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FESTIVALS, HOLIDAYS AND OTHER ANNUAL EVENTS IN Catania

There are a number of festivals, holidays and other events celebrated in Catania each year. The main ones are listed below.

January 1: New Year's Day - Capodanno (national)

January 6: Epiphany (Feast of Befana, national)

For all Italians, the 6th of January is the day when the benevolent white witch Befana, who predates Santa Claus in Italy, arrives on her broomstick with presents and candy for all children who have been good during the year or a lump of coal if they have been bad!

February 3-5: Feast of Sant'Agatha (local)

For a few days around February 5, the city celebrates Sant'Agatha, virgin and martyr, with a torchlight parade called luminaria. An impressive procession (the crowd sometimes reaches up to a million individuals) arrives at the San Biagio Church, where the saint was burnt for refusing to marry the Quinzino proconsul, prefect of Sicily.

One week before Easter: Holy Week (national)

Solemn processions and passion plays in the streets mark the week leading up to Easter in Catania.

May 1: Labour Day (national)

Artistic associations organise events in the historic centre of the city: performances, workshops, street theatre, and more.

June 2: Republic Day - Festa della Repubblica - (national)

To commemorate the birth of the Italian Republic in 1946, celebrations, fireworks displays, parades and street dances are held all over Catania and other Italian cities.

August 15: Ferragosto (national)

This holiday is dedicated to the celebration of the Virgin Mary. Mass and several processions take place in the churches and streets of the historic centre to honour her.

November 1: All Saints Day (national)

All Saints Day is a holiday in Italy. It is the celebration day of all Saints, with numerous events organised all around town.

November 4: National Unity and Armed Forces Day (national)

For this official commemoration of Italian reunification and the end of the First World War, military parades are held across the city.

December 25: Christmas (national)

December 26: Santo Stefano (national)

Celebrates the birth of Santo Stefano. Traditionally, Italians sit down to a large and festive meal with their families.

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CLIMATE AND WEATHER IN Catania

Catania enjoys a typically Mediterranean climate. Summers are hot and dry, although sea breezes help to cool down the city. Winters are mild and humid. January and February are the coldest months. For trek and adventure lovers, the weather during Spring and Autumn is ideal.

Month Min. Average Temperature (°C/F°) Max. Average Temperature (°C/F°) Average Rains (MM) Best Time to Travel
January 5/41 15/59 1/0.04 Not the best period to go
February 6/43 15/59 2/0.07 Not the best period to go
March 7/45 17/63 1/0.04 Not the best period to go
April 10/50 20/68 1/0.04 Good period to go Good period to go
May 13/55 23/73 1/0.04 Good period to go Good period to go
June 17/63 28/82 1/0.04 Good period to go Good period to go
July 20/68 30/86 - Good period to go Good period to go
August 21/70 31/89 - Good period to go Good period to go
September 19/66 29/84 - Good period to go Good period to go
October 16/61 24/75 - Good period to go Good period to go
November 11/52 20/68 - Good period to go Good period to go
December 7/45 16/61 1/0.04 Not the best period to go
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Catania-Fontanarossa International Airport

The Catania-Fontanarossa International Airport is located about 6 kilometres (4 miles) north-east of the city centre.

  • One terminal:
    • Terminal A (Air France)

Getting from the airport to Catania and back:
  • By car
    • Accessible via the A19 highway (coming from the west) and the A18 highway (following the coastline from the north), as well as express road E45 (coastline from the south).
    • There are two short-term parking facilities - P1 and P2 - located about 40 and 200 metres respectively from Terminal A (free for 15 minutes, then EUR 2 from 16 minutes to 1 hour) and one long-term facility (P4) located about 200 metres from Terminal A (EUR 17 for the first 48 hours).
    • Several car rental companies have counters at the arrivals hall in the airport.
  • By bus
    • "Alibus" AMT buses connect Catania's central station to the airport every 25 minutes, from 5 a.m. to midnight. Tickets (about EUR 4 to reach the city centre) are available at the ticket office in front of the bus stop.
  • By taxi
    • Taxis are available at the ranks just outside the terminals. Expect a EUR 25 fare to the centre of Catania and a 15 to 30-minute trip, depending on traffic.
  • Services: shops, bars and restaurants, free Internet access (Wi-Fi) available in the airport.
  • Telephone: +39 (0)95 723 9111
  • Website: www.aeroporto.catania.it/?lang=en

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GETTING AROUND Catania

It is easy to get around by foot as most of Catania's tourist attractions are concentrated. The city also offers an efficient public transport system serving all districts.

By bus

57 bus lines of the AMT network connect all of Catania during daytime. An express line named Circumetnea takes you around the Etna volcano and up to 1,000-metre high. A ticket valid for 90 minutes costs EUR 1, a bus-metro pass costs EUR 1.20. For more information, visit www.amt.ct.it.
To use public transports freely (bus and metro), you can buy the Catania Pass. It exists in a family version (two adults with 1 or children under 13). For more information about the rates, visit www.cataniapass.it.

By rail

The metro line is 5.7 km long, and comprised of 7 stations between Borgo and Stesicoro, on the outskirts of the city. The section between Borgo and Stazione Centrale (train station) uses the Ferrovia Circumetnea (railway around the Etna region), built in 1895. A 90-minute ticket costs EUR 1, a bus-metro pass valid for 2 hours costs EUR 1.20. You may alternately use the Catania Pass.

By taxi

You will find the Social Taxi Catania network stations in Stazione Centrale (train station) and at the northwest corner of the Piazza del Duomo. Taxis operate 24/7. For more information, visit www.radiotaxicatania.org.

By car

Renting a car is an excellent way to discover the region of Catania as well as the rest of Sicily. It will grant you more freedom, and distances are not that long. However, driving within city limits can be difficult as traffic is extremely dense during rush hours, and parking facilities are limited. Good to know: Catania's main thoroughfare (Via Etnea) is restricted to vehicles during the day.

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Visitor information

Upon your arrival in Catania, you can get in touch with local tourism professionals for further information and to help organise your stay.

Autonomous Provincial Tourism Agency of Catania (Azienda Autonoma Provinciale per l'Incremento Turistico di Catania)

Offers practical information and many useful recommendations (accommodation, restaurants, public transport, festivals, cultural events, etc.).

Italy travel guide

The official website of Italy's national tourist board provides a wealth of information on Catania.

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Medical information

See your doctor before you travel. Catania counts several hospitals and medical institutions, as well as quality medical practitioners and health specialists. It is recommended that you obtain insurance covering health care expenses as well as medical evacuation or repatriation before you leave home.

Vaccinations

There are no vaccination requirements for visitors to Italy. For more information, contact Air France's international vaccination centre:

Food safety

There are no food safety risks in Catania.

Water

Tap water is safe to drink in Catania.

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Administrative formalities

Entry requirements for Italy

As a French citizen, you do not need to obtain a visa if you will be staying in Italy for less than three months. If you plan to stay for more than 90 days, you will need to obtain a long-stay visa.
To enjoy peace of mind during your stay in Catania and Italy, be sure to check with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in your home country for the latest travel information and recommendations. Comprehensive information that may be helpful for international visitors is also provided on the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ website. View information for travellers to Italy:

http://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/fr/conseils-aux-voyageurs/conseils-par-pays/italie

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Useful Addresses

Italian Embassy in France

French Embassy in Italy

Italian Consulate General in France

  • Address: 5, Boulevard Emile Augier 75116 Paris
  • Telephone: +33 (0)1 44 30 47 00

French Consulate General in Catania

  • Address: Vincenzo Giuffrida, 73, 95128 Catania
  • Telephone: +39 (0)95 43 19 42
  • Website: www.it.ambafrance.org

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Essential phrases

Here are a few basic Italian phrases that will make your stay in Catania a little easier:

Hello / Good morning / Good afternoon: Buongiorno

Good evening: Buonasera

Goodbye: Arrivederci

Yes: Si

No: No

No, thank you: No, grazie

Thank you very much: Grazie mille

Please: Per favore

I don't understand: Non capisco

Could you repeat ?: Può ripetere ? (polite form) / Potete ripetere ? (plural form)

What time is it ?: Che ora è ? / Che ora sono ?

Sorry: Mi scusi (polite form)
Excuse me: Scusatemi (plural form)

Airport: Aeroporto

Train station: Stazione

Taxi: Taxi

Hotel: Hotel / Albergho

Hospital: Ospedale

Bank: Banca

Telephone: Telefono

I'm (…): Sono (…).

I'm looking for (…): Sto cercando (…).

How much is (…)?: Quanto costa ?

Do you have (…)?: Fare ? (polite form) / Avete (…) ? (plural form)

Where can I find (…)?: Dove si trova (…) ? / Dove posso trovare (…) ?

Where can I buy (…)?: Dove si compra (…) ? / Dove posso comprare (…) ?

I'd like (…): Vorrei (…).

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Good to know

+39
+ phone number (without 0)
0 : 00
of time difference with
Paris
Start of daylight saving time: last Sunday in March
End of daylight saving time: last Sunday in October

BANKS
Usually open Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. Some are also open on Saturday morning.
GOVERNMENT OFFICES
Usually open Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
230 V / 50 Hz

Tipping
Tipping is often included in the bill, under the header “servizio” (service). However, you can leave a tip if you've been pleased with the service. In the bill, you will sometimes find the header “pane e coperto” (bread and cutlery) which corresponds to bread and setting. Make sure the price includes tip and setting.

 

 

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