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10 Reasons to Visit Catania, Sicily
Catania is one of the most popular tourist destinations in all of Sicily. It has its own culture, cuisine and history, and is a successful illustration of the old and the modern existing side by side.

1. Catania is situated along the east coast of the island of Sicily and the region is based at the foot of the active volcano of Mount Etna. Most tourists are fascinated by the fact that it is an active volcano and this factor alone is enough to draw them here.

2. The La Playa beach at Catania is a beautiful stretch of sand and is a very popular tourist attraction.

3. The Roman ruins at Catania are spectacular. The architecture is awe inspiring and bears testimony to a glorious age in history.

4. The City Hall which is located along one side of the Piazza del Duomo and just a short distance from the Marina Arches. Built in a late Baroque style, it has an entrance hall with a couple of perfectly preserved carts from the 18th century. These are used every year to celebrate the festival of St. Agata.

5. Via Etnea which is the cityís main shopping avenue ends at the Porta Uzeda. The gate was built during the time of the Duke of Camastra as part of an urban planning project after the earthquake in 1693.

6. The Fountain of the Elefant (Uí Liotru) is a symbol of the city of Catania. It represents the victory over Hannibal when he had tried to invade Catania riding on elephants. The obelisk is symbolic of Egyptian civilization while the palm, globe and cross are symbolic of Christian civilization. The name Uí Liotru is rumoured to be that of a magician who conducted a magic ritual by riding an elephant.

7. The beautiful baroque churches comprising the Duomo (Cathedral) and the Church of St. Agata, the patron saint of the city, are magnificent examples of Catania architecture. The latter did not survive the earthquake and had to be rebuilt completely. Much grander than the Duomo, it is decorated in typical Sicilian fashion with motifs such as fruit bowls.

8. Catania has many hotels spanning different segments such as luxury, business and budget options. Some of the most popular hotels in the region are Katane palace Hotel, Excelsior Grand, Parco Degli Aragonesi, UNA Hotel Palace, Hotel Del Duomo, Hotel Nettuno, Casalotto Inn, Barnard Star and the Sheraton Catania.

9. Eating out in Catania is a truly enjoyable experience. Apart from the variations in the traditional pasta dishes, there is a wide variety of cuisines including the famous Sicilian cakes and desserts, Oriental and Continental food. The food is always served with good local wines.

10. Catania can be easily reached by air, as it is Italyís third largest airport. Local transport includes taxis, car rentals and buses.
About the Author
Orson Johnson writes for Holiday Velvet, a website providing Darling Harbour accommodation & Self Catering holiday apartments.
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