Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Holiday in Sicily: Catania

After several relaxing days we decided to venture from the Hotel and see some more of Sicily. We decided to start with Catania. A tourist and student hub Catania was destroyed by earthquake and volcanic eruptions in the 17th century and rebuilt in the baroque style.  Etna is still a visible presence on the horizon.

The drive to Catania was my second attempt at driving on the right. Again it made me curse Italian drivers for the total lack of empathy. They seem intent of barging through the smallest of gaps only to sit in traffic, honking their horns and gesticulating from behind the wheel.

Stall on the Catania fish market
We made the trip parking a short walk from the centre. Heading first to the fish market, we were pleasantly surprised to find a vibrant market with all sorts of fish from swordfish stake to sea urchins.

After absorbing the sights and smells of the market we stopped for a granita and a coffee in the centre of the town, the Fontana dell'Elefante. An impressive centre flanked by the Cathedral, the centre of which is taken by a rather odd looking statue of a smiling elephant topped with an Egyptian obelisk.

Bellini Theatre
We took a walk around Catania taking in the Cathedral, and the Bellini Theatre. As with Acireale there were many boutique shops. The outsides are sometimes scruffy but looking inside they are often incredible displays, almost art like in there objectification of the wares.

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