Cruise Port Atlas | Catania (Sicily), Italy Day Trips | Attractions

Catania (Sicily), Italy Day Trips | Attractions

With limited time in port, planning is the best way to make the most of your time. Should you strike out on your own? Should you hire a local guide? Or should you book a shore excursion offered by the cruise line or an international tour company? Below we have listed the attractions and activities that many other cruisers have enjoyed. This information should help you plan.

The advantage to cruise line tours is that they are timed for your visit and give you flexibility to change your mind after your trip begins. The advantage of using a large international firm is that tours are often less expensive than cruise sponsored tours. The advantage to using a local tour company or guide is that prices can be significantly lower or you may be able to get a customized trip just to see the attractions that interest you most.

Cruise lines that visit Catania: Voyages of Discovery, Windstar, Azamara Club Cruises, Crystal, Oceania, Celebrity, Cunard, Disney Cruise Line

Key Attractions: Baroque Catania, Ursino Castle, Enna, Piazza Armerina, Mount Etna, Taormina, Greek Amphitheater, Acireale

Baroque CataniaCatania's Baroque Center

Port to Cathedral - 2 KM, 10 minutes (taxi), 1 KM, 20 minutes walking

Destroyed by an earthquake at the end of the 17th and reconstructed in the baroque style in the 18th, the primary architect of this renaissance city was Giovanni Battista Vaccarini, who designed many of the iconic structures of the era. Besides the cathedral, Catania is filled with churches built during this era, including the Church of Santa Maria dell' Aiuto. Catania's baroque center is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Reconstruction after the earthquake   Baroque   Baroque city center  

Uneven surfaces    Somewhat Wheelchair Accessible

Photo by Pequod76

Cas Abao BeachCatania's Ancient Attractions

Port to Ursino Castle - 1.5 KM, 10 minutes

While much of Catania's pre-18th century buildings were destroyed, there are still some significant Roman ruins near the city center and the Ursino Castle that are worth visiting. The castle was built on the sea by Richard the Lionhearted to protect the city from marauding Muslims (during the era of the crusades). It now houses an historical museum with art and artifacts of local significance from the Greek era onward. While most Roman era ruins were built over, there are several that cruisers may still visit. Two significant Roman amphitheaters are the most visited. The smaller held about 6,000 and is generally available for tours. The larger held up to 13,000, but is currently closed.

Photo by Triquetra

Reconstruction after the earthquake   Baroque  

Varied Walking    Somewhat Wheelchair Accessible

One of Etna's cratersMount Etna

Port to Mount Etna - 44 KM, 85 minutes

Mount Etna is one of the great natural wonders of the world and is continuously active. Most eruptions occur near the summit, but there are also flank eruptions. Though this sounds ominous and property destruction has been considerable over the centuries, deaths are very uncommon from volcanic activity. The most popular activities on the volcano are tours of the craters, hiking and visiting waterfalls and towns on the mountainsides. Often steam and, less commonly, lava can be seen from the area.

Extremely fertile area   Volcanic activity and formations   Dramatic scenery   Fascinating landscape  

Challenging walking Walking    Not Wheelchair Accessible

Mosaic of women's sportsEnna and Piazza Armerina

Port to Enna - 87 KM, 80 minutes
Enna to Piazza Armerina - 33 KM, 45 minutes
Port to Piazza Armerina - 96 KM, 90 minutes

Enna is the highest of all Sicilian cities and was the only significant city on the island not established by foreigners. While it has a long history, its most significant historical site is the Lombard Castle, built on the ruins of either a Byzantine or Arab structure. The castle's Pisian tower offers amazing views of the surrounding valley. You may be able to combine a tour of Enna with Piazza Armerina, the location of the large and well-preserved 4th century Villa Romana del Casale, containing the finest collection of Roman mosaics in the world that has been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The most famous of the mosaics is known as the Bikini Women, because it pictures athletic women involved in sports activities wearing two-piece swimsuits.

Photo by Disdero

Castle and Roman Villa   Roman Mosaics   Roman and Medieval Historical sites   World Heritage Site  

Difficult Walking    Not Wheelchair Accessible

Interests Key:

Art Architecture Beach Children Wild Animals Local Cuisine Flora Gardens-Parks Geology

Diving UNESCO Views Wine Dance Music Shopping History Hiking

Walking & Wheelchair Accessibility:

No Walking Easy Walking Normal Walking Difficult Walking Accessible Limited Not Accessible