Tour of Sicily
Land of the Sun
- Spoken language:
Schengen Area: ID card or passport
Extra U.E.:short stays (3 months) passport valid at least three months after the departing date and if need be visa
- Power and Sockets:
- 230 V / 50 Hz - F Type Plug (Schuko) and L Type Plug
According to the historian Thucydides, Catania was founded on the hill today called of the Benedictines around 729 B. C. by the Chalkidians of Naxos with the name of Katane, which means “grater”,”knackery” to remember the lava soil on which it stands.
In the following century, the legislator Caronda gave the city a system of moderate inspiration, halfway between oligarchy and democracy. In 476 BC, Catania was conquered by the tyrant Lerone of Syracuse who deported the inhabitants from Catania, refounding and repopulating it with Syracusans and Greeks. The original inhabitants could only return from Lentini in 461. During the Punic wars, the city was conquered by the Romans, 263 BC, and was able to maintain a considerable wealth until the imperial age, in fact we still find today architectural testimonies of the Augusteo period. Following the barbarian invasions and the Byzantine conquest in 535, the city experienced a period of decadence. New vitality was infused by the Muslim occupation in the ninth century with a redistribution of land and a great revival of agricultural and commercial activities. Since 1071, with the Norman conquest, the Cathedral was built as a church-fortress and numerous monasteries to which the newly established latifundas were ceded. This new land structure caused an economic crisis that worsened further with the 1169 earthquake. Towards the end of the twelfth century and much of the thirteenth, during what is known as the Swabian age, Frederick II commissioned the construction of the Ursino Castle, to complete his work of fortification of this part of Sicily, and above all as a symbol of his power.
With the advent of the Aragonese at the end of the 13th century, Catania began a new period of recovery and cultural fervour, also thanks to the rivalry with Palermo. More and more often it was chosen as the seat of the court, and here was founded the first Sicilian university, the prestigious Siculorum Gymnasium. However, a difficult economic situation badly managed by the Spanish domination, together with a tragic earthquake in 1693 and an eruption in 1669 saw a Catania devastated by the events. A period of small recoveries and new crises until the nineteenth century when Catania was elected provincial capital and began a constant expansion into new areas. The nineteenth century saw the city flourish splendidly from a cultural point of view, from a worldly, literary, musical and theatrical point of view, so much so that it still today represents a particularly active and modern centre.
Official website of the city
For general information visit the site:
Tourist Information Office
Info Point Aeroporto Internazionale “Vincenzo Bellini”
Fontanarossa – Catania
Info Point Palazzo Minoriti
Via Etnea, 63/65 – Catania
Tel. +39 095 4014070
Fire Department 115
Healthcare Emergency 118
Travel Informed (CCISS) 1518
Catania enjoys a Mediterranean climate, with some subtropical and continental features. The winters of short duration are characterized by non-rigid daytime temperatures and cool at night especially in the plain of Catania and with the approach to Etna. The summers are very hot but not humid, thanks to the sea breeze of east.
Acireale Km. 21
Nicolosi Km. 31
Augusta Km. 47
Taormina Km. 55
Siracusa Km. 65
Piazza Armerina Km. 98
Gela Km. 101
Ragusa Km. 103
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