Throughout its history has been repeatedly destroyed by volcanic eruptions (the most impressive in historical times, is that of 1669) and earthquakes (the most catastrophic remember were those of 1169 and 1693).
The baroque old town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, along with seven towns of the Val di Noto (Caltagirone, Militello Val di Catania, Modica, Noto, Palazzolo Acreide, Ragusa and Scicli) in 2002.
The ancient city
Greek period in Catania are not many traces, due to various factors, both natural (earthquakes that have ruined the city, lava flows) and human causes, such as the reconstructions that have often held the previous architectures. Also, I have never been carried out major excavations and archaeological studies, except in sporadic cases of its recent history. Have had better luck Roman monuments that have survived until now witnessing the city’s importance in ancient times, many also occasionally finds from excavations in the city (most of them – including mosaics, statues and even a fragment of a column carved – are exposed to the museum).
The Roman Theatre (second century), the Odeon (III century), the Amphitheater (second century), the address Terme, Terme della Rotonda, Terme Achilliane, various other spa facilities (in Piazza Sant’Antonio , Itria Piazza, Piazza Dante, where the paved road was found today in the open) the remains of an aqueduct and some buildings at Via Grassi funeral, the hole remains visible today are the largest of Catania Roman. The Roman Theatre and the Odeon have been restored in recent years and can easily be visited.Also visible are the remains of 1907 (the year in which they were brought to light) from the entrance of the square and the courtyard of Stesicoro vico Amphitheatre.
Probably ‘u Liotru, the symbol of the city currently located in the central Piazza Duomo, was built in Roman times or maybe older. It is a porous made of volcanic stone, depicting an elephant. The name probably derives from the mispronunciation of the name of Heliodorus, semi-legendary magician and a great opponent of Leo the Healer.The elephant is surmounted by an obelisk with figures Egyptianising of uncertain date probably linked to the cult isideo.
With regard to the goods antiques found worthy of note are undoubtedly the votive offerings of Piazza San Francesco, which has returned to important findings from the fourth century (the stipe is considered among the richest and most important of the classical world), as well as a series of the coins produced in Catania, including dies – from archaic – with Nike and Zeus on a throne, dies of Aitna inspired by – those of the great engravers – Eveneto, Heraclides and Proclus, head diApollo or Amenano.
Period of Late Antiquity are the remains of the necropolis to the north and east of the city (including the mausoleums of visible Viale Regina Margherita and Vico Hypogeum), as well as many fragments, stones (including that of Julia Fiorentina exhibited in the Louvre), or the stone exposed to the Castello Ursino. Are of the crypts of early Christian era Sant’Euplio, Santa Maria La Grotta, Garibaldi Hospital of the chapel and the rooms of the so-called Sacred Prison.
The medieval town
A monument of Byzantine Chapel is Bonajuto (name derived from the noble family that had kept her family as well as a shrine as a private chapel): This is a “trichora” Byzantine (ie a building with three apses) before his restoration if they had knowledge thanks to the designs of Jean Houel.
Are kept mainly in the Norman period, the castle of Aci Castello (near the town of the same name) and the apse of the Cathedral of Sant’Agata (Duomo), which then would be restored after the earthquake of 1693. Today, the cathedral contains the launches, the reliquary bust and case-reliquary of St. Agatha, made by the Sienese Giovanni di Bartolo in the fourteenth century.
Swabian period (thirteenth century) is the portal of the church of Sant’Agata in prison and the famous Castello Ursino, Frederick (home of the Museum, consisting chiefly from the collections of the Benedictines and Biscari, since 1927), matching the equally famous castle Castel del Monte in Andria Castel Maniace and Syracuse. Instead, the portal of San Giovanni and the disappearance of the palace balcony Platamone go back to the Aragonese.
The Renaissance City
The late period of Aragonese few traces remain, including the church of Santa Maria of Jesus in the square of the same name and built nel1498 is perhaps the best example.The church was rebuilt in the eighteenth century, while the portal is only the sixteenth century and the Chapel Patern ò its preservation of the original Gothic structure.
In 1558, began the construction of the Benedictine monastery, which was eventually joined by the church of San Nicol ò l’Arena. Destroyed by the lava flow of 1669 and the 1693 earthquake, in 1703 he began the reconstruction, however, has never been more complete. Of that building remain today, the old kitchens, the western cloister, and the trace of the bowing of the south corridor.
The so-called Wall of Charles V, that enclose the old city, were erected in the sixteenth century, between 1550 and 1555 and designed by Tiburcio Spannocchi. The project actually involved the extension of the fortifications to the south-west and north at the expense of the old walls of epocamedioevale (including the old tower of the Bishop of 1302), but could not be completed. The lava flow eruption of 1669 engulfed part of the defense system to the south and southwest of the city that was unguarded on this side, rebuilt in part on the still hot lava cortna a wall, popularly known as the fort, which still opens the door access (Gate of the old fort on a Sacchero, formerly dedicated to the Duke de Ligne here that you passed in 1672) and of which traces are still shoot. On this wall was restored in the port of King Ferdinand, still erroneously called “‘u furtinu” (“the fort”).
With the 1693 earthquake and subsequent reconstruction would give the city a more open and free from strongholds (the remains were in fact incorporated in the development of the city), because now there was more danger of raids by pirates centuries earlier gave the ’impulse to the fortification of Regnum.
The Baroque town
Catania has been largely transformed by the consequences of earthquakes that have raged over this part of Sicily. Its surrounding area has been repeatedly covered by lava flows that reached the sea. But the people of Catania have stubbornly rebuilt on its own rubble. Legend has it that the city has been destroyed seven times during its history, but in reality these disastrous events can certainly refer to a few terrifying events. And the destruction of the city in recent times because of the lava flows are the result of imaginative history. However, in historical times (perhaps in 122 BC and 252) is reflected in the archaeological point of view the presence of lava that came to hit the city.
All the ancient monuments were incorporated into the urban fabric of the city was rebuilt with many artists, including nationally known, including some of the outstanding work of Giovan Battista Vaccarini, which gave the city a decidedly Baroque. Among the others who helped the city’s rebirth remember Francesco Battaglia, Stefano Ittar, Alonzo Di Benedetto and Jerome Mansion.
Among the most important Baroque monuments include:
Saint Agatha’s Cathedral
the church of the Badia di Sant’Agata, via Vittorio Emanuele II
the church of Sant’Agata la Vetere, Via Santa Maddalena, stands on a church of 264
the church of Sant’Agata alla Fornace or San Biagio, in the square Stesicoro
the church of San Francesco in Piazza San Francesco, which houses the remains of Eleanor of Anjou
the church of San Benedetto, in Crociferi
the Church of San Domenico, in the square
the church of San Giuliano, in Crociferi
the church of St. Nicholas Arena in Piazza Dante
the Church of San Placido, in the square
the Holy Trinity Monastery, via Vittorio Emanuele
the Collegiate Church of the (directed Chapel), via Etnea
the Palace of the Elephants, the town hall, the Palazzo del Seminario dei Chierici dell’Amenano and Fountain in Piazza del Duomo
Palazzo Biscari, in Biscari
Palazzo del Toscano, in square Stesicoro
Reburdone Palace, via Vittorio Emanuele II
Palace burned, Via Vittorio Emanuele II, home of the Toy Museum
Fassari the Peace Palace, Via Vittorio Emanuele II
Valle’s Palace, Via Vittorio Emanuele II, where the Foundation-Puglisi Cosentino
Villa Cerami, in Crociferi, the Faculty of Law
Uzeda via the Gate in St. Joseph Dusmet
the Port of King Ferdinand, said today Porta Garibaldi, built in 1768 and located in Piazza Palestro
the fountain of the Elephant
the boarding Cutelli
Markets and flea markets
One of the most popular is the characteristic of the Catania fish market the fish always glowing colors, sounds and smells. Another characteristic is the market in Piazza Carlo Alberto, better known as Beasley ‘or Luni, whose etymological root has often been questioned. The most common hypothesis is that it stands for “Fair Monday” probably because the market was originally intended to be active only for that date weekly. In the same square every Sunday held a major flea market.
A market of “bric a brac is open on Sunday under the arches of the” sea “near Villa Pacini. Another popular market is held on Friday in The Viceroy square in the north of the Forest Barrier. A resource no less important issue concerns the local markets in Catania.