You can visit the...
You can visit the famous volcano and get very close to the mouth. Wear warm clothes. It's very cold up there!
Following the motorway Messina/Catania as far as the exit for Giarre, you pass the Etna villages of Santa Venerina and Zafferana to a height of about 6.175 feet, where you can admire the Silvestri Craters. From there you can reach the top by cable-car and jeep to the proximity of the central crater (about 9.900 feet). Returning to Taormina via Nicolosi you can see the 1983 lava flow.
This is a really beautiful Piazza with plenty to see. In this piazza alone you can visit ancient Roman amphitheatre ruins, visit Chiesa di San Biagio, see a statue of Vincenzo Bellini, see Palazzo Tezzano and do some great people watching.
It was here that I used a helpful Italian phrase to get rid of a begger, "Sono al verde", I am broke, and he left us alone after that.
When one arrives in Catania for the first time, the most striking and memorable aspect of the landscape is likely to be the dark silhouette of Mt. Etna that rises up like a giant watching over the city. The volcano is endlessly topped with clouds and smoke, while the spectacular city completes the stage, as is fitting for a capital which over the centuries has graciously welcomed kings and emperors. At first sight, the city and the volcano would seem to be quite an odd couple, but instead the two have lived together for centuries, surviving earthquakes, eruptions and fiery volcanic stones.
Catania has always been a center of economic dealings and commercial trade, a place bringing together various cultures. In the past, this city has been Greek, Norman, Roman, Byzantine, Arab, Spanish, Aragonese and Swabian. Because of this, it inevitably became a city of cultural tolerance. As well as a city of art and culture. Today, after the earthquake of 1693, what remains of the city is mostly the baroque soul which many directors have selected as the ideal setting for films that went on to make part of cinematographic history. Paolo il Caldo ("The Sensuous Sicilian"), Bell'Antonio and Un Bellissimo Novembre ("That Splendid November"), to name only a few, have been shot in these very streets and buildings.
Yet while it's true that Catania is full of churches, buildings and monuments just waiting to be explored, from the cathedral to the Castello Ursino (the fortress whose construction was ordered by Emperor Federico II), it's also true that the city should be visited at night, when, thanks also to its wonderful illumination, one will see it at its very best. At night Catania is a city that is longing to have fun, and over the last few years it's been going through a true rebirth, not only in terms of art and culture, but also in terms of cuisine.