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Touring Sicily With Car Hire

May 3, 2008
There are many good reasons for hiring a car in Sicily. Beautiful scenery is just one of them. Travelling around Sicily with a rental car allows you to see all of the beautiful places that the island's public transport service doesn't reach. Secret coves and pretty time forgotten villages are just some of the interesting discoveries awaiting your arrival.

Catania-Fontanarossa Airport Mini-Guide:

Catania-Fontanarossa Airport is Sicily's busiest Airports and is served by a number of international airlines including: British Airways, Lufthansa, Alitalia and Windjet. The airport is located 20 minutes to the south of the city of Catania.

Things To See/Do in Catania

Catania is the second largest city on the island of Sicily and is situated on the east coast of the island, between Messina and Siracusa, at the foot of the active Mount Etna Volcano.

A walking tour is a good way to see what the city has to offer. Many of the city's palaces and streets were built during the eighteenth century, but were rebuilt on several occasions due to volcanic by Mount Etna and Mount Vesuvius. Places of historical interest include: Catania Duomo, a Baroque-style cathedral, which houses the remains of Saint Agata, the patron saint of Catania. The saint is remembered in February each year, during the city's Festival of Sant'Agata. The Piazza Duomo is located nearby and is home to the famous elephant fountain -the city's distinctive symbol. The lava-clad elephant statue dates back to Roman times, but was rebuilt in the eighteenth century.

Bellini Gardens are the perfect place to unwind in the city. The gardens spread over an area of 70,000sqm and encompass pretty avenues, squares, bridges and ornate bridges and statues.

The surrounding countryside offers a number of interesting historical attractions waiting to be explored by hire car. Piazza Armeria-an ancient Roman Villa located a short drive outside of Catania is one site worth exploring.

Eating Out/Nightlife/Accomodation in Catania:

Catania has given birth to some of Sicily's most famous dishes. Pasta alla Norma, which is usually served as a starter, was named after local Catania composer Vincenzo Bellini's opera 'Norma' and consists of pasta, fried aubergine, basil, ricotta cheese and tomato sauce. Cheap local delicacies, which are available at a low cost from delicatessens and cafés throughout the city include: aranci di riso, (meat and rice balls, served with mushrooms and nuts), crespelle, (ricotta and anchovy fritters) and Scacciate pies. Quality, high-end restaurants in the city include: Trattoria del Cavaliere and Osteria I Tre Bicchieri, situated on the Via S. Guiseppe al Duomo.

Catania has a buzzing nightlife, which centres on Sclainata Alessi, Via Crociferi and the Piazza Bellini. It is here that the city's young people meet up to chat before heading out to the city's lively bars and nightclubs. Meanwhile, low-key after-dark entertainment can be found at Corso Italia, which is a home to a host of laid-back wine bars.

Catania offers a range of accommodation to suit every type of budget and lifestyle requirement. Arrigo Farmhouse, situated close to Mount Etna offers comfortable budget lodgings to spend thrifty guests. Meanwhile, the impressive Romano Palace Luxury Hotel, located opposite Catania beach boasts deluxe accommodation, if money is no object.
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