If you are flying into Fantanarossa Airport it is only four miles into the city center via the coastal SS114 or the Asse Attrezzato di Catania. In general, driving in Sicily is a relaxing and enjoyable experience. During rush hour times Catania itself can be extremely congested so you will have a quicker journey outside of these times.
Parking can be difficult in the center of Catania but you will find some spaces on the road where you can pay by the hour at nearby machines. There are a number of pay and display car parks, the Piazza del Lupo Garage has secure parking and is conveniently placed on Via Monsignor Ventiniglia, within easy reach of the major tourist attractions such as the Piazza Duomo.
Catania is impressively located in the shadow of the biggest Volcano in Europe, Mount Etna, which adds to the dramatic coastline setting of this vibrant city. There is much to do in the city and it can easily fill a weekend trip or longer vacation. A tour of Mount Etna is a must, most hotels and hostels give you the opportunity to book a tour with the many different operators in Catania. Just outside the city you have a fantastic sandy beach, La Plaja. You often have to pay to access beach areas but this often guarantees you lounge chairs and a much needed umbrella!
The city has over 1 million inhabitants, so expect a bustling downtown and a thriving nightlife. The theatrical Baroque architecture throughout the city adds to the cultural sense of Joie de Vivre you will find during festivities and in the cities many bars. The huge number of Baroque buildings and churches means the whole city center was granted UNESCO World Heritage status. The catastrophic earthquake in 1693 led to much of the city being rebuilt in the 1700s, which led to its current extraordinary urban design. Architecture fans will be in awe at the cities many Piazzas and historic buildings.