Catania

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Situated at the foot of Mt. Etna, Catania is Sicily's second largest city and capital of the eastern part of the island. Catania has suffered an endless series of natural disasters, from the violent eruptions of Mt. Etna to fierce earthquakes, causing massive destruction. As a result of these natural catastrophes, the city was in a state of reconstruction for several decades. The great quantities of black lava and limestone were put to use as the city was rebuilt in the Baroque architectural style.

Depart from the pier and begin your drive via air-conditioned/heated vehicle to the busy city of Catania. Upon arrival, take a short walk to Piazza Duomo, or Cathedral Square, the historical city center of Catania, where you will see the unique Elephant Fountain. This lava-stone statue has been the symbol of Catania since 1200 AD. You will also see the Cathedral, the Chapel of Sant'Agata containing the Saint's treasures, as well as City Hall and Palazzo degli Elefanti.
Return to your vehicle and continue driving through the city, passing noble palaces from the 18th and 19th centuries. View the Benedictine Monastery, one of the largest in Europe and one of the most important cultural centers in Sicily. It is now the Faculty of Literature and Philosophy for the University of Catania.
As you travel along the Cyclops Coast, pass the Bellini Gardens which spread over 45 square miles and are comprised of avenues, squares, bridges, borders and fountains. A photo stop will be made at the famous Norman Aci Castello, built in 1076 AD on a hill of lava rock.
Return to the pier in the afternoon.