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Claire in Sicily - From Sicily to the World! 

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Visiting Catania with children: suggested itineraries and useful tips

2024-01-25 11:28

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catania,

Catania with Happy Child

Are you planning to visit Catania with children and looking for activities suitable for them?You are in the right place! Today I am telling you about

Are you planning to visit Catania with children and looking for activities suitable for them?

You are in the right place! Today I am telling you about my beautiful city, Catania, and the opportunities it offers families with children. 

As a mom and a native of Catania, I will try to give you the right tips to make your experience in Catania easier, safer and more fun.

What to do in Catania with kids: let's start with the elephant

elephant of Catania

Starting from Cathedral Square, you can admire "U Liotru," the elephant, the symbol of the city. It may seem trivial to you, but I assure you that children love it. Tell them stories, you can even make them up, who cares, what matters is trying to capture their attention!

 

At the entrance to the Palazzo degli Elefanti you can also see the famous Senate carriages, ancient carriages that parade during the celebrations of the city's patron saint: St. Agatha. A celebration, perhaps, unsuitable for children because of the crowds; yet at certain times and with a few tricks it will be possible to witness certain moments.

Playful Moments: Child Exploring the Wonders of Catania

Also on the cathedral square is the Fountain of Amenano, also known as "acqua a linzolu," represented by a young man holding a cornucopia from which water pours into a basin with a rounded rim. The water, overflowing from this basin, produces a waterfall effect that gives the sensation of a sheet. 

The water that falls from the pool pours into the Amenano River, an extraordinary underground river that flows right into the city's historic center.

"Captivating Catania: Exploring with a Happy Chil

Visit the Catania Fish Market with your children

Catania Exploration: Kid's Joyful Experience

When I was a child, my father, always insisted on taking me to the fish market, I was small, I didn't understand the point, I was bored and it bothered me because in summer, with flip-flops, I was always getting my feet dirty, with the water smelling like fish. 

 

Today, several years later, I understand the point of his insistence that I experience those moments: the smells (not always pleasant, but intense), the bright and vivid colors of the fish, fruits, vegetables, and then the shouts of the fishermen and merchants inviting me to buy their products in an absolutely hilarious and original way!

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Now I understand, what it means for a child to be at the Catania fish market, it is a genuine and sincere sensory sightseeing tour. In addition to fish you will also find, cold cuts, cheeses, olives, seasonal fruits and nuts, vegetables, and sweets. I'd also like to point out a fried food shop located inside the market that serves very fresh fish fritters, Scirocco Sicilian Street Lab, excellent Sicilian-style street food...mouth-watering!

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If you want a true local experience, I suggest the Street Food Market Tour, created especially for families with children!


Driven by the cheerfulness, the colors of the market, the tradition that accompanies me and, motivated by the passion for my land, I decided to offer you new experiences to experience the fish market like a true local!


Experiences that will make you become a "Catanese" for a day, to see the city not as a tourist, but as a local.

 

The Street Food Market Tour is a real treasure hunt among the colors and flavors of the city's most beautiful market. 

 

Together we will taste some of the typical local products, and with each taste there will be a story to tell.


What does the experience include?

 

-2-hour tour with licensed guide
-Various tastings of typical products
-1 map


Book your Street Food Tour Market Tour here

 

Want a more classic Family Tour that includes visits to the city's main monuments? Read Catania Family Tour

Seeing Catania from above  the Church of the Badìa di Sant'Agata

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If you love to see cities from above then you can't help but climb to the rooftops of the abbey church of Sant'Agata.

The church is located on Vittorio Emanuele II Street, a stone's throw from the Duomo. To visit it you need to pay a ticket of 5 euros, free for children. 

 

From the entrance, a tangle of stairs, which will already be a lot of fun to do with children, will lead you up to the dome, from which you can see the whole city from above. On one side the sea and the coast and on the other side his majesty Mount Etna.

Visiting the Roman Amphitheater in Catania with children

Catania's Charm: Little Explorer Admiring the City

Did you know that the Amphitheater of Catania is the second largest Roman monument after the Colosseum?

Unfortunately, you cannot see much of what was once this colossus destroyed by the devastating earthquake in 1693. 

 

The earthquake wiped out the city of Catania, burying with it even this incredible historical landmark.

Catania's Charm: Little Explorer Admiring the City"

Today it is possible to visit only a small part of it. Access is from Piazza Stesicoro, admission is free but the site is not always open. In any case, if you are lucky enough to find it open, get out and explore this beautiful millenary stone labyrinth together with your children. 

 

Guaranteed fun, practically a small urban playground!

Bellini garden and some playground

playground in Catania for children

Villa Bellini is the city's historic garden of Catania. It has always been a gathering place for families on Sunday walks. While very beautiful, it needs real maintenance. 

 

However, I'll point out two playgrounds, inside the garden, the first behind the fountain and the second overlooking Piazza Roma, the latter is definitely nicer, there are various games also well maintained and lots of trees. 

 

There is a beautiful Ficus, planted in 1860, with its branches and roots it gives life to some particularly beautiful structures, in which children can play little explorers!

What and where to eat with children in Catania

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What would it be like to visit Catania with children without tasting a typical Sicilian specialty? Just in front of the Villa Bellini, you will find two historic bars the Savia bar and the Spinella bar where you can indulge in tasting both sweet and savory specialties, the granitas with brioche (strictly col "tuppo" remember!) the cannoli, the almond pastries. 

 

And then the savory: arancini with sauce, pistachio, the cartocciate, the Sicilian. The arancini from I canusciuti and the Siciliane from Bar Mazzini are excellent.

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If you want to have a true Catanese experience, after your meal go to one of the city's kiosks (see photo) and order a lemon mandarin or a lemon and salt seltzer, I won't give it all away just yet. Taste it and tell me!

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If, on the alternative, you are looking for a place always in the center after you can eat with your children quietly sitting at a table, I recommend one that will fascinate you not only because of the food.

 

I am talking about the Hostel l'Agorà, which is located behind the fish market, in a very characteristic and picturesque area of the city of Catania.

 

The place is very informal, young and "easy" environment. The food is good and children are offered colors and drawing paper while waiting for their orders. There are also dedicated menus for the little ones.

restaurant child friendly in Catania

But the most beautiful thing about this place is the underground lava cave that can be visited inside. From the underground cellar, a door leads to a natural lava cave crossed by the waters of the Amenano River.


The photo does not do it justice because the lighting inside is not excellent, but I assure you it will be an experience your children will certainly love!

 

In Piazza Duomo you can stop at Bar Prestipino where you will find everything from sweet to savory.

 

If you love fish, but in street food version, then I recommend: Scirocco Street Lab or Siccia.

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What to do in Catania with children when it rains

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What do we do if it rains in Catania? Unfortunately, there are not many attractions and/or museums in the city that are suitable for children (indoors). However, if it rains, I recommend visiting the Ursino Castle, the city's ancient fortress. Or, if you are a history lover there is the Museo dello Sbarco in Sicilia- an historical war museum (recommended for children ages 5 and up).

 

Another museum (save rainy day) that I recommend you visit is MuZoo, the zoological museum of the University of Catania. Inside is a vast display of stuffed animals related not only to the Sicilian territory.

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Catania has different keys to interpretation and, you can visit it discovering it from numerous points of view. With my tips I hope you can discover the essence of this beautiful city even with your children!

 

And don't forget to share the article on social media if you liked it.

 

If you visit Catania with your children you can't miss the visit to the volcano Etna, read my tips on how to organize your excursion with children.

 

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You can also find me on Facebook at the ClaireinSicily page and on Instagram @claireinsicily, to follow Stories and live streams of our tours and trips!

 

See you soon,

 

Chiara

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