6 days in Sicily-09/24 - 09/29/2017

Catania-Day 1- Arrival-09/24/2017

We arrived at the Catania airport without any incident!  Got out the plane and went directly to the car rental company.

Compact and economy cars are the most popular but since there are 4 of us, we decided to rent a full size car. Little did we know why renting a large car is less expensive than a small car!

From the airport to our apartment, located in the center of Catania, our GPS lead us to drive through winding and extremely narrow streets that is wide enough to fit a medium car at best. We also encountered streets that are too narrow for our car to go through, so Hoa had to get out of the car and flip in our rear mirrors so that we can drive through without scratching the car.  Catania is the 2nd largest city in Sicily, so why are the streets so narrow for such a big city?  We found out later that there are a lot of traffic around so the GPS is taking us to an alternate route.  Needless to say it was an adventure just to drive from the airport to the apartment.

The apartment we rented is located in the city center, walking distance to the Piazza del Duomo which is the main square of Catania.

Our apartment is located on the first floor and was recently renovated.  Very comfortable apartment and the location was perfect for us to walk around town.


By the time we walked out of our apartment it was around 7:00PM and we only had maybe 30 minutes to glance briefly at the main Piazza del Duomo (10 minutes walking distance from our apartment).

The piazza del Duomo is the heart of Catania with  It is a major meeting point for locals, tourists and the city's main streets, which converge at the Piazza.

This is the Catania Cathedral, dedicated to the Patron Saint and protector of the city, St. Agatha. (We will come back tomorrow morning to see it in detail).

Statue in the garden of the Catania Cathedral

At the middle of the Piazza stands the  Elephant fountain, built in 1736.

The Elephant Fountain is a well known cultural attraction in Catania and it is considered the icon of the city. 


Via Etnea is the main shopping area, lined with department stores, bars and cafes.

  Via Etnea got its name  because on a clear day you can see Mt. Etna rising majestically at the horizon.

 Via Etnea runs straight from Piazza del Duomo up to the foothills below Mt. Etna.

Via Etnea is a lively and busy street filled with lots of tourists and locals.

Dinner at Trattoria Da Antonio

The Trattoria Da Antonio is recommended by so many websites and hailed as the best Trattoria in Catania.

We got to the restaurant around 7:30am and we asked to be seated in the patio but they just gave their last table away so we had to eat inside.

On display against one of the wall, next to entrance.


Da Antonio Trattoria have an English menu which is a lot easier for us to order.


Since there are no more room on the patio we were the only customers inside the restaurant at this time.


The menu


Simple table setting.


Rustic bread is served.


Minh and Hoa are selecting a red and wine bottle of wine from Sicily,

The owner speaks English so it made it a lot easier to ask his advise on wine.  We ordered what he recommended.

We ordered 3 appetizers to start our meal.


Octopus Salad - I love Octopus and they are in season right now so it is a must order.

The cooked octopus is dressed with a good drizzle of olive oil, freshly chopped parsley, a squirt of lime, salt - very simple but the flavor of the octopus really shine.


Sicilian Antipasto -Sicilian cheese, caponata, marinated olives & artichoke, sun dried tomatoes and cold cut sausage.


Carpaccio of Bresoala-Beef cold cut served with arugula and grated parmesan

Out of the 3 dishes, I like this one the least.  The Bresoala was on the dry side and I did not care of the taste.



We shared these 2 dishes for our main course.


Mixed grilled - grilled steak and grilled Sicilian sausage.


Homemade pasta with Sicilian pesto. The pasta was cooked al dente and I also like the sauce.

We were expecting a green sauce since it said Pesto but I found late that Sicilian's pesto is made with tomatoes, almond, olive oil, chili pepper, basil, and garlic.  The color is on the yellow/reddish side because of the tomatoes.


For dessert we ordered a Tiramisu and it was really delicious.  We ate the whole thing.

This restaurant came highly recommended but I think the food was just okay.


Next...A' Piscaria Mercato del Pesce (Fish Market)




Our house


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