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Catania (Sicily), Italy

There’s a famous centuries-old quote about how important Sicily is — basically, if you skip it when visiting Italy, you might as well have just stayed home. We don’t exactly agree, but we know where the guy was coming from. Catania is the island’s second-largest city and an excellent place to kick off an exploration of Sicily. There’s no missing the gigantic Mt. Etna volcano — really, it’s impossible since it literally overshadows much of the island’s eastern region, and Catania puts you right in a primo position to see it. Compared to Etna, historical sites from Greek and Roman times are only a couple-thousand years old, but you can see them all — and some are even still in use today, like the amphitheater in Siracusa. Piazza Armerina features a villa once home to a Roman emperor, and today a UNESCO World Heritage Site, one that’s still decked out in well-preserved mosaics. Also, don’t miss the nearby town of Savoca, which you actually may have already seen… in a famous mobster trilogy. Capiche?

  • Find beautiful relaxation in Taormina — plus tons of Greek and Roman history.
  • Check the unique elephant sculpture adorning the town fountain of Catania.
  • Sample and savor the food and wine scene in Sicily, consisting of Greek, French, Arab and Spanish influences.