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CruiseDirection - Magazine May 2019

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The summers are long and hot with the warmest months being June and July with temperatures reaching up to 45°. Winters are mild and can be wet during the cooler months of November through to April. Most rainfall is concentrated from October to March, leaving late spring and summer virtually dry. Snow is very rare, due to the presence of Etna that protects the city from the northern winds. Occasional snow flurries have been seen over the years in the hilly districts.

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Why visit Catania ?

Catania location iamge - CruiseDirection

Situated along the northeast coast of Sicily

Graced by wide boulevards, lush parks and spacious piazzas

The open air market is just behind the cathedral which is bustling with people, stalls and merchandise. The most interesting parts are the fish market (pescheria), full of glistening fresh fish and shellfish. and the butchers who display their meat in such a way to show that it has freshly been slaughtered. The warren of streets around the fish market is a good place to explore.

The tourist offices are in the centre: Via Etnea, 63, at the railway station (Stazione Centrale FF.SS) and at the port ( Stazione Marittima).

Catania has a compact centre and it is most convenient just to walk around. However if you want to venture further there is good public transport to all parts of Sicily. e.g. Taormina only one hour and forty minutes by bus. There are some nine buses a day, but on Sundays only three. Siracusa is one hour and twenty minutes and there are hourly buses and eleven on Sunday.

Mount Etna is by far the most popular tour for this destination and is Sicily’s tallest peak and one of Europe’s most famous active volcanoes. The volcano trek is one of the area’s attractions, and you may choose from a number of organized tours being offered. Find yourself along the lunar lava valleys or on some of the deserts in the island with a most knowledgeable and friendly guide. Other locations you can visit are the Castello Ursino, the Greek/Roman Theatre, the Odeon, the Benedictine Monastery and the Palazzo Biscari.

For a touch of retail therapy head towards Via Etnea. At Piazza del Duomo there are several restaurants and pizzerias. Spaghetti alla Norma is a local specialty, it’s cooked with tomatoes and eggplant. Very much worth a try. Whilst you’re there visit the Elephant Fountain which is a landmark to enter the main shopping district of Etnea. The Teatro Massimo is an 19th century old opera house found in Piazza Teatro. It is the place where young people in the neighborhood hangout after a very busy day. There are many cafes which offer free WiFi for customers, mostly around the main railway stations. Please make sure you can show your passport.

Catania is a port to be loved for its history, myths and  treasures. You will be greeted with a warm and enthusiastic welcome as you make your way and discover the variety of things to do during your time there.

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