When to fly
The Mediterranean climate ensures those lucky enough to book flights to Catania will enjoy incredibly hot days of sunshine for most of the year. Between June and August temperatures are at their highest, making this a popular time to enjoy a summer holiday. Catania’s Tango Festival takes place in August and allows visitors to either sit back, relax and watch the sultry art of dancing the tango displays, or get involved by taking a dance lesson from a professional.
Although summer in the city is the busiest time of the year, Catania is still pleasant throughout the winter months between December and February, making this an excellent time to find cheap flights to Catania and enjoy local attractions, such as Festa di Sant’Agata in February. The event is held to celebrate and honour the Patron Saint of Catania, Saint Agatha, and lasts for three days. Crowds of close to a million people fill the streets, with tens of thousands of locals and visitors from further afield who gather to express their gratitude towards Saint Agatha. Some will either follow or drag an effigy of her around on a silver carriage through the streets and others may just come to soak up the magical atmosphere, fireworks and food.
Catania is a city of contrasts, sandwiched between a volatile mountain and the blue waters of the Ionian Sea. Standing in the shadow of Mount Etna on the east coast of Sicily, this is a fertile land that has been shaped by fire and ash deposited by numerous volcanic eruptions. With a lengthy history that dates back to the 8th Century BC, this Italian city has a wealth of ancient treasures to discover. A short walking tour of the city highlights many examples of classical and Baroque buildings, including the ancient remains of a Roman city, complete with amphitheatre, acropolis and aqueduct. At its heart stands Catania Cathedral, a majestic building dedicated to Saint Agatha, notable for its marble statues and dome. The Piazza del Duomo is the city's main square and is a listed World Heritage Site characterised by magnificent Baroque buildings. In the centre of the Piazza is the symbol of the city "u Liotru", an unusual stone elephant fountain created by Giovanni Battista Vaccarini in 1736. Of course if you want to get up close to one of the biggest attractions in the area, then you'll need to strap on your walking boots and head out of the city. The awe inspiring sight of Mount Etna, Europe's tallest active volcano, draws many tourists to the area. Brave adventurers can take a variety of excursions to ascend to the summit and enjoy the superb views of the surrounding landscape and the smoking craters. The volcano can be tackled in a variety of ways, including cable car, 4x4 bus and guided walk.
Getting around Catania
Catania has a small city centre that can easily be explored on foot, however you can also hop on one of the public buses that run throughout the area. There is also a metro service that runs between Borgo and Porto around the city outskirts.
Getting to town from the airport
Catania-Fontanarossa Airport (CTA) is located 2.7 mile (4.3 km) to the southwest of the city centre. It is situated near to the A19 motorway, and you can easily hire a car from within the airport building and drive into the city. Public buses and taxis are also available at the airport, transferring passengers to the city centre within 15 minutes.