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As the second largest city in Sicily, Catania, facing the Ionian Sea, is well worth a visit. In the distance, Mount Etna hovers over the rich fertile farmland surrounding the city. Lava eruptions have destroyed the city several times and the black volcanic rock from Mount Etna, used for reconstruction, is a feature of Catania's Baroque architecture. The volcano, snow-covered for most of the year, is now a thriving ski centre.
A visit to Catania's enormous fish market with its wide variety of fresh seafood displayed on ice is an amazing experience. The fishmongers shout the day's prices at the tops of their voices and the catch is quickly snapped up by a good natured crowd of chefs from the city's numerous restaurants, housewives and wholesalers. By afternoon, the day's fish is all sold and the area washed clean.
For fans of opera, a visit to the theatre in the Via Perrotta, named after the composer Bellini who was born in Catania, is a must. Take a guided tour or attend a performance, followed by a meal at one of the city's excellent restaurants.
Are you looking for the best campsites and villages?
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