Things to do in Catania if you have a Catania Airport Layover or Extended Catania Airport Stopover
If you have an extended layover at the Catania Airport or staying in town, why not consider getting out with some fun activities? We list a few here and there are many more on Catania.LayoverIdeas.com.
Sicily’s rugged beauty is truly unique, so if you find yourself with a layover on one of the island’s airports, take a little time to explore Italy’s southernmost gem. Here are some suggestions near CTA Catania Airport:
Go to the top of Mount Etna
Catania is situated under the most major currently active volcano in Europe, so the obvious thing to do is a volcano trek. There are many organised tours, but you can hire the services of a Volcanologist as your tour guide and go off the usual tourist trail. To reach Mount Etna, take the private train line (Circumetnea) at Borgo metro station or a shuttle from the central station that reaches Rifugio Sapienza (usually leaving in the morning and return the evening) from where you can get to the top of the mountain (spring/summer only, regardless of the summer heat the summit will be cold so do bring a jumper). Please note that the metro and the train to Mount Etna are closed on Sunday.
See the Coast – and the Rocks the Cyclops Threw
You could also have a visit along the coast for Acicastello (a nice medieval castle built on a giant rock, over the see) or Acitrezza, a little fishing village well known for its giant rocks lying in the sea, supposed to be the ones thrown by the Cyclops at Ulysses.
Wander a UNESCO World Heritage Site
Catania is also well known for its particular baroque architecture and urban design (the downtown area is a World Heritage Site, along with all the Val di Noto). Piazza Stesicoro, the original centre containing ruins of the Roman Amphitheatre. It is also the entrance to the main market (Mercato de la Fiera) which is worth a visit. Additionally it is one of the main bus hubs.
Don’t Forget the Elephant
The baroque Piazza del Duomo is attractive, lively and contains "U Liotru", the Elephant statue symbol of Catania. The Elephant Fountain marks the entrance to the elegant via Etnea, the main shopping street.
Tip: Catania has a compact centre and it is most convenient just to walk around. Traveling by public transport may be problematic due to long waiting times for buses (> 1 hour), pickpockets and a very short metro line still under construction.
As always, make sure you leave plenty of time to get back to CTA Catania Airport and clear security in time for your connecting flight. Enjoy your transit city rather than whiling away the time leaning up against your luggage in the departures lounge.
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