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Catania - volcanoes, Greek ancestry, Spanish invasion, yet in Italy!
Discover Catania, in Sicily, Italy; steeped in fascinating history, situated at the foot of an active volcano and geographically at a meeting point for Italy, Africa, Greece and Albania. Rich in culture, history, architecture and natural phenomena.
The easiest and best way possible is to pick up your car rental, previously booked with Rent.it within Catania International Airport. Jump into the car and head out.
Catania lies just below the infamous volcano Mount Etna. Over the centuries this has brought both good and bad fortune. The multiple lave outflows have created a local soil that is rich in minerals and deposits and that is highly fertile excellent for vineyards, yet the city of Catania has been buried 17 times in lava flow in recorded history. The city lies on the east coast of Sicily facing the Ionian Sea and beyond that, Greece.
Catania's history is bloodied and violent; subject to both Arab and Greek dominance (reflected in the local dialect) Catania was subject to invasion after invasion over the centuries. It is now the second largest city in Sicily and the tenth largest city in Italy.
Once in your car where should you head? Well surely the number one thing to see is Mount Etna itself. Chose between a guided tour and a DIY experience. The vulcano is active and some days can be really quite hot!
The Monastero dei Benedetti should be on your list too; one of the largest monasteries in Europe, now part of the Catania University complex.
The Museo Storico dello Sbarco in Sicilia 1943 - a historical museum that will help you understand what it was like to be in Italy in the middle of WW2. Not a whole load of information available in English, but the sensations and emotions should send you flying back 70 European years.
Even if opera is not your thing, go and see the Teatro Massimo Bellini. It will simply take your breath away. Take your time in the city centre - see the main cathedral, the two ampitheatres, soak up the history.
Once you have seen the city, jump back in your rent.it car and head out to the countryside. You could visit Aci Castello, just 15 minutes from Catania. Or maybe take a trip to Lentini - the city of oranges. Or perhaps even simply take the coastal road along the Ionian coast. Steeped in history, rich in local agricultural produce, with a multi-cultural background, use your time here to truly discover Catania.