. Just the Duomo is an admirable architecture of the baroque period with a facade in Romanesque-Gothic style, the Latin cross decorated with precious frescoes and antique paintings. In Piazza del Duomo is the seventeenth-century Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul church tower with a spire. The square is closed on the south side by the magnificent Town Hall, with rusticated façade typically seventeenth-century and superb shelves carved with typical exuberance of the flowered baroque Catania, near the Basilica of St. Sebastian, patron of the city, with sumptuous Baroque façade preceded by a balustrade crowned by ten statues. The feast of the patron saint, St. Sebastian, is celebrated on January 20. The statue of the saint is carried in procession on a silver fercolo driven by devotees belonging to various brotherhoods. Interestingly Folklore Theatre which houses the Opera performances Puppet and its Carnival, the most beautiful of Sicily, and perhaps among the most beautiful in Italy.
Caltagirone pottery town of Baroque aristocratic profile, is famous for its ceramics. The historical center, as well as numerous historical monuments and churches, houses more than one hundred workshops arranged between the square in the heart of the old village and its main streets. Renowned worldwide for the production of ceramics that can be seen in various parts of the city, such as in the Villa, the public garden adorned with glittering tiles, and in front of the terrace is also decorated with colorful ceramics, standing next to a beautiful palace in steps and balustrades all covered with majolica reliefs which houses the State Museum of Ceramics, interesting exhibition that illustrates the history of the Sicilian ceramics from prehistoric times to today. A visit is a must to the Cathedral, building of the Norman period but rebuilt several times, the long building of the Court Capitaniale, with a parade of ornate doorways and windows, so the Town Hall Square and at the bottom of it a long flight of steps, called the “scale”, on top of which stands the eighteenth-century church of Santa Maria del Monte, where he venerated the image of the Madonna Conadomini. The dramatic staircase lined with polychrome majolica tiles, made by local potters, sums up the spirit of Caltagirone and joins the upper town to the lower town and was built in 1608 by architect Giuseppe Giacalone.