Subterranean Catania

They say “Sun kisses the beautiful ones”. And Catania – lets be honest – it’s one of the greatest lover of our Star. If you think of Catania it’s easy – even immediate – to think about the sun, the sea, the people’s bright smiles, the colors in its quarters. But you can call it beauty only when it’s also reflected on the inside, almost visceral. Down there, where even the sun can’t blow a kiss. This is what for the Naturalistic and Cultural Association Etna 'ngignusa proposes an eloquent project called “Underground Catania”

Like a Fenix

One of the most characteristic thing, actually unique, of the magic city living off Mount Etna, is for sure its history, with many fallings and risings. Since its foundation, in 729 B.C. by ancient Greek populations, when it was known as “Katane” (Kατάvη), its been an unstoppable cycle of conquering and loving it, then destruction and reconstruction. Like a Fenix, reborn from its own ashes. This concept has always been the soul of Catania, so important that it has even been engraved in the stone of Porta Garibaldi, a monumental door to the city also called “ ‘u futtinu” by the people of Catania: “Melior de cinere surgo”, “I rise from my ashes, better than I used to be”.

One city, seven souls

Wars, earthquakes, and devastating vulcani eruptions have given a unique shape to Catania, through all its reconstructions: there have been at least seven of them. Catania has been, so to speak, layered up by disasters and recostructions, leaving a fantastic photographic representation of all the different eras the city went through. You can have a pretty good image of the roman city of Catania looking at its amphitheatre – classified as third of the Empire for dimentions – explorable in its greatness in the historic site of Piazza Stesicoro. But that’s not it: Necropolis, tombs, thermal baths; there’s so much under the ground that could speak about the beautiful history of Catania as one of the greatest cities of the Roman Empire. There’s so much else: Ancient Christian Catania, Medieval Catania, Modern Catania and Contemporary Catania. Different stories crossing each other without losing their own paths, their own identities, leaving for us a magnificent heritage to go through and dream of all the different identities of this beautiful place.

Underground Catania

Due to this unique and variegated history, the undergound itineraries aquire a tremendous charme. Walk now around history in a city full of treasures, a city considered immortal for its insensibility to death: Roman Vestiges, XVIII century constructions, immortal churches and sacred places linked to the birth of Christianity itself and protected by Catania’s patron saints: Agatha and Euplio; the non fading marks of the 1693 devastating earthquake; the hidden quarters; houses, streets, forgotten courtyards; the unstoppable power of the underground river Amenano, silently watching on the city’s guts and vigorously exploding in the breathtaking monumental fountain “Acqua ‘o Linzolu, in Piazza Duomo. Catania lives with its underground ghosts, angels and demons; with all its deaths, but also with all its births.

Roman amphitheater

The Roman amphitheater of Catania, of which only a small section is visible in the western part of Piazza Stesicoro, is an imposing structure built during the Roman imperial era, probably in the 2nd century, on the northern edge of the ancient city, close to the Montevergine hill. it housed the main nucleus of the inhabited area.

The area where it stands, now part of the historic city center, was once used as a necropolis.

It is part of the Greco-Roman Archaeological Park of Catania.

Terme dell'Indirizzo

The Terme dell'Indirizzo, a monument of the Greco-Roman archaeological park of Catania, are located in the eighteenth-century part of the city of Catania. These are some remains of a Roman thermal complex dating back to the 2nd century [citation needed]. The complex shows a calidarium and a frigidarium, as well as furnaces for heating water and air and all water supply and drainage channels. Other accessory environments are highlighted at the foundation level.

Achilliane baths

For Achilliane baths we mean underground thermal structures dating back to the IV-V century located in Catania, of which only a small portion remains visible under the Piazza del Duomo.

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Il Pozzo di Gammazita

Il Pozzo di Gammazita is a site located in the historic center of Catania, in the south-west area of the city adjacent to the ancient city walls called the Gina Zita curtain in the homonymous courtyard, and refers to a legendary story occurred at the time of the Angevin domination in Sicily, during the War of the Vespers.