The Home of “Mamma Etna“

Catania is shaped by Sicily‘s stunning natural features that include spectacular sandy beaches, rocky coastlines and -not to be forgotten of course- Mount Etna, which also happens to be Europe’s most active volcano.

The name Catania comes from the Sicilian word “Katane” (which means “rasp” or “grater”) and refers to the irregular lava rock that is omnipresent in the region of this southern Sicilian town. Even the “Liotro” fountain, Catania’s landmark, features an elephant made of lava rock.;;; The truth is: everything about Catania qualifies as an attraction. Destroyed in part by an earthquake and subsequently rebuilt in baroque style, the cityscape is characterised by impressive palazzi and an amphitheatre. The famous fish market and inviting street food stalls add to the city’s charm and allure.

Quick facts Catania (Sicily)

Flight time

01:40 h


1235 km

Time difference




A cup of cappuccino costs around

CHF 1.82

Ash and snow

Mount Etna is undoubtedly Catania’s major attraction. Exploring Etna also involves hearing and feeling it – and perhaps even watching it spew fire. Hiking up Mount Etna is not dangerous. The only risk is potentially slipping on the black ash that falls like snow from the sky. Apropos snow: peaking at 10,922 ft. (3329 m), skiing is possible on the upper slopes of Mount Etna – followed, in spring, by a dip in the sea. The perfect holidays for families with children.

Beaches around and in Catania for relaxed beach holidays

The Playa di Catania is Catania‘s longest sandy beach. For those who favour a quieter ambience, the rocky coastlines of Santa Tecla and Aci Castello are enchanting places to enjoy and retreat to. Sicily’s climate is ideally suited for beach holidays in the summer and more adventurous travel during the mild winter months.

Wonderful Sicily

The island of Sicily offers a truly remarkable abundance of attractions and sites to explore, including: the island capital of Palermo, the beach resorts of Ragusa, Fontane Bianche and San Vito lo Capo, the city of Messina situated at the Strait of Messina that separates the island from the Italian mainland, the island’s westernmost city of Marsala and, not to forget, Taormina that sits on a hill right by the sea and is a real party and shopping haven. Absolutely fabulous – or “che meraviglia” as the Italians would say!

Of Romans, Cyclops and “Mama Etna”

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