Historical Churches (Self Guided), Catania

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.
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Historical Churches Map

Guide Name: Historical Churches
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:
  • The Church of the Abbey of Saint Agata
  • Cathedral of Catania
  • Church of St. Benedict
  • Church of Saint Francis Borgia
  • Church of San Giuliano
  • Monastery of St. Nicholas Arena
  • Church of Saint Chiara
  • Church of Santa Maria dell'Aiuto
The Church of the Abbey of Saint Agata

1) The Church of the Abbey of Saint Agata

The Church of the Abbey of Saint Agata is situated near the Cathedral of Catania and is one of the major monuments of Baroque Catania. The abbey stands on the ruins of the ancient church of Saint Agatha. The facade is decorated with palms, lilies and crowns, which are symbols of St. Agatha. The building also features an impressive dome and statues of saints. The interior boasts beautiful religious paintings and impressive marble altars.
Cathedral of Catania

2) Cathedral of Catania (must see)

The Cathedral of Catania, entitled to St. Agatha, is a church in Catania constructed in 1078-1093, on the ruins of the ancient Roman Achillean Baths, by order of Roger I of Sicily, who had conquered the city from the Islamic emirate of Sicily. At the time it had the appearance of a fortified church (ecclesia munita).

In 1169 it was nearly entirely destroyed by an earthquake, leaving only the apse area intact. Further damage was introduced by a fire in 1169, but the most catastrophic event was the 1693 earthquake, which again left it mostly in ruins. It was subsequently rebuilt in Baroque style. Today, traces of the original Norman edifice include part of the transept, the two towers and the three semicircular apses, composed of large lava stones, most of them recovered from imperial Roman buildings. The current appearance of the church date to the 1711 century design of Gian Battista Vaccarini, who designed a new Baroque façade after the 1693 earthquake. It has three floors with Corinthian columns, in granite, perhaps taken from the Roman Theatre of the city. All the orders are decorated with marble statues of St. Agatha over the gate, St. Euplius on the right and St. Birillus on the left.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Church of St. Benedict

3) Church of St. Benedict (must see)

San Benedetto is a church in Catania. Dedicated to St. Benedict of Nursia, it was built between 1704 and 1713. The church is part of a complex including also the Badia Maggiore and the Badia Minore, connected by a covered bridge over the road.

Its mos famous feature is the Angel's Staircase, a marble entrance stair decorated with statues of angels and surrounded by a wrought iron railings. The entrance door, in wood, has panels with Stories of St. Benedict.The interior, with a single nave, is home to frescoes by Sebastiano Lo Monaco, Giovanni Tuccari and Matteo Desiderato. The vault is frescoed with scenes of the life of St. Benedict. The high altar is in polychrome marble with hardsstone intarsia and bronze panels.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Church of Saint Francis Borgia

4) Church of Saint Francis Borgia

Church of Saint Francis Borgia or Chiesa di San Francesco Borgia is one of the spectacular churches in Catania; it stands next to the Church of St. Benedict. It was built in Baroque and Romanesque styles. There are many things to see, for example, magnificent stairs, Roman style façade and many white marble columns. There are paintings of famous Italian painters from the 18th century at the altars inside the church. The dome is decorated with frescoes that represent the Jesuit order. All frescoes of the church are of great historical and artistic value.
Church of San Giuliano

5) Church of San Giuliano

Church of San Giuliano is a must see in Catania as it is considered one of the city’s most beautiful churches. It was constructed in the 18th century and preserved valuable religious art created by famous Italian artists from that era. The church is oval in form. There is an impressive painted dome that illuminates the interior of the church, many different marble statues, a golden altar and other interesting things. Its curved facade and its simple lines give the church building an appearance of rare elegance.
Monastery of St. Nicholas Arena

6) Monastery of St. Nicholas Arena (must see)

Monastery of St. Nicholas Arena is situated in the very heart of the historic center of Catania. This large historical and religious complex consists of an old Benedict monastery and of a monumental church built in the 18th century in the style of Roman churches. The complex occupies an area of 100 000 square meters and is considered the second largest monastery in all of Europe. It is a very important monastery that accumulated considerable wealth over the years, and was visited by queens, princes and rulers of countries.
Church of Saint Chiara

7) Church of Saint Chiara

The Church of Saint Chiara in Catania is a lovely church that was built in the late 18th century. It is a perfect example of an octagonal, almost circular-shaped church. You will see some fine religious art, namely, the paintings of ‘St Laurence’ and ‘The Blessed Mary’, as well as a beautiful crucifix.
Church of Santa Maria dell'Aiuto

8) Church of Santa Maria dell'Aiuto

Church of Santa Maria dell'Aiuto is a beautiful church that faces the square with the same name. It boasts splendid artistic architectural features. This church was originally dedicated to St. Peter and later to Santa Maria, as there was a beautiful statue of Madonna on the street close to the church. The statue was placed in the church, which got its name from the statue. The church was destroyed by the great earthquake in 1693 and then rebuilt.

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.
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's Architectural Jewels Tour

Catania's Architectural Jewels Tour

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.

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.8 Km or 1.1 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