CATANIA (Italian: ( listen )) is an Italian city on the east coast
Sicily facing the
Ionian Sea . It is the capital of the
Metropolitan City of Catania , one of the ten biggest cities in Italy,
and the seventh largest metropolitan area in Italy. The population of
the city proper is 313,000 while the population of the conurbation is
estimated to be 767,003. The metropolitan city has 1,115,310
Catania is well known for its historical earthquakes, having been
destroyed by catastrophic earthquakes in 1169 and 1693 , and for
several volcanic eruptions from the neighbouring
Mount Etna , the most
violent of which was in 1669.
Catania has had a long and eventful history, having been founded in
the 8th century BC. In 1434, the first university in
founded in the city. In the 14th century and into the Renaissance
Catania was one of Italy's most important cultural, artistic
and political centres. The city has a rich culture and history,
hosting many museums, restaurants, churches, parks and theatres.
Catania is well known for its street food.
* 1 Geography
* 2 Etymology
* 3 History
* 3.1 Foundation
* 3.2 Greek
* 3.3 Roman rule
* 3.4 Middle Ages
* 3.5 Early Modern times
* 3.6 Unified
* 4 Climate
* 5 Metropolitan area
* 6 Demographics
* 7 Main sights
* 7.1 Classical buildings
* 7.2 Roman thermal structures
* 7.3 Baroque and historical churches
* 7.4 Other
* 8 Administrative divisions
* 9 Economy
* 10 Education
* 11 Culture
* 12 Cuisine
* 13 Transport
* 14 Influence on the planning of Adelaide,
* 15 Notable residents
* 16 Twin towns – sister cities
* 17 References
* 18 Sources
* 19 Further reading
* 20 External links
Catania is located on the east coast of the island of
Sicily , at the
Mount Etna .
As observed by
Strabo , the location of
Catania at the foot of Mount
Etna has been both a curse and a blessing. On the one hand, violent
outbursts of the volcano throughout history have destroyed large parts
of the city, whilst on the other hand the volcanic ashes yield fertile
soil, especially suited for the growth of vines. (Strab. vi. p. 269)
Two subterranean rivers run under the city; the Amenano, which
surfaces at one single point south of Piazza Duomo, and the Longane
The ancient indigenous population of the
Sicels named their villages
after geographical attributes of their location. The Sicilian word,
katane, means "grater, flaying knife, skinning place" or a "crude tool
apt to pare". Other translations of the name are "harsh lands",
"uneven ground", "sharp stones", or "rugged or rough soil". The latter
etymologies are easily justifiable since, for many centuries following
an eruption, the city has always been rebuilt within its black-lava
landscape. Around 729 BC, the ancient village of Katane became the
Chalcidian colony of Katánē where the native population was rapidly
Hellenized . The Naxian founders, coming from the adjacent coast,
later used the name for their new settlement along the River Amenano.
Around 263 BC, the city was variously known as Catĭna and Catăna
(Greek : Κατάνη, Ancient Greek: ; Latin : Catana, pronounced ,
and Catina. ). The former has been primarily used for its supposed
assonance with catina, the Latin feminization of the name catinus.
Catinus has two meanings: "a gulf, a basin or a bay" and "a bowl, a
vessel or a trough", thanks to the city’s distinctive topography.
Around 900, when
Catania was part of the emirate of
Sicily , it was
known in Arabic as Balad al-fīl (بلد الفيل) and Madinat
al-fīl (مدينة الفيل). The former means "The Village (or the
Country) of the Elephant", while the latter means "The City of the
Elephant". The Elephant is the lava sculpture over the fountain in
Piazza Duomo. Most likely a prehistoric sculpture that was reforged
during the Byzantine Era, it appears to be a talisman that was
reputedly powerful enough to protect the city from enemies and to keep
away misfortune, plagues, or natural calamities. Another Arab toponym
was Qaṭāniyyah (قطانية), allegedly from the Arabic word for
the "leguminous plants ". Pulses like lentils , beans, peas, broad
beans , and lupins were chiefly cultivated in the plains around the
city well before the arrival of Aghlabids . Afterwards, many Arabic
agronomists developed these crops and the citrus orchards in the area
around the city. The toponym Wadi Musa (وادي موسى), or "Valley
of Moses" (from the Arabic name of the
Simeto River), was rarely used.
Timeline of Catania
Catania was founded as a Greek colony named Κατάνη
(Katánē—see also the list of traditional-Greek place names ), of
Chalcidic origin, under the guidance of a leader named Euarchos
The exact date of its foundation is not recorded, but it appears from
Thucydides that it came into existence slightly later than Leontini
Lentini ), which he claims was five years after Syracuse , or
The only event of its early history that is known about is the
Charondas , The exact date of which is uncertain.
His legislation was extended to the other Chalcidic cities, not only
of Sicily, but of
Magna Graecia also, as well as to his own country.
It is evident that
Catania had close relations with these other cities
during this time.
Catania appears to have retained its independence up to the reign of
the despot Hieron of Syracuse , whereupon in 476 BC he expelled all
the original inhabitants of
Catania and replaced them with those he
ruled over at Leontini - said to have numbered no less than 10,000,
consisting partly of Syracusans and Peloponnesians .
At the same time he changed the city's name to Αἴτνη (Aítnē,
Aetna or Ætna, after the nearby
Mount Etna , and proclaimed himself
the Oekist or founder of the new city. For this he was celebrated by
Pindar , and after his death he received heroic honors from the
citizens of his new colony.
A few years after the death of Hieron and the expulsion of
Thrasybulus , the Syracusans combined with
Ducetius , king of the
Sicels , to expel the newly settled inhabitants of Catania, who went
on to settle in the fortress of Inessa (to which they gave the name
Aetna). The old Chalcidic citizens were reinstated to the city in 461
The period that followed appears to have been one of great prosperity
for Catania, as well as for the Sicilian cities in general. However,
no details from this period of its history are known, until the great
Athenian expedition to
Sicily (part of the larger
Peloponnesian War ),
when the Athenians invaded the city.
The Catanaeans at first refused to allow the Athenians into their
city, but after the latter had forced an entrance, they found
themselves compelled to honour the alliance of their invaders. Catania
became the headquarters of the Athenian armament throughout the first
year of the expedition, and the base of their subsequent operations
No information exists on the fate of
Catania after the Athenian
expedition. It is next mentioned in 403 BC when it fell into the power
Dionysius I of Syracuse
Dionysius I of Syracuse , who plundered the city and sold its
citizens as slaves, after which he established a body of Campanian
These, however, quit in 396 BC and retired to Aetna , on the approach
of the great Carthaginian armament under Himilco and Mago . The great
naval battle in which the latter defeated Leptines , who was quickly
fought off from Catania, and the city is consequently believed to have
fallen into the hands of the Carthaginians.
Calippus , the assassin of Dion of Syracuse, held possession of
Catania for a time (Plut. Dion. 58); and when
Timoleon landed in
Catania was subject to a despot named Mamercus, who at first
joined the Corinthian leader, but afterwards abandoned this allegiance
for that of the Carthaginians. As a consequence he was attacked and
expelled by Timoleon.
Catania was now restored to liberty, and appears to have continued to
retain its independence; during the wars of
Agathocles with the
Carthaginians, it sided at one time with the former, at others with
the latter; and when Pyrrhus landed in Sicily,
Catania was the first
to open its gates to him, and received him with the great splendour.
Catania was the birthplace of the philosopher and legislator
Charondas and was also the place of residence of the poet Stesichorus
, who was buried in a magnificent sepulchre outside one of the gates,
which derived from thence the name of Porta Stesichoreia. (
Xenophanes , the philosopher of Elea , also spent the latter years of
his life in the city so that it was evidently, at an early period, a
place of cultivation and refinement.
The first introduction of dancing to accompany the flute was also
ascribed to Andron , a citizen of Catania.
In ancient times
Catania was associated with the legend of Amphinomus
and Anapias , who, on occasion of a great eruption of Etna, abandoned
all their property and carried off their aged parents on their
shoulders, the stream of lava itself was said to have parted, and
flowed aside so as not to harm them. Statues were erected to their
honor, and the place of their burial was known as the Campus Piorum;
the Catanaeans even introduced the figures of the youths on their
coins, and the legend became a favorite subject of allusion and
declamation among the Latin poets , of whom the younger
Claudian have dwelt upon it at considerable length.
The occurrence is referred by Hyginus to the first eruption of Etna
that took place after the settlement of Catania.
First Punic War ,
Catania was one of the first among the
cities of Sicily, which made their submission to the
Roman Republic ,
after the first successes of their arms in 263 BC. The expression of
Pliny (vii. 60) who represents it as having been taken by Valerius
Messalla , is certainly a mistake.
It appears to have continued afterwards steadily to maintain its
friendly relations with Rome, and though it did not enjoy the
advantages of a confederate city (foederata civitas), like its
neighbors Tauromenium (modern
Taormina ) and Messana (modern Messina
), it rose to a position of great prosperity under the Roman rule.
Cicero repeatedly mentions it as, in his time, a wealthy and
flourishing city; it retained its ancient municipal institutions, its
chief magistrate bearing the title of Proagorus; and appears to have
been one of the principal ports of
Sicily for the export of corn.
It subsequently suffered severely from the ravages of Sextus Pompeius
, and was in consequence one of the cities to which a colony was sent
Augustus ; a measure that appears to have in a great degree
restored its prosperity, so that in
Strabo 's time it was one of the
few cities in the island that was in a flourishing condition.
It retained its colonial rank, as well as its prosperity, throughout
the period of the
Roman Empire ; so that in the 4th century Ausonius
in his Ordo Nobilium Urbium , notices
Catania and Syracuse alone among
the cities of Sicily.
One of the most serious eruptions of
Mount Etna happened in 121 BC,
when great part of
Catania was overwhelmed by streams of lava, and the
hot ashes fell in such quantities in the city itself, as to break in
the roofs of the houses.
Catania was in consequence exempted, for 10 years, from its usual
contributions to the Roman state The greater part of the broad tract
of plain to the southwest of
Catania (now called the Piana di Catania,
a district of great fertility), appears to have belonged, in ancient
times , to Leontini or Centuripa (modern
Centuripe ), but that portion
of it between Catana itself and the mouth of the Symaethus, was
annexed to the territory of the latter city, and must have furnished
abundant supplies of grain.
The port of
Catania also, which was in great part filled up by the
eruption of 1669, appears to have been in ancient times much
frequented, and was the chief place of export for the corn of the rich
neighboring plains. The little river Amenanus, or Amenas, which flowed
through the city, was a very small stream and could never have been
Catania was sacked by the
Gaiseric in 440–441. After a
period under the
Ostrogoths , it was reconquered in 535 by the Eastern
Roman Empire , under which (aside from a short period in 550–555) it
remained until the 9th century. It was the seat of the Byzantine
governor of the island.
Catania was under the Islamic emirate of
Sicily until 1072, when it
fell to the Normans of Roger I of
Sicily . Subsequently, the city was
ruled by a bishop-count. In 1194–1197 the city was sacked by German
soldiers during after the conquest of the island by emperor Henry VI .
In 1232 it rebelled to the former's son, Frederick II , who later
built a massive castle,
Castello Ursino and also made
Catania a royal
city, ending the dominance of the bishops.
Catania was one of the main
centers of the
Sicilian Vespers revolt (1282) against the House of
Anjou , and was the seat of the incoronation of the new Aragonese king
of Sicily, Peter I . In the 14th century it gained importance as it
was chosen by the Aragonese as a Parliament and Royal seat. Here, in
1347, it was signed the treaty of peace that ended the long War of the
Vesper between Aragonese and Angevines.
Catania lost its capital role
when, in the early 15th century,
Sicily was turned into a member of
Crown of Aragon
Crown of Aragon , and kept its autonomy and original privileges
specially during the period from 1282 to 1410.
In 1434 King Alfonso V founded here the Siciliae Studium Generale ,
the oldest university in the island.
EARLY MODERN TIMES
Catania in 1575
Mount Etna erupting in 1669
With the unification of Castile and Aragon (early 16th century),
Sicily became part of the Spanish Empire. It rebelled against the
foreign government in 1516 and 1647.
In 1669 the city's surroundings suffered great material damage from
an eruption of
Mount Etna . The city itself was largely saved by its
walls that diverted most of the lava into the port. Afterwards in 1693
the city was then completely destroyed by a heavy earthquake and its
aftershocks. The city was then rebuilt in the Baroque architecture
that nowadays characterizes it.
Catania was one of the vanguards of the movement for the Sicilian
autonomy in the early 19th century.
Giuseppe Garibaldi 's expedition of the Thousand conquered
Sicily for Piedmont from the
Kingdom of the Two Sicilies
Kingdom of the Two Sicilies . Since the
Catania was part of the newly unified
Italy , whose
history it shares since then.
Second World War
Second World War
Catania was repeatedly bombed by the
Allies , starting from 5 June 1940, and some 100,000 of its
inhabitants were moved to the neighboring villages. It was evacuated
by the Germans on 5 August 1943 and liberated by the British 8th Army
. After the conflict, and the constitution of the Italian Republic
(1946), the history of
Catania was, like the history of other cities
of southern Italy, an attempt to catch up with the economic and social
development of the richer northern regions in the country and to solve
the problems that for historic reasons plague the Mezzogiorno , namely
a heavy gap in industrial development and infrastructures, and the
threat of the mafia . This notwithstanding, during the 1960s (and
partly during the 1990s)
Catania enjoyed a development and an
economic, social and cultural effervescence. In the first decade of
the 21st century,
Catania economic and social development somewhat
faltered and the city is again facing economic and social stagnation.
This was aggravated by the economical crisis left by the Forza Italia
administration of mayor Scapagnini in 2008.
Köppen Climate Classification subtype for this climate is "Csa "
(Mediterranean Climate). It has hot and long summers, the hottest in
Italy (a feature characterising nearly every months). 40 °C
(104 °F) are surpassed almost every year a couple of times, with
record highs over 45 °C (113 °F).
Winters are mild (not rare peaks around 20 °C or 68 °F) and wet.
Most of precipitations are concentrated from October to March, leaving
late spring and summer virtually dry (some years rain lacks for 3–4
months). The city receives around 500 millimetres (20 inches) of rain
per year, although amount can highly vary from year to year (wettest
over 1,200 millimetres or 47 inches, driest under 250 millimetres or
During winter nights occasionally lows can go under 0 °C (32 °F).
Highs under 10 °C (50 °F) are rare as well. Snow, due to the
presence of Etna that protects the city from the northern winds, is
very rare. Occasional snow flurries have been seen over the years in
the hilly districts, more substantial in the northern hinterland. More
recently, brief snowfalls occurred on 9 February 2015 and 6 January
2017, but the last snowfall of particular relevance dates back to 17
CLIMATE DATA FOR CATANIA, SICILY (CATANIA-FONTANAROSSA)
RECORD HIGH °C (°F)
AVERAGE HIGH °C (°F)
DAILY MEAN °C (°F)
AVERAGE LOW °C (°F)
RECORD LOW °C (°F)
AVERAGE PRECIPITATION MM (INCHES)
AVERAGE PRECIPITATION DAYS (≥ 1 MM)
MEAN MONTHLY SUNSHINE HOURS
Hong Kong Observatory (1961–1990)
Source #2: (1991-2010)
CLIMATE DATA FOR CATANIA, SICILY (CATANIA-SIGONELLA)
AVERAGE HIGH °C (°F)
DAILY MEAN °C (°F)
AVERAGE LOW °C (°F)
AVERAGE PRECIPITATION MM (INCHES)
AVERAGE PRECIPITATION DAYS (≥ 1 MM)
The Metropolitan Area of Catania: in red, the city and the
hinterland comuni forming the urban belt; in yellow, the province.
The Metropolitan Area of
Catania is formed by the
Comune of Catania
(315.601 inhabitants as of jan. 2015) and by 26 surrounding comuni
forming an urban belt (453,938 inhabitants as of Dec. 2007). The
total population of the Metropolitan Area of
Catania is therefore
752,895. The comuni forming the Metropolitan Area are:
* Aci Sant\'Antonio
Gravina di Catania
* Motta Sant\'Anastasia
San Giovanni la Punta
San Gregorio di Catania
San Pietro Clarenza
* Sant\'Agata li Battiati
Santa Maria di Licodia
These comuni form a system with the centre of
Catania sharing its
economical and social life and forming an organic urban texture.
The Metropolitan Area of
Catania should not be mistaken for the
Province of Catania , a far broader administrative area that includes
58 comuni and 1,081,915 inhabitants, but does not form an urban
system with the city.
An aerial view of the port of
As of January 2015, there are 315.601 people residing in Catania, of
whom 47.2% are male and 52.8% are female. Minors (people under age 18)
totalled 20.50 percent of the population compared to pensioners who
number 18.87 percent. This compares with the Italian average of 18.06
percent (minors) and 19.94 percent (pensioners).
The average age of
Catania residents is 41 compared to the Italian
average of 42. In the five years between 2002 and 2007, the population
Catania declined by 3.35 percent, while
Italy as a whole grew by
3.85 percent. The reason for this population decline in the
Catania is mainly due to a large segment of the population leaving the
city centre to go to live in the up-town residential areas of the
comuni of the Metropolitan Area. As a result of this, while the
population in the comune di
Catania declines, the population of the
hinterland comuni increases making the overall population of the
Metropolitan area of
The current birth rate of
Catania is 10.07 births per 1,000
inhabitants compared to the Italian average of 9.45 births. As of 2006
, 98.03% of the population was Italian . The largest immigrant groups
Sub-Saharan Africa : 0.69%,
South Asia : 0.46%, and from
other European countries (particularly from
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The symbol of the city is u Liotru, or the Fontana dell'Elefante,
assembled in 1736 by
Giovanni Battista Vaccarini . It portrays an
ancient lavic stone elephant and is topped by an Egyptian obelisk from
Syene . Legend has it that Vaccarini's original elephant was neuter,
which the men of
Catania took as an insult to their virility. To
appease them, Vaccarini appropriately appended elephantine testicles
to the original statue.
The Sicilian name u Liotru is a phonetic change of Heliodorus, a
nobleman who, after trying without success to become bishop of the
city, became a sorcerer and was therefore condemned to the stake.
Legend has it that Heliodorus himself was the sculptor of the lava
elephant and that he used to magically ride it in his fantastic
Catania to Constantinople. Another legend has it that
Heliodorus was able to transform himself into an elephant.
The presence of an elephant in the millenary history of
surely connected to both zooarcheology and popular creeds. In fact,
the prehistoric fauna of
Sicily from the Upper
Paleolithic , included
dwarf elephants .
Othenio Abel suggested that the
presence of dwarf elephants in
Sicily may be the origin of the legend
Cyclops . Ancient Greeks , after finding the skulls of dwarf
elephants , about twice the size of a human skull , with a large
central nasal cavity (mistaken for a large single eye-socket) supposed
that they were skulls of giants with a single eye.
The Catanian Museum of
Mineralogy , Paleonthology and Vulcanology
holds the integral unburied skeleton of an
Elephas falconeri in an
excellent state of conservation. The first inhabitants of Etna molded
such lavic artifact to idolize the mythical proboscidian.
The city has been buried by lava a total of seventeen times in
recorded history , and in layers under the present day city are the
Roman city that preceded it, and the Greek city before that. Many of
the ancient monuments of the Roman city have been destroyed by the
numerous seisms. Currently, different ancient remains can be seen and
visited in the city-centre, as part of an archaeological park (Parco
Archeologico Greco-Romano di Catania). The Church of Saint
Francis of Assisi
Francis of Assisi backs the Cavea of the Greek-Roman Theatre.
The Odeon. Roman Amphitheatre.
Ancient edifices include:
* Greek-Roman Theatre of
Catania (2nd century)
* Odeon (3rd century). It could house up to 1500 spectators
* Greek Acropolis of Montevergine
* Roman Aqueduct
* Roman Forum
* Roman broken arcades
* Christian basilicas , hypogea , burial monuments and
* Roman Colonnade
ROMAN THERMAL STRUCTURES
* Achillean Baths
* Terme dell’Indirizzo
* Terme di Santa Maria Odigitria
* Terme della Rotonda
* Baths of the Four Quoins
* Terme di Palazzo Asmundo
* Terme del Palazzo dell’Università
* Terme di Casa Gagliano
* Terme della Chiesa di Sant'Antonio Abate
Roman Thermal Baths of Santa Maria dell'Indirizzo.
BAROQUE AND HISTORICAL CHURCHES
San Placido Badìa di Sant'Agata San Francesco
Assisi all'Immacolata Sant'Agata alla Fornace or San Biagio
Santa Maria dell'Aiuto San Benedetto da Norcia San
The Baroque city centre of
Catania is a UNESCO World Heritage Site
* The Cathedral (1070–1093, rebuilt after the 1693 earthquake)
* Saint Agatha Abbey (1620)
* Saint Placidus (1769)
* Church of San Giuseppe al Duomo
* Church of Santissimo Sacramento al Duomo
* Church of San Martino dei Bianchi
* Church of Sant'Agata la Vetere (254)
* Saint Agatha by the Furnace or
Saint Blaise (1098, rebuilt in
* Church of the Saint Jail or Saint Agatha at the Jail (Santo
Carcere or Sant'Agata al Carcere) (1760). This temple includes the
ancient jail where Saint Agatha was allegedly imprisoned during her
Francis of Assisi
Francis of Assisi at the Immaculate (1329). It still houses
the mortal remains of Queen Eleanor of
Sicily , who decided and
promoted the construction of the principal
Franciscan building of
Catania on the same place of the once Roman Temple of
Benedict of Nursia
Benedict of Nursia (1704–1713)
* Badìa Grande e Badìa Piccola del Chiostro delle Monache
* Benedictine Nuns' Arch (Arco delle Monache Benedettine)
Basilica della Collegiata , a notable example of Sicilian Baroque
, whose façade was designed by
* Saint Mary of Ogninella
* Saint Michael the Lesser
* Saint Michael Archangel or Minorites ' Church
* Saint Julian
* Saint Julian's Monastery
* Santa Teresa di Avila
Francis Borgia or Jesuits ' Church
* Convent of the Jesuits
* Saint Mary of
Jesus (1465, restored in 1706)
Saint Dominic or Saint Mary the Great (1224)
* Dominicans Friary (1224)
* Saint Mary of Purity or Saint Mary of Visitation (1775)
* Madonna of Graces ' Chapel
* Saint Agatha on the Lavic Runnels
Euplius Old Church Ruins
* Church of San Gaetano alle Grotte (260)
Basilica of the Most Holy Annunciated Mary of Carmel (1729)
* Saint Agatha by the Borough (1669, destroyed in 1693 and rebuilt
in 1709). The "Borough" (il Borgo) is an inner district of Catania.
Saint Nicholas by the Borough
* Church of the Santissimo Sacramento al Borgo
* Church of Santa Maria della Provvidenza al Borgo
Chapel of the Blind's Housing (Ospizio dei Ciechi)
* Saint Camillus of the Crucifers
* Benedictine Monastery of San Nicolò l\'Arena (1558)
Basilica of San Nicola l'Arena (1687)
* Church of Santa Maria dell'Indirizzo (1730)
* Saint Clare (1563)
* Convent of the Poor Clares (1563)
Saint Sebastian Martyr (1313)
* Sanctuary of Santa Maria dell'Aiuto
* Madonna of Loreto
* Church of San Giuseppe al Transito
* Church of Immacolata Concezione dei Minoritelli
* Church of Sant'Agata al Conservatorio delle Verginelle
* Church of Santa Maria dell'Itria or Odigitria).
* Church of the Holy Child
* Our Lady of Providence
* Church of San Berillo in Santa Maria degli Ammalati
* Our Lady of the Poor
* Church of San Vincenzo de' Paoli
John the Baptist
John the Baptist , in the suburb of San Giovanni di Galermo
* Saint Anthony Abbot
* Little Saviour's Byzantine
* Saint Augustine
* Church of the Most Holy
* Church of the Little Virgins
* Our Lady of the Rotunda
* Church of the Santissimo Sacramento Ritrovato (1796).
* Sanctuary of Our Lady of Ognina (1308). Ognina is the maritime
quarter and the main fishing pole of Catania. Many bareboats and
umpteen smacks gather and crowd here all year round. In its close
vicinities there is a cylindric tower, known as Saint Mary's Tower
(Torre Santa Maria), which was restructured in the 16th century to
prevent the frequent plunders of the Saracen pirates. The church is
the result of the gradual modification of the Greek Temple Athena
Longatis or Parthenos Longatis that existed on the steep reef. This
cult was imported from a Boeotian region of
Greece called Longas from
where the first Hellenic settlers of this borough probably came. After
the earthquake of 1693 it was sobriously rebuilt on the same place but
with a different orientation.
* Our Lady of Montserrat (1755)
* Church of Santa Maria della Salute
* Saint Mary of La Salette
* Church of Santa Maria della Mercede
* Church of Santa Caterina al Rinazzo
* Our Lady of Concordia
* Church of Santa Maria della Guardia
* Our Lady of Consolation
* Church of Santissimo Crocifisso Maiorana
* Crucifix of Miracles
* Crucifix of Good Death
* Our Lady of La Mecca
* Saint Cajetan at the
* Most Holy Redeemer
Francis of Paola
* Church of the Divina Maternità
Chapel of Mary Auxiliatrix
Chapel of the
Sacred Heart of Jesus
* Church of the Sacro Cuore al Fortino (1898)
* Saints George and
* Church of the
Sacred Heart of the Capuchins
Saints Cosmas and Damian
Saints Cosmas and Damian
* Church of Santa Maria del Soccorso or Santa Maria della Palma
* Church of the Santi Angeli Custodi
* Church of the Santissimo Salvatore
Castello Ursino , built by emperor Frederick II in the 13th
Palazzo degli Elefanti
Palazzo degli Elefanti , designed by Giovan Battista Vaccarini. It
houses the Town Hall.
* The Medieval Gothic-Catalan Arch of Saint John of Friars (San
Giovanni de' Fleres)
* Ferdinandean Gate or
Garibaldi Gate (Porta Ferdinandea or Porta
Garibaldi), a triumphal arch erected in 1768 to celebrate the marriage
Ferdinand I of Two Sicilies and
Marie Caroline of Austria
* Porta del Fortino ("Redoubt Gate")
* The House of the Mutilated of War (Casa del Mutilato) built in
Catania War Cemetery, a Commonwealth Graveyard located in the
southern country hamlet of Bicocca
Catania Botanical Garden
* Pacini Garden
* Gioeni Park
The city of
Catania is divided in ten administrative areas called
Municipalità (Municipalities). The current administrative set-up was
established in 1995, modifying previous set-ups dating back to 1971
The ten municipalities of
* I. Centro
* II. Ognina-Picanello
* III. Borgo-Sanzio
* IV. Barriera-Canalicchio
* V. San Giovanni Galermo
* VI. Trappeto-Cibali
* VII. Monte Po-Nesima
* VIII. San Leone-Rapisardi
* IX. San Giorgio-Librino
* X. San Giuseppe La Rena-Zia Lisa-
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Catania is the first economic and industrial hub of Sicily. The city
is famous for its mainly petrochemical industry, and the extraction of
sulphur . In the year 2000, according to Census,
Catania was the 14th
richest city in Italy, with a GDP of US$6.6 billion (€6.304
billion), which was 0.54% of the Italian GDP, a GDP per capita of
US$21,000 (€20,100) and an average GDP per employee of US$69,000
In the late-19th century and early-20th century,
Catania began to be
heavily industrialised, with its several factories and chimneys, often
to the extant that it was referred to as Southern Italy's
"Manchester." The economy of
Catania suffered heavily from the bad
World War I
World War I , and was marked by an economic crisis and
recession that culminated in the 1920s. Since then, the city lost its
industrial and entrepreneurial importance. In the 1930s, Catania
remained a small fishing town with derelict and disused industries.
However, after the destruction of
World War II
World War II , Catania's economy
began to re-grow in the late-1950s and early-1960s. As a matter of
fact, the city's economic growth was so rapid and dynamic that it was
often nicknamed the "
Milan of the South", or in Italian "Milano del
Sud". This rapid economic growth prompted a great number of Sicilians
living in the more rural areas, or smaller towns such as Enna, Ragusa
and Caltanissetta, to move to the city to seek new jobs.
Today, Catania, despite several problems, has one of the most dynamic
economies in the whole of Southern Italy. It still has a strong
industrial and agricultural sector, and a fast-growing tourist
industry, with many international visitors coming to visit the city's
main sights and the nearby Etna volcano. It contains the headquarters
or important offices of companies such as
STMicroelectronics , and
also several chemical and pharmaceutical businesses. There have been
several new business developments to further boost Catania's economy,
including the construction of Etnapolis, a huge and avant-garde
commercial centre designed by
Massimiliano Fuksas , the same architect
who designed the
FieraMilano industrial fair in Milan, or the Etna
Valley, where several high-tech offices are located.
Tourism is a fast-growing industry in Catania. Lately the
administration and private companies have made several investments in
the hospitality industry in order to make tourism a competitive sector
Catania and its province. Nearby, just 12 kilometres (7 miles) from
the city, there is Etnaland, a big theme park , which is the largest
of its kind in Southern
Italy and which attracts thousands of
tourists, not only from Sicily, but also from the rest of
Historical building of the University, in the city centre.
Nowadays the different faculties are hosted in different buildings
University of Catania dates back to 1434 and it is the oldest
university in Sicily. Its academic nicknames are: Siculorum Gymnasium
and Siciliae Studium Generale. Nowadays it hosts 12 faculties and over
62,000 students, and it offers undergraduate and postgraduate
Catania hosts the Scuola Superiore , an academic institution linked
to the University of Catania, aimed at the excellence in education.
The Scuola Superiore di
Catania offers undergraduate and postgraduate
Apart from the University and the Scuola Superiore
Catania is base of
the prestigious Istituto Musicale
Vincenzo Bellini an advanced
institute of musical studies (Conservatory) and the Accademia di Belle
Arti an advanced institute of artistic studies. Both institutions
offer programs of university level for musical and artistic education.
Festival of Saint Agatha in 1915 Saint Agatha Festival in
The opera composer
Vincenzo Bellini was born in Catania, and a museum
exists at his birthplace. The Teatro Massimo "Vincenzo Bellini" ,
which opened in 1890, is named after the composer. The opera house
presents a variety of operas through a season, which run from December
to May, many of which are the work of Bellini. Teatro Massimo
Giovanni Verga was born in
Catania in 1840. He became the greatest
Verismo , an Italian literary movement akin to Naturalism .
His novels portray life among the lower levels of Sicilan society,
such as fishermen and stonemasons, and were written in a mixture of
both literary language and local dialect.
Francesco Longo Mancini was
a painter known for paintings of nudes who was born in
The city is base of the newspaper
La Sicilia and of the TV-channel
Antenna Sicilia also known as Sicilia Channel . Several others local
television channels and free-press magazines have their headquarters
The city is home to the
Catania Jazz Festival , which typically runs
for several winter months with concerts in different locations. In
the late 1980s and during the 1990s
Catania had a sparkling and unique
popular music scene.
Indie pop and indie rock bands, local radio
station and dynamic independent music record labels sprung. As a
result, in those years the city experienced a vital and effervescent
cultural period. Artists like
Carmen Consoli and
Mario Venuti and
internationally known indie rock bands like
Uzeda came out of this
The 2012 film,
Acqua Fuori Dal Ring is set in
Catania and was filmed
on location in the Librino neighborhood and Black
Lava Fields of Mount
The city is the home of
Amatori Catania rugby union team, Calcio
Catania football team and
Orizzonte Catania , the latter being a
women's water polo club, winning eight European Champions Cup titles
from 1994 to 2008. Noted Italian basketball coach Ettore
Messina is a
native of Catania. The city also hosted the first ever qualification
tournament for the Rugby World Cup Sevens in 1992, and the associated
Etna Cup, which was won by the host
Sicily team. In addition, the
Catania Elephants are currently members of the Italian Football League
The city's patron saint is Saint Agatha , who is celebrated with a
religious pageantry, the Festival of Saint Agatha , on February 5
Catania also hosted the 2011 FIE Fencing World Championships.
THIS SECTION NEEDS EXPANSION. You can help by adding to it . (April
Catania has a unique cuisine, with strong Sicilian traits. Dishes
Pasta alla Norma are from the city.
Pasta alla Norma is a
pasta dish made out of macaroni-like penne, tomato sauce, largely
sliced aubergines, and often topped with salty ricotta , or ricotta
salata in Italian.
Granita , a popular flavoured sherbet, is believed
to hail from the city too. Blood oranges, such as the famous tarocco ,
are common to the city and others. Another famous plate is horse's
meat, usually cooked on coals and sold on the streets and at
restaurants. In Castello Ursino's surroundings are located the most
famous horse's meat restaurants with lots of different price ranges.
However, the most famous and traditional food are the
Arancini . It is
a rice croquette stuffed with any kind of ingredients such as meat
sauce, mushrooms, pistachio, smoked salmon....It has an orange colour
because of the saffron used. The arancini are on sale in any Tavola
Calda shop and they can be eaten at any time of the day.
Catania has a commercial seaport (
Catania seaport ), an international
Catania Fontanarossa ), a central railway station (Catania
Centrale ) and it is a main node of the Sicilian motorway system.
The motorways serving
Catania are the A18
Catania and the
Palermo -Catania; extensions of the A18 going from
Syracuse and to
Gela are currently under construction.
The Circumetnea is a narrow-gauge railway that runs for 110 km (68
Catania round the base of
Mount Etna . It attains the height
of 976 m (3,202.10 ft) above sea level before descending to rejoin the
Riposto to the North.
In the late 1990s the first line of an underground railway
Metropolitana di Catania ) was built. The underground service started
in 1999 and it is currently active on a route of 8.8 km (5.5 mi), from
the station Nesima (West of town), passing through the stations of San
Nullo, Cibali (still under constrction), Milo, Borgo, Giuffrida,
Italia, Galatea, Giovanni XXIII, to Stesicoro. These two stations,
Catania Underground in the city centre, have opened on 20
December 2016 First line is planned to extend from the satellite city
Paternò to Fontanarossa Airport .
INFLUENCE ON THE PLANNING OF ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA
The site of what was to become the major Australian city of Adelaide
was surveyed and laid out by Colonel William Light, the first
Surveyor-General of South Australia. In 1823, Light had fondly written
of Catania: "The two principal streets cross each other at right
angles in the square in the direction of north and south and east and
west. They are wide and spacious and about a mile long". This became
the basis for his plan of Adelaide.
Oriana Bandiera (born 1971), Italian economist and academic, born
Vincenzo Bellini (1801–1835), opera composer
Giuseppa Bolognara Calcagno (1826–1884), freedom fighter of the
Miriam Leone (1985–), Miss Italia 2008
Ettore Majorana (1905–?), theoretical physicist
Giovanni Verga (1840–1922), author
Grace Martini (1992-), Philanthropist
TWIN TOWNS – SISTER CITIES
Catania is sister cities with:
* Phoenix ,
France , since 1961
Poland , since 2010
* ^ A B C D E "
Catania history –
Catania culture –
Catania – art
Catania – history guide
Italy Katane". Travelplan.it. Retrieved 2010-06-01.
* ^ Giuffrida Tino,
Catania dalle origini alla dominazione
normanna, Catania, Bonaccorso. Excerpt here (in Italian)
* ^ "The meaning of the name Catania". Sicilia.indettaglio.it.
2006-11-04. Retrieved 2011-04-05.
* ^ Roman writers fluctuate between the two forms Catana and
Catina, of which the latter is, perhaps, the most common, and is
supported by inscriptions (Orell. 3708, 3778); but the analogy of the
Greek Κατάνη, and the modern Catania, would point to the former
as the more correct.
* ^ Holm Adolf (1925),
Catania Antica, G. Libertini
* ^ Amari Michele, Edrisi, Il Libro di Re Ruggero, Vol. I p.71
* ^ A B Various authors (1987), Enciclopedia di Catania, Tringale
* ^ Correnti Santi (1981), La Città Semprerifiorente, Catania,
* ^ Correnti Santi
Strabo vi. p. 268;
Scylax § 13;
Stephanus of Byzantium s. v.
Aristotle , Pol. ii. 9.
* ^ Diodorus xi. 49, in 66;
Strabo l.c.; Pind. Pyth. i., and Schol.
* ^ Diod. xi. 76;
Strabo l. c.)
* ^ Thuc. vi. 50–52, 63, 71, 89; Diod. xiii. 4, 6, 7; Plut. Nic.
* ^ Diod. xiv. 15, 58, 60.
* ^ Diod. xvi. 69; Plut. Timol. 13, 30–34.
* ^ Diod. xix. 110, xxii. 8, Exc. Hoesch. p. 496.
* ^ Diog. Laert. ix. 2. § 1.
* ^ Athen. i. p. 22, c.
Strabo vi. p. 269; Pausanias x. 28. § 4; Conon, Narr. 43;
Philostr. Vit. Apoll. v. 17;
Gaius Julius Solinus 5. § 15; Gaius
Julius Hyginus 254;
Valerius Maximus v. 4. Ext. § 4; Lucil. Aetn.
602-40; Claudian. Idyll. 7;
Silius Italicus xiv. 196; Auson. Ordo Nob.
* ^ Eutrop. ii. 19.
In Verrem iii. 4. 3, 83, iv. 23, 45;
Livy xxvii. 8.
Strabo vi. pp. 268, 270, 272;
Dion Cassius iv. 7.
* ^ Pliny iii. 8. s. 14; Ptol. iii. 4. § 9; Itin. Ant. pp. 87,90,
* ^ Oros. v. 13.
* ^ Translation of an eye-witness account of the 1647 rebellion
* ^ Documentary about the conditions of the city after the
financial turmoil (in Italian)
* ^ Climate Summary from Weatherbase.com (Catania, Italy)
* ^ "Climatological Information for Catania, Italy" - Hong Kong
* ^ A B C D E F G Official ISTAT figures
* ^ "The Metropolitan Area of
Catania defined by ANCI Sicilia
(National Association of Comuni Italiani)". Anci.sicilia.it. Retrieved
* ^ Amari Michele (1933), Storia dei Musulmani di Sicilia, Catania,
Nallino, Vol. I, pp. 344–345
* ^ "Santissimo Sacramento Ritrovato – Home".
Sacramentoritrovato.com. 2009-03-16. Retrieved 2009-07-25.
* ^ Santa Maria di Lognina (in Italian)
* ^ Saint Mary's Tower of Ognina (in Italian)
* ^ "
Athena Longatis". Mythindex.com. Retrieved 2011-04-05.
* ^ "Home Page Parrocchia N.S. di Monserrato". Parrocchie.it.
* ^ La Mecca is not the Saudi holy city , but a vernacular Catanian
word that identifies a "silk mill" that existed, in effect, in its
* ^ Commonwealth War Graves Commission –
Catania War Cemetery
* ^ Veterans Affairs
Canada – Anciens Combattants
Catania War Cemetery
* ^ Administrative division of Catania, from
Comune di Catania
Official Website"Archived copy". Archived from the original on
2008-01-17. Retrieved 2008-05-30. CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status
unknown (link )
* ^ "La ricchezza del territorio italiano".
webcache.googleusercontent.com. Archived from the original on
2004-03-18. Retrieved 2010-06-01.
* ^ "home". Centroetnapolis.it. Retrieved 2010-06-01.
* ^ "Oggi la chiamano Etna Valley: i progetti, le aziende, il
lavoro nel territorio di Catania". Etnavalley.com. 2010-04-29.
Archived from the original on 2010-05-27. Retrieved 2010-06-01.
* ^ History of the
University of Catania by Unict main site (in
Italian) and (in English) (translation)
* ^ History of the University of Catania, by Professor Giuseppe
Giarrizzo, from Unict.it (in Italian) and (in English) (translation)
* ^ Scuola Superiore di
Catania – Official site Archived
September 8, 2010, at the
Wayback Machine .
* ^ "Musical Institute
Vincenzo Bellini – Official site".
Istitutobellini.it. Retrieved 2011-04-05.
* ^ "Academy of Fine Arts of Catania". Italian official site.
* ^ A B Drabble, Margaret (1985). "The Oxford Companion to English
Literature: Verga, Giovanni" (5th ed.). London: Guild Publishing:
* ^ Drabble, Margaret (1985). "The Oxford Companion to English
Literature: Verismo" (5th ed.). London: Guild Publishing: 1026.
Catania Jazz Festival, Traghettiper-sicilia.it, retrieved 5
* ^ Underground railway of
Catania from Subways.net and from
CityRailways.net in (in Italian) and (in English)(translation)
* ^ Johnson and Langmead, The
Adelaide city plan: fiction and fact,
Wakefield Press, 1986.
* ^ "Phoenix Sister Cities". Phoenix Sister Cities.