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My wife and I visited Sicily during an especially cold February. Our visit began in Palermo, followed by a one week road trip around the island, ending with several days in Catania. Unbeknown to us before we arrived, our visit to Catania coincided with Carnival.
Carnival dates to the Roman Empire and, although it is not a religious celebration, occurs just before Lent. It’s most commonly celebrated in Catholic countries so it makes sense it would be popular in Italy. The most famous Carnival celebration in Italy is in Venice; however many smaller celebrations can be found throughout the country. Carnival is popular in Sicily and is celebrated in a variety of ways — special food, parades, …
It was surprisingly cold and damp when we visited Sicily a few Februaries ago. After walking about Catania for a few hours, it was always nice to stop for a cup of coffee and a pastry, to rest and warm up some.
A most pleasant finding was this fine bakery/cafe/snack bar in Catania, which we visited daily while in that city. The place exuded elegant 19th century charm, like so many in Europe. Here we met a wonderful cafe employee who was very kind to us but whose name currently eludes me. He treated us like welcome members of his family.
The place specialized in a large variety of fresh-baked pastries and snacks (like pizza and buns with meat). Everything looked great …
Catania Cathedral faces the city’s main square, and is part of a UNESCO World Heritage site.
As you stand in Catania’s main square and look at the exterior of the cathedral, you’ll be impressed by its beautiful Baroque features. The many lovely marble figures decorating the exterior and grounds of the building add to its uniqueness. It’s easy to see why the cathedral is one of Catania’s most popular buildings — both during daylight hours and at night.
Catania Cathedral is also known as Saint Agatha Cathedral in honor of a young Christian martyr named Agatha who was killed at this site in the third century. Agatha was said to have been a beautiful and pious young girl born into a good family. …
Besides the sight of Mt. Etna looming not far away, perhaps the most famous landmark in Catania is its lively fish market, La Pescheria. There’s more to the market than seafood, but I’ve never encountered a more diverse selection of fresh seafood anywhere. And the operative word is fresh as much of the merchandise was still flopping and flipping about. The fish mongers are a lively bunch, trying to entice everyone passing by to purchase their fish, which are said to be the best and/or cheapest in the market.
Given that it’s situated on the Gulf of Catania, it’s not surprising to find that seafood is so popular with the locals and a key ingredient in local cuisine. You’ll find massive …