Best of Catania

Top itineraries and travel advice in and around Catania
Spread along the Ionian Coast, Catania is a vibrant city with a Unesco-listed historic center, ancient ruins, and a buzzing restaurant and bar scene. Towering Mt Etna rises off in the distance and lures travelers with its lava-filled landscapes and crater views. Catania packs plenty of surprises from a famously raucous fish market (ringed by great seafood restaurants) to a 13th-century castle full of fine Greek and Roman art.   

Sicily’s second-largest city (after Palermo) takes its cuisine seriously, and previous kimkim travelers have tasted Catania’s delectable bites like arancini (fried rice balls) and cipolline (pastries filled with onion, tomato, mozzarella, and ham) on street food tours. You can also get a deeper understanding of Catania’s momentous history on walking tours through the historic core. Further afield, excursions to Mt Etna are a must. Nothing quite compares to walking the lunar landscapes of Europe’s highest active volcano.
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Taormina's Isola Bella
Map of Sicily Highlights Self-Drive Tour - 7 Days
Sicily Highlights Self-Drive Tour - 7 Days

Discover Sicily's highlights with this quick 7-day self-drive itinerary. Starting in the regional capital of Palermo, you'll spend time discovering the Norman-Byzantine Monreale Cathedral, before cutting across the island to explore the Greek temple ruins of Agrigento. Cap off the trip with four nights in Catania, the perfect access point to the Sicilian-Baroque cities of Ragusa Ibla, Modica, and Scicli, as well as the historic Syracuse and the elegant seaside town of Taormina.

Mt. Etna overlooking Taormina
Map of 7 Days in Sicily: Mount Etna, the Ionian Coast, and Cefalú
7 Days in Sicily: Mount Etna, the Ionian Coast, and Cefalú

This region of Sicily is perhaps the most popular part of the Mediterranean's most iconic island — and for good reason. Europe's largest volcano, ancient archeological sites, shimmering turquoise waters, and easy to navigate resort towns are all reasons travelers flock to this region of the island in droves each year. Step slightly off the beaten path, however, and it is still possible to catch a glimpse of the Ionian coast's beauty, history, and culture.

Cinque Terra hiking trail
Map of Best of Sicily: Palermo, Taormina, Catania - 7 Days
Best of Sicily: Palermo, Taormina, Catania - 7 Days

This 7-day highlights itinerary is perfect for travelers on a time crunch. Start in Palermo, voted in 2015 by Forbes as the European capital of street food, to explore Sicily's vibrant culture and history. Visit a variety of churches, from an Italo-Albanian Catholic Church to the 12th-century Monreale Cathedral, and learn how to prepare a 4-course Sicilian meal. Continue to sophisticated Taormina to explore the arts and hike to the top of Mount Etna. End your trip in Catania to see Baroque architecture and cool off with refreshing watermelon granitas. 

Seafood for sale at Vucciria market
Map of Best of Sicily: Palermo, Taormina, Catania - 10 Days
Best of Sicily: Palermo, Taormina, Catania - 10 Days

Cliff diving is the national pastime in Sicily, and it's easy to see why on this beautiful 10-day itinerary of the mountainous island. Begin your trip in diverse Palermo to discover history and culture through the medium of street food. Go back in time with a trip to the Cappuccini Catacombs and enjoy the sunshine and turquoise water on Mondello Beach. Explore art and history in Taormina and see Sicily from the top of Mount Etna, then end your trip with a street food tour in beautiful Catania.

Watermelon granita
Map of Best of Sicily: Palermo, Taormina, Catania - 11 Days
Best of Sicily: Palermo, Taormina, Catania - 11 Days

Sicilians consider themselves Sicilian first, and Italian second—discover the source of their fierce pride on this beautiful 11-day itinerary.  Start in culturally rich Palermo, voted by Forbes as the 2015 European food capital. See a variety of churches, from 12th-century to modern-day, and learn to make a traditional 4-course meal. Head to Taormina, where art and theater dominate the region. Catch a show at the Greek theater overlooking the Ionian Sea, then end your trip in bustling Catania—the perfect place to try finger-licking street food and enjoy views of Mt. Etna.

Levanzo Island
Map of Best of Sicily: Palermo, Syracuse, Taormina, & Catania - 15 Days
Best of Sicily: Palermo, Syracuse, Taormina, & Catania - 15 Days

Explore the best of Sicily on this 15-day itinerary, from Palermo's famous food scene to the Greek theater in Taormina. Visit Syracuse, the birthplace of Archimedes, to see the 2700-year-old town of Ortygia and sunny Arenella Beach. Spend four days enjoying nature and the arts in Taormina, then head to Catania, where filming sites from the Godfather trilogy, delicious street food, and bustling fish markets await.

Sicilian Cannolis with sweet filling
Map of Best of Sicily: Palermo, Taormina, Catania - 8 Days
Best of Sicily: Palermo, Taormina, Catania - 8 Days

Discover what drew ancient and modern people to strategically-located Sicily on this 8-day tour. Start in Palermo to explore its colorful history and exceptional food scene. See the 12th-century Norman Cattedrale, shop for lunch at the busy  Vucciria street market, and soak in the Mediterranean sunshine on the Mondello Beach. Continue to Taormina where you'll catch a performance at the Greek theater, see Sicily from the top of the Mount Etna volcano, and stuff yourself on delicious fried street food.

Palazzo Corvaja in Taormina
Map of Best of Sicily: Palermo, Taormina, Catania - 12 Days
Best of Sicily: Palermo, Taormina, Catania - 12 Days

A favorite with bikers and hikers, Sicily's hilly landscapes are also perfect for travelers who want big views, diverse cultures, and sunny weather. Explore all this and more on this packed 12-day itinerary, which starts in the food capital of Palermo. Tour medieval churches and relax on sunny beaches, then head to Taormina to dive into the arts and theater scene. Explore Mount Etna and the local winemaking culture, then end your trip in Catania, where churches, street food, and views of the Ionian Sea create the perfect Mediterranean atmosphere. 

Alicudi panoramic view
Map of Volcanoes of Sicily: Aeolian Islands & Mt. Etna - 9 Days
Volcanoes of Sicily: Aeolian Islands & Mt. Etna - 9 Days

Dominated by volcanic peaks, some of them still active, Sicily and the Aeolian islands offer dramatic coasts and fertile interiors. Explore the beautiful Aeolian Archipelago—7 diverse islands including Lipari, Vulcano, and Stromboli—whose active volcanic cone dominates the horizon. End your trip with a climb to the top of Mt Etna, Europe’s largest active volcano.

Cozy street in Savoca
Map of Best of Sicily: Palermo, Taormina, Catania - 9 Days
Best of Sicily: Palermo, Taormina, Catania - 9 Days

Explore why Sicily has been one of the world's most densely occupied regions for over 2,000 years on this colorful 9-day itinerary. Begin in the food capital of Palermo to see 12th-century churches, Italy's largest opera house, and learn to make a 4-course meal. Continue to the resort town of Taormina to hike Mount Etna, see a show at the Greek theater, and explore the beautiful little island of Isola Bella. End in Catania, where finger-licking street food and Baroque architecture dominate the scene.

Mazzarino Medieval Castle with Mt. Etna
Map of Best of Sicily: Palermo, Syracuse, Taormina, & Catania - 13 Days
Best of Sicily: Palermo, Syracuse, Taormina, & Catania - 13 Days

Sicily has long been a favorite with maritime travelers, and you'll fall in love as well on this incredible 13-day trip. Tour churches and busy street markets in Palermo, then head to Syracuse, home of the famed mathematician Archimedes. Haggle for your lunch at the bustling Ortygia Street Market and visit the 13th-century Castello Maniace before making your way up the coast to Taormino and Catania, where theater, street food, and seafront promenades are a trip highlight.

The Village of Ragusa
History and Architecture of Malta and Sicily - 9 Days

Combining the two islands of Malta and Sicily, this tour starts with ancient history and ruins in Valletta, where you'll visit prehistoric and medieval cities, a deep sea cave, and megalithic temples. Sail to Sicily on a catamaran to explore the island's impeccable baroque architecture in Ragusa, Noto, and Syracuse, then enjoy the history, views, and wine of Mount Etna. End your trip with a visit to ancient Greek and Roman ruins in Taormina, plus a Sicilian dinner in the city of Catania.

Village of Savoca
Map of Best of Sicily: Palermo, Syracuse, Taormina, & Catania - 14 Days
Best of Sicily: Palermo, Syracuse, Taormina, & Catania - 14 Days

If you have two weeks and a thirst for Sicilian sunshine, delicious street food, and fascinating culture, then this is the trip for you. Spend four days exploring Palermo's diverse history, shopping at bustling markets, and relaxing on sunny beaches. Visit Syracuse—home city of mathematician Archimedes—and explore the Old Town of Ortygia, then head to Taormina to hike Mount Etna and catch a performance at the ancient Greek Theater. End your trip with a street food tour and sunny views of the Ionian Sea in Catania. 

Views from Taormina's Belvedere
History and Architecture of Malta and Sicily - 10 Days

Starting in Valletta, Malta, this tour explores the island's ancient ruins and historical cities, with visits to Mdina, Marsaxlokk, and the "Three Cities", plus the Blue Grotto sea cave, the megalithic temples, and Gozo Island. Sail to Sicily to discover its beloved baroque architecture in Ragusa, Noto, and Syracuse, followed by a day atop Mount Etna for impeccable views of the island, lessons on past eruptions, and a wine tasting. End your tour with a visit to Taormina's Greco-Roman theater and a farewell dinner amongst Catania's historical streets.

Colorful boats in Marsaxlokk
History and Architecture of Malta and Sicily - 11 Days

Explore the highlights of Malta and Sicily, starting in Valletta with day trips to prehistoric cities and sites, ancient temple ruins, and the natural beauty of the Blue Grotto and Gozo Island. Sail to Sicily to admire its famed baroque architecture, its ancient temples and Greek ruins, and the views atop Mount Etna. Explore cities like Syracuse, Catania, and Palermo, plus enjoy a wine tasting and some of the region's best cuisine.

The slopes of Mount Etna, Sicily
Sicily Road Trip & Relaxing Sardinia - 21 Days

Experience Sicily and Sardinia—Italy's two largest islands—in all their glory during this immersive three-week trip, which offers a nice mix of guided tours and free time to explore on your own. Highlights of your self-driving tour of Sicily include Palermo, a cultural melting pot with historic monuments and colorful local markets and Taormina, the elegant village famous for its Greek theatre and postcard views. You'll also visit Syracuse and Agrigento, with their archaeological treasures, and  Mount Etna—Europe's most active volcano. Finally, combine a city stay with beach trips in Sardinia for the last 4 days of your trip.

Positano views
Explore the Amalfi Coast and Sicily - 18 Days

This tour starts along the Amalfi Coast, exploring picturesque hillside villages, the famous Path of the Gods hiking trail, the lively city of Naples, and the islands of Ischia and Capri. You'll then fly to the island of Sicily, where you'll discover the famous Sicilian-Baroque architecture in towns like Ragusa, Syracuse, Noto, and more, plus ancient ruins in Agrigento and the Valley of the Temples. End the trip on the top of Mount Etna, Europe's largest active volcano, and along the historic streets of Taormina and Catania.

Watch Stromboli's routine eruption on an evening tour of the volcano
Map of Sicily Highlights Self-Drive Tour with Aeolian Islands - 16 Days
Sicily Highlights Self-Drive Tour with Aeolian Islands - 16 Days

Experience the highlights of Sicily on this in-depth tour. Beginning and ending in Catania, you'll cover the Italian island as well as spend some time exploring the impressive Aeolian Islands. You'll visit ancient Greek, Roman, and Norman ruins, medieval fortressed towns dotted with ornate baroque buildings and stunning beaches. Discover remote island settlements on Stromboli, meander and climb the narrow laneways and staircases in Modica, Ragusa Ibla, and Scicli,  and dine on fresh seafood in sophisticated Taormina.

Italy
Map of Rome, Amalfi Coast, & Sicily - 14 Days
Rome, Amalfi Coast, & Sicily - 14 Days

Over  15 days you'll experience the highlights of Italy. In the capital Rome, you'll visit landmarks like the Colosseum and historic institutions like the Vatican. You'll then enjoy the pebble beaches and sun-kissed coast of Amalfi before venturing far south to Sicily, where a road trip will take you from Palermo to Mount Etna.

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Map of Rome & Sicily Highlights - 10 Days
Rome & Sicily Highlights - 10 Days

Embark on the trip of a lifetime with a visit to not one but two of Italy's most historic locales. On this 10-day jaunt you'll enjoy city tours of Rome plus a cooking class where you'll learn to prepare traditional Italian dishes. Then you'll fly to the island of Sicily, where on a road trip you'll travel to coastal cities like Palermo and Cefalú, visit ancient Greek ruins at Syracuse, and even ascend Mt. Etna.

Italy
Map of Rome, Amalfi Coast, & Sicily - 15 Days
Rome, Amalfi Coast, & Sicily - 15 Days

Get ready for the ultimate 15-day Mediterranean experience. You'll first tour the highlights of Rome before venturing south to Italy's Amalfi Coast and the nearby island of Capri, which rises out of the sapphire blue waters like a siren. The adventure then kicks into high gear with an epic road trip around Sicily, where you'll explore its famous ruins, luxuriate in its rich culture, and dine on its incomparable cuisine.

Italy
Map of Rome, Amalfi Coast, & Sicily - 13 Days
Rome, Amalfi Coast, & Sicily - 13 Days

Give yourself over to the beauty of Italy for 13 days of culture, romance, and adventure. After touring the famous sights of Rome, like the Forum and Colosseum, you'll travel south to the ruggedly beautiful Amalfi Coast and the incomparable Mediterranean gem of Capri. The trip culminates with an exciting road trip around the island of Sicily in which you'll tour Palermo and visit ancient Greek ruins.

Italy
Map of Rome, Amalfi Coast, & Sicily - 12 Days
Rome, Amalfi Coast, & Sicily - 12 Days

Get away from it all for 12 days of unforgettable experiences in Italy. This includes touring the most famous sights of Rome, lazing on the pebbly beaches of the Amalfi Coast, and marveling at the cotton-candy-pink sunsets of Capri. The Mediterranean dream doesn't end there—you'll also embark on a road trip adventure around Sicily, from the historic streets of Palermo to the Greek ruins of Syracuse. 

italy
Map of Rome & Sicily Highlights - 12 Days
Rome & Sicily Highlights - 12 Days

12 days is not only enough time to enjoy an unforgettable Roman holiday, but you can add a road-trip adventure through Sicily to the itinerary. In Rome, you'll tour famous sights like the Vatican and Borghese Gallery plus learn the secrets to Italian cuisine in a cooking class. Then, after jetting to Sicily, you'll hop in a rental car and drive from one beautiful coastal city to another, from Palermo to Taormina to Syracuse to Catania.

italy
Map of Rome & Sicily Highlights - 11 Days
Rome & Sicily Highlights - 11 Days

No Italian holiday is complete without visiting Rome, and no trip to Sicily is complete without driving around that historic island. On this 11-day itinerary you'll do both, starting with tours of Rome's most ancient and beautiful sights. In Sicily, you'll hop in a rental car and travel from its capital of Palermo along the stunning north coast to the east side, stopping at other historic cities like Syracuse and Catania.