Catania, Sicily’s second largest city, is a breathtaking wonder of culture and history. Settled on the Ionian Sea and looked upon proudly by Mount Etna, it is a beauty of Roman and Baroque architecture, with its buildings made from the lava that has tried and failed to stop the city from growing.
What really sets this Italian jewel apart though is the food. As a thriving port town, the focus is on the fresh seafood that is caught daily and made into the many mouth-watering dishes that appear on the menus of Catania’s ristoranti. The following are our pick of the best places to get that authentic taste of Sicily. Buon appetito!
A Trio of Catanian Treats
Hidden away from the tourist spots, Le Tre Bocche is a haven of beautifully presented, freshly sourced, and authentically Italian food. Each dish, whether it be spaghetti, risotto, or an antipasti platter, has some element of fish or seafood which gives it a distinctive Catanian flavour. Whether you choose the black squid ink pasta, the sea bream or the marinated prawns, you’re sure to enjoy eating like a Sicilian.
Rosanna, the chef at Trattoria di De Fiore, has been recreating her great-grandmother’s recipes for over 50 years. Particularly special is Catania’s very own Pasta alla Norma, which was inspired by Mount Etna itself: tomatoes for the lava, ricotta for the snow, aubergine for the ash and basil for the mountain vegetation.
The co-owner of Pescheria Fratelli Vittorio is a fishmonger, which explains just how this place has risen to cult status among locals and tourists alike. Using the best, most delicious ingredients, the dishes at this Catanian favourite are bursting with flavour with a huge variety to choose from. The dessert of fedora, with toasted almonds, ricotta and chocolate chips is a must-have.
Don’t Forget the Fish Markets!
A trip to Catania would not be complete without a visit to the famous fish markets. Unchanged for hundreds of years, this feast for the senses requires at least a few hours to fully explore and allow yourself to be immersed in the culinary chaos. Bombarded by the shouts of vendors fighting to be heard over each other and the jostle of passing patrons, with the strong scent of the fish dominating the whole scene, it’s an experience you won’t forget in a while.
The produce on sale is incredible – every kind of seafood you’ve ever heard of, and some you haven’t, fresh meats, a huge selection of cheeses and vegetables, and delicious-looking cured meats, all sourced from up and down the east coast of the island. Basically, there’s everything you need to create a deliciously authentic Italian meal with the freshest ingredients possible.
How to Get There
Get to the food faster with Shuttle Direct’s easy, reliable Catania airport shuttles. Our friendly, helpful drivers will collect you and your luggage and take you to where you’re staying, taking the stress out of travel. Get in touch with one of our team today to arrange your Catania airport shuttle, so you’re free to focus on the food!
Lukas Johannes is a driver for Shuttle Direct, the number one provider of shared and private airport transfers all over Europe and northern Africa. If you’re looking for affordable Catania airport shuttles , Lukas and his colleagues can make sure that you and your luggage get to and from the airport swiftly and safely.