An Ideal Day in Catania, Sicily (Italy) – Activities and the Best Eateries – Video

An Ideal Day in Catania, Sicily (Italy) – Activities and the Best Eateries – Video

Catania is a city with a story to tell, and in this YouTube video, we’ve got a whole day dedicated to sharing it with you. In this Catania travel guide, we take you through the best things to do in Catania and where to eat while also delving into the city’s rich history. Whether you’re planning to travel to Sicily or just curious about what Catania is like, this video serves as your one-stop guide to getting to know Sicily’s second-largest city, Catania.

The video features a detailed itinerary of things to do and places to eat in Catania, including staying at a B&B in a great location, breakfast at Prestipino, visiting Piazza del Duomo, the Basilica Cattedrale di Sant’Agata, exploring Pescheria di Catania, Teatro Romano Antico, Castello Ursino, and dining at local restaurants such as La Pentolaccia and A Putia Dell’Ostello.

The video is not just a guide to tourist spots but also shares a brief history of the city, including the significance of the elephant as Catania’s symbol and its connection to the city’s culture and mythology.

The hosts, Juliana and Martin, provide a local’s perspective, giving viewers an immersive experience of the city’s unique charm. The video is informative, engaging, and offers practical tips for travelers looking to make the most of their time in Catania.

So, if you’re looking to uncover the essence of Catania, this video promises to be a valuable resource for planning a memorable and enriching experience in this vibrant Sicilian city. Whether you’re a history buff, a foodie, or a traveler seeking off-the-beaten-path experiences, The PERFECT day in Catania, Sicily is sure to inspire your next adventure.

Watch the video by Tourist to Local

Video Transcript

I’m going to try horse. You heard it  right, I’m going to eat horse. So,   let’s catch you up on things. We’re Juliana and  Martin, and we make travel videos. And this time,   we’re in Sicily, where I have some family. We’ve  seen the tourists, hung out with the locals,  

Explored off the beaten path, and  shared some great dishes. And now,   we’re in Catania. Nestled at the foot of the  ever-grumbling Mount Etna, Catania is a city   with a story to tell. And guess what? We’ve  got a whole day here to share it with you.

We’re talking about elephants that are more than  just statues, a migrating castle, a theater that’s   seen a lot of drama, and dinners right in the  heart of Mount Etna’s aftermath. Welcome to   Catania. So, we are very excited today to discover  Catania. Oh my gosh, it’s the second-largest city  

In Sicily. In terms of where we stayed, we picked  this B&B. It’s cute, it’s in a great location,   and pretty affordable. That’s right, it has  everything that we wanted. But you said it   already, the best location. So, we’re nearby  everything over here in the center. Luckily,  

We can walk to everywhere. So, what do you say  we head to our first spot? Let’s get there. They were happy, so we have to be happy. Martin,  I can’t think of a more idyllic way to start our  

Day in Catania than sitting here right now.  Yeah, we’re in a café that has a great spot.   It’s going to be like a two-for-one. Yeah, it  is, or more like a three-for-one. That’s right   because we’re showing you guys everything over  here in the center of Catania. But in this café,  

We have a great view of everything. It’s a Sunday,  by the way, so the city is coming to life. It is,   it’s so nice walking here in the morning. Really  worth it, getting up early because the sun was   starting to come up. You’re passing by these  like four-story grand buildings, just boulevards  

All the way down. And then you come across this  place, which is called Piazza del Duomo. Right,   that is correct. That’s the name of the actual  plaza we’re in. And right on the other side,   there’s another place called Prestipino. Yes, it’s  just in front of the cathedral, the cathedral over  

Here of Santa Agata. And also, the famous fountain  with the elephant, that is the sign of the city.   We’re going to explain a little bit more about  that, but it’s just beautiful. I already saw   three elephants just on our way here today.  Yeah, that’s right, it’s full of elephants,  

This place. But this café, it’s very famous  for their cannoli. So, that’s exactly what   we’re having for breakfast. It’s a Sunday, don’t  judge us. And we’re having our best time. Yeah,   we’re taking advantage of every single meal here,  eating as much Sicilian food as possible. Which,  

By the way, last week we published a whole  video showcasing all the dishes you have to   try in Sicily. So, uh, don’t watch that one  too hungry. In the meantime, cheers. Cheers. Sometimes when you go to plazas like this,  you’re paying for the view, and the food is  

Mediocre. But in this case, this is probably the  best cannoli we’ve had on our trip here so far.   So good. Back to the elephants. So, we have  this beautiful statue that is very, very old,   made by volcanic rock. During an earthquake  in 1693, it was damaged, but they rebuilt  

It. Then they built this beautiful fountain that  represents three different cultures. Of course,   the elephant from Catania. Then we have the  obelisk that represents Egypt, that actually   they believe they brought it from there. And at  the top is Christianity, uh, that is the symbol  

Of Santa Agata, that is the saint of the city.  It’s like a mix of different cultures, just like   Sicily. You know, it’s beautiful. But let’s talk  a little bit more about why elephants are the   symbol of the city of Catania, because it’s pretty  wild. So, picture this, Sicily, a melting pot of  

Cultures, right? Back in 278 BC, they’re having  a tough time with the Carthaginians. They call   up this Greek king, Pyros, who rolls in with not  just an army but 26 war elephants. Imagine seeing   those beasts for the first time. They help kick  the Carthaginians out, and suddenly everyone in  

Catania is like, elephants are our heroes. But  there’s more. These elephants also get linked   to Dionysus, the Greek god of the good times  and wine, who’s big in Sicily. People thought   Dionysus traveled on elephants, so they  became this symbol of joy and protection,  

Especially against Mount Etna’s fiery temper. So,  the elephant ends up as Catania’s symbol, kind of   a mix of a war hero, party animal, and guardian  against volcanoes. Pretty wild, huh? And if you’re   asking if it’s a female or a male elephant,  it’s a male. We know they make sure everybody  

Knows it’s a male. Our parents are not going to  appreciate the last shot. Oh, look at the church. We took a second to walk into the  Basilica Cattedrale di Sant’Agata,   which is a stunning example of Baroque  architecture that is dedicated to Saint Agata,  

Catania’s patron saint. Originally constructed  in the 11th century, it’s faced its earthquakes   and volcanic eruptions, but each time it was  rebuilt more magnificent than before. Oh,   and speaking of volcanoes, there’s a reason  we keep mentioning them. The temperamental  

Mount Etna is right here. This moody mountain is  one of the most active volcanoes in the world,   and it was puffing away just a few days before we  shot this, probably trying to remind us that it’s  

Still the boss around here. But let’s try not to  think about that. You know, at tourist to local,   we look at the touristic places but also the local  part. This is the fish market, and of course,  

You have to remember we’re on an island, so this  is one of the most fresh and good stuff. He said   it, you know. So, this is a good place where  the locals buy their food because it’s a very  

Important part of the Sicilian food. So, this is  very important for the city, and we have seen a   couple of things. And what we learned a couple of  weeks ago, that we were spending time with locals,  

Is you can learn a lot just by visiting a market.  The official name of this place is Pescheria di   Catania, and it’s a vibrant spectacle. Swordfish  heads and mussels shine in the sunlight while   vendors yell their prices, and equally as vocal  locals yell back. The whole affair is comical.  

Amidst this bustling scene, a local man bursts  into our shot, and we aren’t surprised. Sicilians   have been eager to talk to us and just make sure  we’re having a good time. They’re the best hosts.

For us, it turns out this market is also more than  just fish. We ran into many antiques here as well,   and maybe the fish smells were just getting  to our head, but we kind of had this idea for  

Some souvenirs we could take back. Now, you guys  know by now that Martin and I, we don’t normally   buy souvenirs when we travel, and there’s a few  reasons for that. One, we barely ever have room   to take stuff back, and two, we don’t like buying  things that everybody else already has. But I  

Think I might have just found my new souvenir to  collect, and it was all inspired by after walking   through the fish market, coming across the regular  market. There was a box of photographs and a box   of really old postcards. I went nuts. I got  three. I have this idea of putting together  

Like a scrapbook of like someone’s postcard from  Agrigento from years ago with this cute little   message. These people were married in Catania  in 1952, and then there’s this old picture of   Venice from 1967. These are moments in time that  probably no one ever expected some girl from the  

United States to be putting in a scrapbook, but  I don’t know, there’s something charming about   it. And Martin got a coin, right? He loves  to buy coins and bills when he’s traveling,   especially ones that are really, really old. So,  those are some fun, fun little souvenir items that  

You kind of have to work for. You’re not always  going to find, but when you do, it’s magical. And in the spirit of stepping into the past,  let’s head to our next spot. The Teatro Romano   Antico is not another ancient ruin where you  used to nod and pretend to be deeply moved  

By a pile of old rocks. This place is actually  cool. Built by the Greeks in the 7th Century BC,   then given a Roman facelift a few centuries later,  this theater has seen more drama offstage than   on it. It survived earthquakes, eruptions  from Mount Etna, and centuries of tourists  

Tramping through. And guess what? It’s still used  today for concerts and events, but these days,   with a couple of less togas. From the outside,  it doesn’t look that old. It’s like a regular   building, but when you get inside, you see this  piece of art, and it’s very well preserved for  

Something that’s been here for the last 2,700  years. They have the phrase, “As long as they   are fed and as long as they are entertained,  they’re not going to give you trouble.” So,   the fights with the gladiators and also these  theaters are what kept them entertained. That’s  

Why you can see a lot of these places around  ancient Rome. The best part about this theater, in   my opinion? There are tons of cats here, right in  center stage, making their own little performance. So, the thing that stands out to me about  Catania is that it’s totally different  

Than the other two cities we’ve seen so far. In  Taormina, you have more of the hills, touristy,   small little alleys. Agrigento, way more laid-back  living. Catania has its own different animal. Part   of the charm is its walkability. While here, we  walk everywhere, never knowing what will be around  

Each corner. Eventually, our wandering led us to  this spot across town. Like our friend Agatino   that we met earlier was insinuating, Sicily has  a plethora of resources and is a very strategic   place to be located, which means that castles  like this one were needed. That’s right, and also,  

Only in Sicily can you find a mixture of cultures  like, for instance, finding a Greek theater,   then a Roman arch, then an Egyptian obelisk.  This castle, like the mixture of cultures,   is amazing. That’s what makes Sicily so  unique. So, we’re here at Castello Ursino,  

And we’re going to take a look inside. It’s €11  to enter this one. Built in the 13th century by   Frederick II, this castle was originally  a beachfront property until Mount Etna,   in his typical dramatic fashion, decided to  remodel the landscape. Now, it’s awkwardly inland,  

Making it the medieval equivalent of a beach house  without a beach. Seriously, with all this volcano   action we keep mentioning, you’ve got to wonder  about the insurance premiums in Catania. They   must be through the roof. Anyway, fast forward  to today, and this once fearsome fortress is now  

A cultural center, housing the Civic Museum.  The museum is crammed with art, artifacts,   and the kind of historical stuff that makes  you go, “Huh, neat.” But let’s talk about the   real surprise, the photography exhibit upstairs.  I’m not usually one for getting misty-eyed over  

Art. My idea of culture is a deep dive into  the world of street food. But this exhibit,   it got me. And I think looking at all those photos  in the antique market gave me a new perspective   on capturing single moments in time. Anyway,  enough being sappy. Let’s go eat more food.

In Italy, you can have pasta in a restaurant, you  can have it on a terrace, you can have it inside,   outside, but we’re going to have it in a cave made  of lava from Etna. That’s something to tell. So,  

We learned that this place is open for lunch, but  the cave part is only open for dinner after 5:30,   7:30, after 7:30. So, what do you guys say we come  back here for dinner? But in the meantime, let’s  

Find a different lunch option. So, for lunch, we  found La Pentolaccia, that is over here in the   San Berillo district. We wanted to come over here  because we heard at night it’s a popular place to   come over here, but at night, you guys already  know, we have an appointment over there. So,  

We’re over here for lunch, and we’re going to  try a Catanian dish that is very famous. So,   we were on the hunt for Catania’s most famous  pasta dish. We’re going to find it over here.   The name of the dish is Pasta alla Norma,  and while you can find it all over Sicily,  

The real deal is from Catania. At its base, you  have perfectly cooked pasta, which is topped with   fried eggplant, a vibrant tomato sauce, and a  crumbly ricotta salata. And those of you loyal   subscribers who saw last week’s food video already  know about this dish because we shared it in our  

Video showcasing 12 dishes to try in Sicily.  So, you already know we love this one. So good.   The pasta over here is incredible. This place is  now crowded, so it should be a good place to eat. After lunch, we decided to walk around the San  Berillo District. It seems like there’s tons of  

Street art, a nice place to just get lost, and  there seems to not be many tourists here at this   time of day. This neighborhood has seen it all,  from being a thriving hub in the 1950s to getting  

A bit of a shady rep, and now it’s strutting its  stuff as an up-and-coming area. It’s a mishmash of   old and new, where graffiti art gives ancient  walls a modern facelift, and trendy bars sit   next to time-worn buildings. Now, let’s be real,  after soaking in all that culture and history,  

We did what any self-respecting thirty-something  would do. We headed straight back to our bed   and breakfast for some quality time with the  air conditioning and a few hours of blissful   disassociation. Turns out, once you hit the  big 3-0, naps become more of a necessity,  

Especially when you’re in the business  of making travel videos. By the way,   subscribe if you like what we do.  Your support keeps us going. Well,   that and a good afternoon nap. Fast forward, it’s  time for dinner, so we’re going back to our cave.

Turns out, they weren’t sitting in the  cave for whatever reason this night,   but we were still allowed to take a peek, and  our table was technically still underground,   but just cave-adjacent. And that’s okay  because Martin has a great point. Is it  

Rock bottom to be eating in a cave? Now,  what’s interesting about today also is,   I’m going to try horse. You heard it right,  I’m going to eat horse. Actually, it’s not   something very strange over here in Sicily. If  you go into the supermarket and you go into the  

Baby food aisle, you will find jars made out of  horses. So, it’s something common over here on   the island. Actually, I was very surprised when  my little cousin was small, and my aunt, she was   giving that. I was like, “What? Horse?” Well,  it’s going to be the first time I will try it,  

And I will let you guys know how it was. Like a  hamburger, almost. The way that they prepared it,   it’s exactly like a hamburger. I give it a four  out of five. Personally, I just rather have a  

Regular hamburger, but it was fun to try. I’m not  as risky as Martin, and I ordered just a pizza.   They do freaking good pizza here. I’ve heard  that a lot of the locals of Catania come here,  

And I can see why. This looks delicious. It was  probably meant to share, but I will be eating   the entire thing by myself. Whoa. So, I went for  one with buffalo cheese, basil, tomato. Amazing.

And we’re ending the day where we started it,  back in Piazza del Duomo. The best way to see it,   and look at the sun right now,  it’s turning that into gold. Yeah,   ten times more busy though than this morning.  But anyway, we left you guys this video for  

You guys to watch next. We’re having a whole  big series around Sicily, seeing some really   cool places. So long. Make the world your  neighborhood. See you guys next time. Bye.

Video “The PERFECT day in Catania, Sicily (Italy) – Things to do and Where to Eat” was uploaded on 02/04/2024. Watch all the latest Videos by Tourist to Local on Gretopia