Catania's Architectural Jewels Tour (Self Guided), Catania

Catania is famous for its splendid Baroque and Rococo architecture. The city's building material consisted mainly of gray lava stone. There are many magnificent palaces, churches and theaters. There are ancient Roman ruins that still exemplify the beautiful architecture of the past. Take this self-guided to explore the architectural sights of Catania.
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Catania's Architectural Jewels Tour Map

Guide Name: Catania's Architectural Jewels Tour
Guide Location: Italy » Catania (See other walking tours in Catania)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 8
Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.8 Km or 1.1 Miles
Author: vickyc
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Villa Cerami
  • Church of Saint Camillo
  • Odeon
  • Roman Theater of Catania
  • City Hall
  • Palazzo San Giuliano
  • Theater Bellini
  • Convitto Cutelli
Villa Cerami

1) Villa Cerami

Villa Cerami is an artistically baroque palace and a historical building in Catania. It was built several years after the devastating earthquake of 1693. Today it is the seat of the Faculty of Law of the University of Catania. It rises at the end of Crociferi street. One of the remarkable features of its architecture is the adorned portal that is the entry to a large courtyard of the villa. You will see there the monumental staircase decorated with a fountain. It is the remarkable work of Vaccarini, famous architect of this beautiful city.
Church of Saint Camillo

2) Church of Saint Camillo

Church of Saint Camillo was built in the 18th century. This church represents the Baroque architecture so common on Via Crociferi. There are some added elements of neoclassical style. You will see a staircase that leads directly to the church vestibule and then to an oval hall. The altars inside the church are adorned. The parapet wall is decorated with eighteenth century paintings and a delicate floral decoration. The building of the church is characterized by the elegant simplicity of its architecture and the decorative Baroque style.

3) Odeon (must see)

The Odeon of Catania is one of the most significant monuments of ancient Catania. The Odeon exemplifies ancient Roman architecture in Catania. It was built as a semicircular construction that could accommodate 1500 spectators. This Odeon is similar to those funded in other Greek and Roman cities. The building material was mainly lava rock, but also bricks and marble. The orchestra - semicircular space between the auditorium and the stage, was and still is paved with marble. Some of the rooms in Odeon were restored in the sixties, but their function remains unclear until today.
Roman Theater of Catania

4) Roman Theater of Catania (must see)

Roman Theater of Catania is situated next to Odeon and is another example of ancient Roman architecture in Catania. It dates back to 300 B.C. It was built mainly from black lava stones and other materials that make it look like polychrome. Here you can see what is left from the original Theater. Roman buildings of the old Roman city became the foundations for other buildings of the city and today you can see Baroque palaces built upon part of the theater.
City Hall

5) City Hall (must see)

City Hall or Municipio is located now in what was Palazzo degli Elefanti. This palace was built in 1696, after the terrible earthquake. There are several balconies, and from one of them Mussolini spoke to people. There is a main courtyard and a second courtyard at the palace that is worth seeing. The building has facades from each of its parts. There is a grand staircase that leads to the main courtyard and 4 porticoes that were built much later at the end of the 18th century.
Palazzo San Giuliano

6) Palazzo San Giuliano

Palazzo San Giuliano was built in 1738, thus exemplifying the architecture that emerged following the earthquake that devastated Catania. There are several plaques at the entrance that recall the famous guests that have stayed here. Among them were the king of Italy, Vittorio Emanuele III and Queen Elena. The building has been remodeled several times but the external elevations have remained almost the same; only the balustrade that crowns the roof are of another style. The palace was built with various colours of marble and the door is flanked by two marble columns that are found in some buildings from Roman times.
Theater Bellini

7) Theater Bellini (must see)

The Teatro Massimo Bellini is an opera house in Catania. Named after the local-born composer Vincenzo Bellini, it was inaugurated on 31 May 1890 with a performance of the composer's masterwork, Norma. Throughout its history, the opera house has performed almost all of Bellini’s work. In recent years, there has been an infusion of about $2 million, leading to the celebration of the Bellini bicentennial during the 2001 season and to a major renovation of the house.The creation of what was to finally become the Teatro Massimo Bellini took almost two hundred years, beginning with discussions following the disastrous 1693 earthquake which completely destroyed Catania. The construction of a public theatre was discussed, and a foundation stone was finally laid in 1812.

Architect Salvatore Zahra Buda began to prepare a plan for a theatre in the Piazza Nuovaluce, in front of the Santa Maria di Nuovaluce monastery, the location of the present-day theatre. The exterior of the house matches the distinctive Sicilian Baroque style of the neighboring buildings of the late 17th Century. Its marble foyer, the “Ridotto”, is ornate and stuccoed, and a statue of Bellini is located between the central arches. The beautiful red-plush interior includes the main floor seating and four tiers of boxes. The painted ceiling of the theatre is quite spectacular in its depiction of scenes from four of Bellini’s most well-known operas.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Convitto Cutelli

8) Convitto Cutelli

Convitto Cutelli is considered a jewel of eighteenth-century architecture of Catania. It exemplifies the specific architecture that appeared in this city after the devastating earthquake in the 17th century. The main façade of the building was built in neoclassical style. There is a circular courtyard, a big clock tower and a monumental marble staircase that leads to the halls. The grandeur architecture of this building reflects the harmony between forms and design.

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

Historical Churches

Catania is a city of many churches that make its streets look so beautiful and historical. The churches in this city go back many centuries and represent the magnificent architecture of those ancient times. You will contemplate the rich decorations of gold, bronze and marble inside the impressive buildings. This self-guided tour will lead you through the most important religious sights of Catania.

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.8 Km or 1.1 Miles
Catania Introduction Walking Tour

Catania Introduction Walking Tour

Catania is a very beautiful ancient Italian city. The most remarkable landmarks are concentrated in the downtown area of Catania where the streets are so attractive thanks to the magnificent Baroque architecture of the palaces, churches and monuments. Take this orientation walk to visit the best attractions of Catania.

Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.0 Km or 2.5 Miles
Catania Museums Walking Tour

Catania Museums Walking Tour

There are various museums in Catania. You can visit museums housed in fascinating castles. There are museums dedicated to the outstanding personalities who lived in Catania. This self-guided tour leads you to the museums that will reveal the rich history and culture of Catania.

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.7 Km or 1.7 Miles
East Catania Walking Tour

East Catania Walking Tour

You will find several unique and worthwhile attractions in the eastern part of the city of Catania. Catania is full of beautiful palaces and the east of the city is not the exception. There are also monuments, fountains and an unusual beach with lava sand. This self-guided tour will lead you through east Catania and the more modern part of this beautiful city.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.0 Km or 1.9 Miles
Coastline Area Walking Tour

Coastline Area Walking Tour

Catania is located on the shore of the Mediterranean Sea. It has some interesting attractions along the coastline area. You will find a museum, a beautiful baroque fountain, the port and of course the beach. This self-guided tour will lead you through these and other worthwhile places on the coastline of Catania.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.9 Km or 3 Miles