Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Catania, Sicily

We had taken the early morning flight from Malpensa.  That had meant waking up before 5am and heading out to the airport at an ungodly hour.  But the good thing was after an hour and a half flight, it was still early by the time we touched down in Catania, picked up our rental car (a Panda!) and checked in to our hotel room.

After a short rest, we headed out to visit downtown Catania.  It was a beautiful sunny day.  The temperature was about 10C or 50F warmer than Milan. 

Right away, I spotted the brightly colored oranges that were being sold on the road side.  The citrus season was in full swing and they were plentiful.

And they didn't cost very much either!

We parked and walked along Via Aetna, a historical main street that led to the centro or center of town.

At one point, the street is closed to pedestrians only.  There were some polizia here patroling on horses


We ended up at the Piazza del Duomo.  At the very center stands the symbol of Catania, a lava stone statue portraying an elephant that is also known as 'liotru'.  


And across from the elephant was the very grand St Agatha cathedral.  It is dedicated of course to St Agatha, the patroness saint of the city.


It was just as beautiful inside as it was outside.


And on the south side of the piazza was the Fontana dell' Amenano fountain.  The interesting thing is that the water from the fountain falls into a river that flows underneath the city.

The last time S was here, it was ten years ago for work.  He spent several months in the area at that time so this trip brought back some memories. 

Next up, a fish market just behind this fountain. 

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