Conquered by the Saracens in 875, Catania returned to a new splendor thanks to the Normans from 1060 .
In 1239 Frederick II built the castle Ursino at the edge of the village and close to the sea, like a defensive system of the coast.
In 1669 a huge lava flow submerged the western districts until flowing into the sea, while in 1693 a catastrophic earthquake reduced the town into a heap of ruins.
An intelligent reconstruction redesigned Catania with "modern" criteria, with wide and straight streets.
Catania is a city of many facets, able to give the visitor strong emotions.
The growth of the city of Catania is linked, for better or for worse, to the relationship with the Etna: taking advantage of fertility, succumbing to the casting, bending the material in lava stone to build houses.
Founded by the Greeks in the eighth century BC on a previous Sicilian settlement, in 263 BC Catania was conquered by the Romans. Historical evidence of this period can be found in some buildings, such as the amphitheater in Piazza Stesicoro, the Odeon and the Roman theater.
Catania is one of the most beautiful Sicilian town. For this reason UNESCO declared the city center World Heritage Site.
Catania is located on the east coast of Sicily, at the foot of Mount Etna, and it is a veritable treasure trove of artistic, cultural and natural, the result of an ancient history, which dates back to 729 BC, the year of the founding of the city by the Calcidieses. Strolling in Catania streets and parks represents a real leap over the centuries, including Roman and Baroque buildings, picturesque lanes and spacious squares, green and coastal scenery corners.
Called by the Sicilians Mungibeddu or A Muntagna, to indicate its recognition as "The Mountain" par excellence, Etna is the higher and most active volcano in Europe.
The urbanized area, which consists of small and medium-sized centers, reaches 1,000 meters, while the cultivated and wooded areas reach up to 1,500 meters.
Etna has a great variety of geological landscapes and dense forests with endemic species, desert areas with volcanic rocks which are covered with snow during the winter.
FERA 'O LUNI
Piazza Carlo Alberto, located in the historic center of Catania between the Villa Bellini, Via Umberto and Corso Sicilia, flanked by the picturesque church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel and the Underground Church of St. Gaetano to the caves, is one of the most fascinating places of Catania. The square is famous because every day there is a market place, popularly known as the "Fera o 'Luni". There are several hypotheses about the meaning of this name; the most plausible is that according to which the market in the past was only active on Monday, and it would have originated the name "Fera o'Luni" or "Monday Fair". Along with the "Pescheria", a typical fish market near Piazza Duomo, the "Fera o 'Luni" is one of the oldest and characteristic markets of Catania.
The fishing village of Acitrezza, a popular destination for summer tourism, is developed on the Ionian coast of Sicily between Catania and Acireale and was made famous by both the Homeric legend of the battle between the Cyclops Polyphemus and Ulysses, both by Giovanni Verga with the novel "I Malavoglia", the absolute masterpiece of literary realism. Today the whole area is Nature Reserve and Marine Reserve. The "Faraglioni", as well as the island Lachea that acts as lead partner, are a wonderful procession of islets and are evidence of an underwater volcanic eruption in prehistoric times.