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Will you renounce to visit Catania in the autumn only because there is no sun and no typical Sicilian weather? This is a bad idea. A large city as Catania needs time and walk to be explored. You cannot do it in the summer, with the hot weather of the seaside places: too hard and tiring. Much better to visit it in November and December.

You will not see the typical bright colours of Sicilian summer, but the cool climate will let you walk with no effort. Perfumes, then. You will enjoy those of the season food. Will you really miss all these emotions? Here you are some ideas for a visit to Catania in the “less touristic” season of the year.

Historic itinerary in the autumn

Our suggestion for your visit to Catania is: go and see large closed places in the summer. When it is hot outside it can be nice to go on a guided tour to the cathedral of St Agatha, to the Benedictine Monastery, to Ursino Castle and the Badia church. There you will find shades and cool.

autumn in catania 02
the fountain of the elephant

Instead, take advantage of the autumn weather to go around the city, discovering the palaces and churches, but also the archaeological monuments. We propose a morning itinerary, departing from Piazza Duomo (cathedral square) at 9 am. First of all, breakfast with croissants, coffee and cappuccinos. We will continue then by visiting the atrium of the Town Hall, the Elephant fountain, the Amenano fountain (Acqua a Linzolu) and the Cathedral. If you want you can also go up to the terrace of the Archbishop Palace to admire the square from above.

After that, we will lead you up to Vittorio Emanuele street, at number 266. There you can visit the Greek-Roman Theater, located in the courtyard of an building and surrounded by the balconies of the nearby apartments! Let’s go down again to take the crossroad that leads to Crociferi street. Walking among the palaces and baroque churches we will reach San Giuliano street. At that point, we will walk down to  Etnea Avenue and continue heading north.

An obligatory stop at the ruins of the Roman amphitheater in lava stone, at Piazza Stesicoro. Then also to the nearby church of Sant’Agata al Carcere, where we will visit the prison cell of the Catanese saint lady. Lunch in a typical restaurant of the surroundings, then a little relax time among the autumn colors of the Bellini Park. In the afternoon we shall move on foot to the Bellini Theater. Or, with a vehicle, to the seaside promenade and the fishing village of San Giovanni Li Cuti.

Autumn events in Catania

In autumn, in Catania, there are several cultural events. From FAI Days with the opportunity to admire some monuments open specifically for the occasion, to theatrical seasons – opera and prose. The lovely small open-air markets are very fashionable this season. They usually take place under the arches of the railway (Archi d’a Marina) – on the road leading to the port. Some are organized in buildings and arcades in the historical core rented for the occasion.

Lately the Autumn Street gastronomy and handicraft markets are also organized in the city. Between October and November at the headquarters of the National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology, you will enjoy the days dedicated to science. They are held with guided tours and interesting cultural seminars.

Useful tips

In case of heavy rain, the lower part of Catania is often subject to flooding.  Etnea Avenue carries the water that pours from the hills towards the centre and therefore it becomes problematic to move. If you are in Catania during a rainy day, you can visit only the upper part of the city: Benedictine Monastery, Ursino Castle, the Odèon, Bellini Park. You can descend to Crociferi but no further below. If the autumn day is sunny and warm, go to the promenade, the port of Ognina and the beach of San Giovanni Li Cuti.

In the evening do not miss the traditional “grilled meat tastes” at Plebiscito street. Or try a dinner in the fish taverns in the Pescheria area – near the cathedral. In the cafés you can enjoy seasonal desserts. Try  the Nucatole (biscuits with hazelnuts and walnuts), Mostazzola (with must), Rame di Napoli (with chocolate and jam).

THE COVID PANDEMIC PERIOD did not eliminate all events, it only changed them – for example by transporting them online – or postponed them. In any case, take notes for when it is all over and you can return to explore this beautiful city freely.
Photo by Grazia Musumeci

Autore: Grazia Musumeci

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