Catania, a city rich in history and culture
There are few cities whose name is able to tell their own nature, their history. Catania is one of these: its name derives from the application of the Greek prefix katà ("near" or "leaning against") to the name of the volcano Etna. In fact, the territory on which this municipality is located, which is the most populous pro- vince capital in Italy, is of a volcanic type. The city overlooking the Ionian coast of Sicily and built at the feet of the highest active volcano in Europe, sees alternating snowy peaks, a crystal clear sea and the lush Plain of Catania. Fire and water came together here, giving rise to a unique city, declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco, along with seven municipalities of the Val di Noto. Starting from it’s foundation, which took place in 729 b.C. by the Calcidesi Greeks, the city has undergone various dominations, which however have enriched its artistic, architectural and cultural heritage. And they have tempered the character of its citizens, who over the millennia have made welcoming and peaceful living together a way of life.
The concentration of Baroque buildings in the historic center is extraordinary, in particular in via Crociferi, which is overlooked, for example, by the Chiesa (church) of San Benedetto, Palazzo (palace) Asmundo Francica-Nava, with its wonderful hanging garden, and the Chiesa (church) of San Francesco Borgia , where the great composer Vincenzo Bellini played the organ. It is to the author of the Norma that Villa Bellini is dedicated, one of the many city gardens, which preserves the wonder - for historical importance and conservation of biodiversity - of the Botanical Garden. There are also many clubs and restaurants that animate the Catania nightlife: beer houses, bars with maxi screens and cafes frequented by university students, who in summer move to the Playa, the 5 km long sandy beach crowded with establishments of the city and defined, for the over- whelming boom of the Sixties, the "Milan of the South”.
Catania is also a city with a very strong culinary tradition characterized by unmistakable flavors and aromas. There are countless specialties to be enjoyed both in the restaurant and on the street: the city is in fact renowned for all of its street food. Among the many typical dishes that Catania offers, we mention: the ‘lecornie’, ‘arancini al ragù, burro o spinaci’(fried rice balls with meat sauce or butter sauce or spinach sauce), ‘pane e panelle e cazzilli’ (bread with typical cro- quets made with chickpeas or potatoes), ‘parmigiana alle melenzane’ (aubergine and tomato bake), ‘caponata’ (fried vegetables, seasoned with tomato sauce, and sweet onions), ‘cartocciata alla catanese’ (local pastry) and the ‘pasta alla norma’ (pasta with tomato sauce and fried auber- gines) . Fish is very present in the local cuisine as can be proved by the specialties of the ‘sarde al beccafico’ (stuffed sardines), the ‘pasta al nero di seppia’ (pasta with cuttlefish black ink), the ‘pa- sta con i ricci’ (pasta with sea urchins), the ‘pepata di cozze e pesce freschissimo’ (peppery pasta with mussels and the freshest fish). The most famous typical desserts are: the ‘olivette di Sant’Agata’ (Sant’Agata sweet sugar olives), the ‘ zeppola di San Giuseppe’ (fried rice dessert served with local honey), the ‘cannoli’ (fried pastry served with ricotta cheese or chocolate cream), the ‘paste di mandorla’ (almond pastries), the ‘cassata’ (typical sweet) and the ‘granita al pista- chio e mandorla con brioche’ (local granita with pistacchio and almond served with a local brio- che). Excellent are also a sweet wine called ‘Zibibbo’ and one of the local liqueur called ‘Fuoco dell’Etna’ (fire of Etna).
Climate in September
The mild climate is not very variable and will allow you to enjoy the summer heat, even in the months of September / October. To be honest, many people prefer it in these months. In these days tourists have already left the beautiful country, so you can enjoy the the crystal clear waters of Sicily and go in search of flavors and traditions in this ancient land in peace.
Thinking about it better, Sicily in September can be called a strategic vacation. It allows you to avoid that annoying torrid heat, typical of the months of July and August. With temperatures averaging below 30 degrees, it is a joy both for lovers of historic monuments and for lovers of sunny beaches. Moreover you will still be able to enjoy the benefits of crystalline warm waters; indeed, September is the ideal month for bathing.
On the east coast there are cities like Taormina, particularly rainy due to its position in relation to the other coastal areas, and Catania which, due to its particular temperature range, is particularly hot in summer (in September it can even reach 29 degrees).