Catania is an Italian city on the east coast of Sicily facing the Ionian Sea, between Messina and Syracuse. It is the capital of the eponymous province, and with 315,589 inhabitants (752,895 in the Metropolitan Area) it is the second-largest city in Sicily and the tenth in Italy. Catania is known to have a seismic history and past, having been destroyed by a catastrophic earthquake in 1169, another in 1693, and several volcanic eruptions from the neighbouring Mount Etna volcano, the most violent of which in 1669. Catania has had a long and eventful history, having been founded in the 8th century BC. In the 14th century and the Renaissance, Catania was one of Italy's most important and flourishing cultural, artistic and political centres, including having witnessed the opening in 1434 of the first university in Sicily. Today, Catania is one of the main economic, touristic and educational centres in the island, being an important hub of the technological industry, thus gaining the nickname of the "European Silicon Valley".
The "Policlinico - Vittorio Emanuele" University Hospital Authority is a Hospital Authority for hospitalisation and treatment integrated with the University, established following stipulation of the Memorandum of Understanding between the Region and University of Catania signed on 12 August 2009 and approved with Health Service Councillor Decree no. 1759/09 dated 31 August 2009. The Authority comprises the following Hospital Centres deriving from the former University Hospital Authority "Policlinico G. Rodolico" and the former University Hospital Authority "Vittorio Emanuele, Ferrarotto, S. Bambino":
- Hospital Centre Gaspare Rodolico - Hospital Centre Vittorio Emanuele - Hospital Centre Ferrarotto - Hospital Centre S. Bambino - Hospital Centre S. Marta.
Intravesical Prostatic Protrusion: A Potential Marker of Alpha-blocker Treatment Success in Patients with Benign Prostatic Enlargement.
MONOCYTIC MYELOID DERIVED SUPPRESSOR CELLS (M-MDSC) IN CHRONIC MYELOID LEUKEMIA
All our incomings stay in a student dormitory called “Opera Universiteria”, placed in Via Oberdan , very close to the two main streets of Catania, Via Etnea and Corso Italia, and it’s only at 7 minutes from the city center. Close to dormitory you can find different bus stops to move around the city, you can also find bars, restaurants, shops, laundries and some pizzerias.
All rooms are double with a single bathroom, you don’t need to bring sheets and towels as they are provided by the dormitory.
At the ground flour of the student dormitory you cand find the dormitory’s canteen (contact us for having more information about meals).
Catania is one of the cities of the famous Sicilian Baroque. It belongs to the historical region of Val di Noto that is designated by UNESCO as World Heritage Site. Val di Noto includes several large and not very big cities of Southeast Sicily that are united by one common feature – all the old buildings in Late Baroque style were built immediately after the destructive earthquake of 1693 that occurred here.
Baroque in Catania is presented in a rather luxurious way. To get to know it better you can start with the central square Piazza del Duomo that is mainly surrounded by elegant constructions of the early 18th century. On this square is located the main temple of the city – the Cathedral of St Agatha or just Duomo. The cathedral was founded in the 11th century, but it didn’t preserve in its original form as it was completely rebuilt after the earthquake. The facade of the cathedral presents a great architectural masterpiece, authored by Giovanni Battista Vaccarini. By the way, Vaccarini created the image not only of renovated Duomo but of the majority of the buildings on the square.
In the very centre of Piazza del Duomo is located the Elephant Fountain. The strong animal made of black clinker with the obelisk on its back became the symbol of Catania long time ago. Beside the fountain and cathedral on Piazza del Duomo you will also see the scenic St. Agatha’s Abbey, one more fountain - the Amenano Fountain and Palazzo Senatorio where the city hall is located.
Of course, Baroque of Catania is not confined to the city square only. There is the entire neighborhood here – the Western District. It is a kind of an architectural reserve or, if you like, a museum. Its galleries are the streets of Via Vittorio, Via Etnea and Via Crociferi as well as Piazza S. Francesco.
In addition to Baroque there are many other things that are worth seeing in Catania. The city itself was founded by the ancient Greeks. There were left very few things that remind us of the first civilizations. And the ruins of the ancient theatre are such a thing. Long time ago this impressive arena could receive 7,000 spectators. It was created in the times of the Roman Empire, although there are some assumptions that the theatre was founded by the Hellenes. Near the theatre you will see Odeon. It was built a bit later. It looks nice but without magnitude. It was likely used for chamber music performances. It was the so-called “ancient VIP-zone”.
From the early Middle Ages Catania got the Ursino Castle built in the 13th century. It is located on Piazza Federico di Svevia. Today it is a museum.
Catania is the home of such great Italian creators of the Renaissance era as the composer Vincenzo Bellini and the writer Giovanni Verga. The first one is especially honored in Catania. The Museo Belliniano belongs to one of the main sights of Catania. The luxurious Teatro Bellini also refers to this list. Its acoustics is considered to be the best one among the opera theatres of the world.
There is one more wonderful place in the city that is called Bellini but it doesn’t refer to the great musician. This is Villa Bellini - a picturesque park with palms, oleanders and thousands of other exotic plants. At the top of the park hill there is a small cozy observation pavilion. There opens a breathtaking view on the neighborhood of Catania and Etna. Not far from the park there are several dignified hotels of Catania.
U Liotru 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. Tall tale 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 travels from 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 Catania is surely connected to both zooarcheology and popular creeds. In fact, the prehistoric fauna of Sicily from the Upper Paleolithic, included dwarf elephants. 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 Sights of Catania
There are a lot of sights in the province of Catania. The symbol of Sicily is the Etna Volcano. The resorts of Acireale and Belpasso are situated there as well as the cities of Val di Noto region. The capital of the province is a part of it too. A lot of tourists visit Catania to see the Etna. The biggest volcano in Europe arouses interest not only for itself but also for its vicinities. The Nebrodi Park is situated at the foot of the Etna near the Alcantara river-bed with picturesque waterfalls. The Nebrodi Park is known as one of the centres of agrotourism on Sicily.
There are lots of things to see in the capital of Catania, which is the main city of the province. There are more than 50 churches in baroque style there. The main is the Cathedral of St. Agatha in Duomo. There are more than 50 baroque palaces in Catania. The most beautiful palace is Biscari Palace. The ruins of the amphitheatre and a set of thermal baths are the remains of Ancient Rome in Catania. Villa Bellini Park is one of the most beautiful city parks there.
Catania is a motherland of the famous composer Vincenco Bellini. The house where he lived is a museum nowadays. Teatro Bellini, which is one of the best Opera Theatres in the world, is named after this great composer.
The capital of Catania is situated in a unique cultural-historical region called Val Di Noto. The cities built in the late Baroque style are located there. All of them were practically restored from the ruins after the eruption of Etna at the end of the 17th century. Besides the capital there are two more cities in Val Di Noto. They are Caltagirone and Militello di Catania.
The coast of the north of Catania is known as “the Lemon Coast” because of the great number of citrus gardens there. There are about nine cities there, the names of which start with a prefix “aci”. Acireale and Aci Castello are the most popular among them. Acireale is famous for its health springs. Aci Castello is famous for its Castle made of black lava stone which was built on a cliff by Normans. The Castle has been kept practically unchanged since the 12th century. Caltagirone The small town of Caltagirone, 42 miles from Catania, is at the heart of Sicily’s ceramic handicraft tradition. The town also offers beautiful architecture; don’t miss the richly decorated walls of the Scala dei Santa Maria steps. Along the stairs there are old, historic buildings.
Vincenzo Bellini’s Museum: The Museum is located Vincenzo Bellini in Catania in the eighteenth century Palazzo Gravina Cruylas in St. Francis of Assisi, 3, place where the musician was born on the night between 2 and 3 November 1801.
The birthplace was declared a national monument, and opened November 29, 1923 May 5, 1930. The various environments mirror the original Birthplace: hexagonal tile, vaults, small balconies Via V. Emmanuel, charming well, recreating the magic of a place that has faced many difficulties before becoming a museum institution.
The museum follows the evolution of the birthplace of the composer's life and career, beginning with a small entrance leading small alcove where the Bellini was born and ends in the same small room funeral (cooking time). Of particular interest is the room D, where is home to numerous music manuscripts autographs.
The Museum today after a long period of restructuring has a new layout and has expanded, continuing his show on the main floor of the palace, here the visitor can admire the impressive collection of pianos, playing the magical melodies of the Swan Catania manifestos and posters of the celebrations Bellini.
Even the rich library of the museum was transferred to the floor with a multimedia room equipped access point.
Soccer: Calcio Catania SpA,Catania, more simply, is the biggest club in the city of Catania, capital of the province of Sicily. Military currently in Serie C. Founded in 1908 as Sports Association Pro Patria and assumed its present name in 1946, the club was first promoted to Serie A in 1954. Since then he has played 14 Italian Championship top flight, getting better as placing eighth in the years 1961, 1964 and 1965. Matches internal dispute in the Angelo Massimino stadium in Catania (20,266 posts).
Saint Agata: The Feast of St. Agatha is the most important religious festival in the city of Catania and is celebrated in honor of the patron saint of the city. It takes place every year 3 to 5 February and August 17th. The first date is that of the martyrdom of the saint of Catania, while the date of August recalls the return of his remains in Catania, after they were stolen and brought to Constantinople by the Byzantine general George Maniace as spoils of war and where they remained for 86 years . From February 3 to 6 come to Catania almost one million people between devotees from all over Italy, and curious tourists.
Markets & Shopping
Markets and Shopping Streets The markets of Catania are favorite places for most of the tourists. There are 4 markets in the city and most of the population of Catania does shopping there.
The trade rows in Amerigo Vespucci Street are known as the main foodstuff market where the farmers of the province come to sell their goods. The territory of the market is more than 65 000 square km. The main fishing market of Catania is on Christopher Columbus Street. It is one of the greatest markets on Sicily. More than 7000 tons of fresh fish are sold and bought every day there. The market on Columbus Street is mostly for the owners of small shops and for the residents of the gigantic restaurant business in Catania. It is open from 3a.m. till 10 a.m. every day.
Two other markets are smaller but rather charismatic. One is very famous among tourists because of numerous guide-books. It is called Pescheria. It is situated behind Piazzo Duomo and is surrounded with narrow streets and baroque mansions. The main part of its trade rows is situated on Via Gemelli Zappala Street. It is better to come there early in the morning about 8.30 a.m. when there are not many tourists, but a lot of spirited Sicilians who do not only sell foodstuffs, but organize a sort of a performance. Each door in Pescheria leads to a shop where lobsters, different kinds of octopuses, shrimps and lots of fish are sold. Meat is also sold in Pescheria: turkey, mutton, lamb, flavoring Sicilian sausages.
The other small market is located in the centre of Catania between Via Etnea and Via Umberto. This market is more like an Arabian market. But the foodstuffs are mostly Sicilian: fresh fruit and pickled olives, cheese, sword fish, mushrooms in olive oil. The picturesque nunnery is situated near the market. It is called di Maria SS. Del Carmin. The market is a wonderful place where you can taste lots of delicious Sicilian dishes such as cod soup with a special kind of green tomatoes and famous soup made of sea urchins. People say that this soup adds intimate might to men.