Etnea street in Catania - beautiful street in Catania - monuments in Catania - Catania centre of the city - beauties of Catania - shops in Catania - Bellini Garden in Catania - Streets in Catania

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Hotel  La Ville Catania

Etnea Street

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Via Claudio Monteverdi, 15
Post code I-95131 Catania Sicily Italy
Tel. 0039 (0) 95 7465230 - Fax 0039 (0) 95 7465230

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Via Etnea can be considered the historical  nucleus of the city centre. It is one of the most important and beautiful street of Catania. Partly closed to traffic, Via Etnea has the most elegant shops and coffee bars  of the city. From  Piazza Duomo where it starts,  we can  gaze up along the full length of via Etnea to where in ends at Tondo Gioeni (after about three Km) and it has in its background the grandeur of  “Mount  Etna”. Via Etnea was  planned according to the will of the Duca di Uzeda, after the earthquake  of 1963, which almost completely  devastated  Catania. Firstly it was called “Via Duca di Uzeda”,  then  “Via Stesicorea” because the street ended up in “Piazza Stesicoro”(named after the VI century A.D Greek poet); at the present time  is called Via Etnea. It starts  from Piazza Duomo, a triumph of Sicilian Baroque style. Immediately on the left of Porta Uzeda stands the Palazzo dei Clerici (built in the early years of the eighteenth century).Opposite stands Palazzo degli Elefanti  or City Hall, designed  by Vaccarini. The monumental Cathedral stands on the right. It boasts a fantastic façade designed by Vaccarini from 1733 to 1761.In the centre of the square there is the Fontana dell’Elefante (1736) that is a curious blend of the sacred and  of the  profane, a mixture of pagan and Christian cultures. From Piazza Duomo  we go towards Piazza Universita’ where on the right-hand side there is Palazzo dell’Università;  the main historic  university building, that contains a courtyard  and a loggia designed by Vaccarini. On the left  there is another university building “Palazzo  di Sangiuliano”. On our way we can admire the spectacular curves of the façade of the Basilica Collegiata (1768) “Stefano Ittar’s masterpiece” which the  Aragonese rulers chose as their Royal Chapel. Continuing we reach the crossroad (via Antonino di Sangiuliano and via Etnea) known locally as “Quatro Canti”. From here we go towards “Piazza Stesicoro” and on our way we can admire, on our left,  the fine Church of the Minoriti (Minor Clerics), a great work of F. Battaglia. In Piazza Stesicoro we can admire the striking spectacle of the Roman Amphitheatre, brought to light during  excavations carried out from 1904 to 1906. The Amphitheatre  dates from the II century AD. It is oval in shape,  built from lava stone, brick and marble.  Only  a part of it  is visible today, as the bulk of the Amphitheatre is buried under Piazza Stesicoro. Behind the Amphitheatre stands the church of San  Biagio (also known as Sant’Agata alla Fornace).  Going up Via Etnea, we will find on our right the imposing Central  Post Office building, the “ Palazzo delle Poste e dei Telegrafi” ( designed by Fichera, 1919 -1929). On the left, there is a monument to Unification patriot, Giuseppe Garibaldi ( by Ferrari, 1912). To the right there is an entrance to the Villa Bellini public gardens.  This splendid park (which covers 70.945 sq.m.) belonged to the aristocratic  Biscari family who sold it to the local Council in 1853. It was opened to the public after many years’ work. It had been graced with a decorative entrance, a pond to house swans,  and  statues of the arts in the open space of the entrance. The park was considered  one of the finest in Europe, because of its ancient trees, palm trees  and floral decorations. This part of Via Etnea that stretches down to Piazza Duomo offers sightseers a host of grand baroque buildings  to admire. Some of these have been renovated recently. A particularly noteworthy  building is the neoclassical Palazzo del Toscano (1870),that looks over Piazza Stesicoro. Going up via Etnea  we reach Piazza Cavour, which has two churches: the church of Saint Agata al Borgo, which was constructed after the earthquake (1963) and on the south side, the eighteenth-century Church of SS. Crocifisso (Holy Crocifix). In the middle of  the square there is “Fontana di Cenere”(1757). Going along Via Etnea we will take us to the public gardens at Tondo Gioeni from where we can gaze on the splendid sweeping   panorama and look down along Via Etnea, towards Piazza Duomo and Porta Uzeda,  where we started out from.   


Catania Hotel La Ville - Via Monteverdi, 15 - Post code I-95131 - Catania Sicily Italy
Tel. 0039 (0) 95 7465230 - Fax 0039 (0) 95 7465230 - VAT 03634070878 -
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