Piazza dell'Universita (University Square), Catania

Piazza dell'Universita (University Square), Catania

Close to the Cathedral and Bellini squares in the center of Catania, is the University Square. Late Baroque palaces of the University of Catania line the square.

There is the University Palace, Gioeni Asmundo Palace and the San Giuliano Palace. The alternate name for the square is Student Square. In former times the square featured a statue by Antonio Cali of King Francis I of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies. King Francis abdicated in 1830 and the statue followed.

The square now has four elaborate lampposts sculpted in bronze and designed by Vincenzo Corsaro. The lampposts together form a candelabra. Each candle has figures at the base that tell a tale of Sicily. In the telling, the statues celebrate virtues traditionally esteemed in Sicily: Chastity; Patriotism; Filial Devotion, and; Cleverness.

The lamp-post Gemmazita shows a woman dives into a well to avoid a lustful French soldier. This event is said to the cause of the War of Sicilian Vespers which was a successful rebellion on the island of Sicily that broke out at Easter 1282 against the rule of the French-born king Charles I.

The lamp-post Paladin shows a knight of Catalan defeats a Saracen and marries a princess.

The lamp-post Fratelli Pi shows two brothers save their elders from a river of lava by carrying them on their shoulders (the brothers' shoulders).

The lamp-post Colapesce (Tail-Fish) shows Count Ruggero asks a very young merman if he can see Mount Etna underwater. The boy says yes. He dives holding a log. He is not seen again but the volcano spits out the log during an eruption.

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Catania. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from iTunes App Store or Google Play. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Piazza dell'Universita (University Square) on Map

Sight Name: Piazza dell'Universita (University Square)
Sight Location: Catania, Italy (See walking tours in Catania)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Catania, Italy

Create Your Own Walk in Catania

Create Your Own Walk in Catania

Creating your own self-guided walk in Catania is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Historical Churches Walking Tour

Historical Churches Walking Tour

Just as many other Italian destinations, the Sicilian city of Catania is full of churches, especially in the historic center, where the presence of religious sites is particularly high! A good number of local churches date back centuries, and as such represent marvelous pieces of architecture, adding much character to the area. It is also commonplace to find inside most of them, be it a duomo,...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.6 Km or 1 Miles
Catania Introduction Walking Tour

Catania Introduction Walking Tour

The old Sicilian word "katane" is often translated as "harsh ground" or "sharp stones." Black lava from Mount Etna has swamped the area many times. Other disasters include earthquakes, invasions and wars.

The original village of Katane was occupied by Greek settlers in the eighth century BC. During the first Punic War, Catania became a Roman city. The Vandals...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.8 Km or 2.4 Miles