Melior de cinere surgo (I reborn from my ashes more beautiful)
So one can read on the inscription placed on the Porta Ferdinandea, currently Porta Garibaldi, erected in 1768 to commemorate the marriage of King Ferdinand IV and Maria Carolina of Austria. The inscription refers to the multiple destructions suffered by the city of Catania, due to lava flows and earthquakes that, over time, have fundamentally altered the shape of the city and the whole territory, causing massive destructions and intensive reconstructions, without erasing all the traces of the ancient city which, indeed, continue to emerge from the underground.
This private walking tour, led by a local expert, is designed to provide a perfect introduction to Catania and its great cultural heritage. The city was struck by numerous episodes of lava flows and earthquakes, but still shows impressive ruins dating back to the classic period as well as elegant baroque façades.
We will start the visit from Piazza Duomo, which is accessed by the Porta Uzeda. In this imposing square, we will admire the elegant façades with the contrasting white limestone of Comiso, black lava stone and grey plasterwork. After a visit to the historic and lively fish market that is known as ‘a Piscaria, we will go on Via Etnea where we can gaze at the concave façade of the late Baroque Basilica della Collegiata. You will marvel at the majestic structures of the Greek-Roman theater and the odeon. Finally, we will arrive at the striking ruins of the amphitheater at Piazza Stesicoro.