Sicily may be Italian but that does not mean that she is tied to the ‘mother’ country by its apron strings. No, Sicily is an island unto herself, individual, formidable and often quite beautiful.
For all its Baroque grandeur, the city and capital of Sicily, is not frequented by the same number of tourists who flock to Syracuse and Taormina. Most people briefly pass through Catania on their way to Mount Etna or Syracuse. That is unfortunate because, Catania has something to offer those willing to unveil its historic treasures. The city has two Roman amphitheatres and an Odeon; Ursino Castle is a 13th century coastal fortress, located in Piazza Federico di Svevia, and houses a museum; and many of Catania’s wide streets and wonderful palaces date from the 18th century. There are two large street markets that are particularly interesting and sell everything from food and clothing to traditional handicrafts. Catania is also a good point for making connections to other places when travelling by train or bus. There are fairly frequent train departures to Taormina, Syracuse, Messina and the mainland.