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Greek/Roman Theatre with the Church of St. Francis behind
Like the rest of Sicily, Catania was occupied by many different civilisations,including the Greeks, Romans, Spanish, Arabs and later on, the Bourbons. All of these civilisations left the city with a rich and varied cultural heritage. The Greco-roman architecture in the 'Parco Archeologico Greco-Romano di Catania' sits side by side with the medieval 'Castello Ursino' and Baroque masterpieces such as 'Catania Cathedral' and 'San Francesco d'Assisi all'Immacolata'. A stroll through the centre of Catania, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a stroll through history. Catania is also home to the oldest university in Sicily. Founded in 1434, it has 12 faculties and hosts 62,000 students.
Catania Cathedral - Photo: Berthold Wernern
The opera composer Vincenzo Bellini was born in Catania. There is a museum located at his birthplace and the opera house, built in 1890, is named after him. Between December and May each year, The Teatro Massimo 'Vincenzo Bellini' presents a season of opera performances, including works by Bellini. Catania is also home to 'Calcio Catania' Serie A football club.
Teatro Massimo Bellini - Photo: Berthold Werner
The nearby town of Taormina, with its charming town centre, Greek theatre, spectacular views and idyllic, Ionian beaches, is one of the most popular tourist resorts in Sicily.
Population density: 1,744.7 per square km
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