There are a number of festivals, holidays and other events celebrated in Catania each year. The main ones are listed below.January 1: New Year's Day - Capodanno (national) January 6: Epiphany (Feast of Befana, national)
For all Italians, the 6th of January is the day when the benevolent white witch Befana, who predates Santa Claus in Italy, arrives on her broomstick with presents and candy for all children who have been good during the year or a lump of coal if they have been bad!February 3-5: Feast of Sant'Agatha (local)
For a few days around February 5, the city celebrates Sant'Agatha, virgin and martyr, with a torchlight parade called luminaria. An impressive procession (the crowd sometimes reaches up to a million individuals) arrives at the San Biagio Church, where the saint was burnt for refusing to marry the Quinzino proconsul, prefect of Sicily.One week before Easter: Holy Week (national)
Solemn processions and passion plays in the streets mark the week leading up to Easter in Catania.May 1: Labour Day (national)
Artistic associations organise events in the historic centre of the city: performances, workshops, street theatre, and more.June 2: Republic Day - Festa della Repubblica - (national)
To commemorate the birth of the Italian Republic in 1946, celebrations, fireworks displays, parades and street dances are held all over Catania and other Italian cities.August 15: Ferragosto (national)
This holiday is dedicated to the celebration of the Virgin Mary. Mass and several processions take place in the churches and streets of the historic centre to honour her.November 1: All Saints Day (national)
All Saints Day is a holiday in Italy. It is the celebration day of all Saints, with numerous events organised all around town.November 4: National Unity and Armed Forces Day (national)
For this official commemoration of Italian reunification and the end of the First World War, military parades are held across the city.December 25: Christmas (national) December 26: Santo Stefano (national)
Celebrates the birth of Santo Stefano. Traditionally, Italians sit down to a large and festive meal with their families.
|Month||Min. Average Temperature (°C/F°)||Max. Average Temperature (°C/F°)||Average Rains (MM)||Best Time to Travel|
|January||5/41||15/59||1/0.04||Not the best period to go|
|February||6/43||15/59||2/0.07||Not the best period to go|
|March||7/45||17/63||1/0.04||Not the best period to go|
|April||10/50||20/68||1/0.04||Good period to go|
|May||13/55||23/73||1/0.04||Good period to go|
|June||17/63||28/82||1/0.04||Good period to go|
|July||20/68||30/86||-||Good period to go|
|August||21/70||31/89||-||Good period to go|
|September||19/66||29/84||-||Good period to go|
|October||16/61||24/75||-||Good period to go|
|November||11/52||20/68||-||Good period to go|
|December||7/45||16/61||1/0.04||Not the best period to go|
The Catania-Fontanarossa International Airport is located about 6 kilometres (4 miles) north-east of the city centre.
It is easy to get around by foot as most of Catania's tourist attractions are concentrated. The city also offers an efficient public transport system serving all districts.
57 bus lines of the AMT network connect all of Catania during daytime. An express line named Circumetnea takes you around the Etna volcano and up to 1,000-metre high. A ticket valid for 90 minutes costs EUR 1, a bus-metro pass costs EUR 1.20. For more information, visit www.amt.ct.it.
To use public transports freely (bus and metro), you can buy the Catania Pass. It exists in a family version (two adults with 1 or children under 13). For more information about the rates, visit www.cataniapass.it.
The metro line is 5.7 km long, and comprised of 7 stations between Borgo and Stesicoro, on the outskirts of the city. The section between Borgo and Stazione Centrale (train station) uses the Ferrovia Circumetnea (railway around the Etna region), built in 1895. A 90-minute ticket costs EUR 1, a bus-metro pass valid for 2 hours costs EUR 1.20. You may alternately use the Catania Pass.
You will find the Social Taxi Catania network stations in Stazione Centrale (train station) and at the northwest corner of the Piazza del Duomo. Taxis operate 24/7. For more information, visit www.radiotaxicatania.org.
Renting a car is an excellent way to discover the region of Catania as well as the rest of Sicily. It will grant you more freedom, and distances are not that long. However, driving within city limits can be difficult as traffic is extremely dense during rush hours, and parking facilities are limited. Good to know: Catania's main thoroughfare (Via Etnea) is restricted to vehicles during the day.
Upon your arrival in Catania, you can get in touch with local tourism professionals for further information and to help organise your stay.Autonomous Provincial Tourism Agency of Catania (Azienda Autonoma Provinciale per l'Incremento Turistico di Catania)
Offers practical information and many useful recommendations (accommodation, restaurants, public transport, festivals, cultural events, etc.).
The official website of Italy's national tourist board provides a wealth of information on Catania.
The currency used in Italy is the Euro (EUR).
USD 1 = EUR 0.93
EUR 1 = USD 1.08
The above exchange rate is given for information because is variable.
See your doctor before you travel. Catania counts several hospitals and medical institutions, as well as quality medical practitioners and health specialists. It is recommended that you obtain insurance covering health care expenses as well as medical evacuation or repatriation before you leave home.
For a stay of less than three months, travellers from the Schengen area and various countries of the European Union need only be in possession of a national identity card or a passport valid for the duration of their stay in order to enter Italy.
As a general rule, all other travellers are subject to visa requirements, although citizens of some countries may enter Italy for a short stay of up to 90 days without a visa.
For further information, visit the website of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs: /vistoperitalia.esteri.it/home/en
To enjoy peace of mind during your stay in Catania, visit the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of your country.
Here are a few basic Italian phrases that will make your stay in Catania a little easier:
Tipping is often included in the bill, under the header “servizio” (service). However, you can leave a tip if you've been pleased with the service. In the bill, you will sometimes find the header “pane e coperto” (bread and cutlery) which corresponds to bread and setting. Make sure the price includes tip and setting.