Catania: yawns, fish, liotru and pasta alla Norma



Testo in italiano



Here we are in Catania, the city of the volcano Etna, on a beautiful sunny day.

We are in the Ognina neighborhood.

Here we go!

It is said that Ulysses landed in Sicily in the mythical journey of the Odyssey!

Etna, majestic, follows us in this run.

Photo by Mimmo Rapisarda


Here is the famous promenade of Catania with the lava cliff, formed by thousands of years of past eruptions, which slopes down to the Ionian Sea.

Beautiful sun and Catania people walking.

Hello ladies, don’t be frightened even if it doesn’t seem so, I am a writer and I am telling Sicily by running.

Can you give me three tips for a traveler who comes to Sicily?

” You must take a tour of Etna; visit the Sicilian Baroque and enjoy our beautiful sea”

And to eat?

“Pasta alla Norma obviously we are in Catania”.

Splendid Tip

Pasta alla Norma is the typical pasta of Catania: fresh tomato sauce, basil, fried eggplant and a nice grating of salted ricotta cheese. The name is taken from the famous opera “Norma” by Vincenzo Bellini, an illustrious son of this city to which is also dedicated the airport, the municipal villa and the opera house.

Okay, puff puff,pant pant … We resume the run

This is the train station of Catania

Uhmmm what do they sell in this place?

“This is a place where people like you who sweat and are tired stop and have a drink. It is called chiosco and you can find it only in Catania. They sell syrups with seltzer water. The most requested are the syrup with red or green mandarin and the colpo di legno that is a fruit drink”.

How many beautiful palm trees, Sicily is full of palm trees.

(Parlo in inglese)

Good morning, are you Sicilian?

“No, I travel the world.”

Lucky you!

This is a bridge and the train goes over it.

The black stone, the lava stone of Etna, the stone of Catania.

We are in a very popular area of the city where there is the port.

All of eastern Sicily, including Catania, was destroyed by the earthquake of 1693 and soon after was rebuilt with many buildings in typical Sicilian baroque style, a masterpiece of humanity, like this building, Palazzo Biscari, in the heart of the city.

This is called villa varagghi which in Sicilian means yawn, an allusion to the fact that there are many old people who fall asleep in the Sicilian sun of the benches.

And under this bridge they play cards.

Listen why is it called villa varagghi?

“Because there are retirees who yawn.

What are the merits of Sicilians?

“That we are sociable, open-hearted.”

Is there anyone among you who has made the fuitina?


And where did you take your future wife?

“To my house”

These Sicilians!

Here we are in a place sacred to the people of Catania, known throughout the world: the fish market, here called pescheria.

There are also fruit vendors

So many prickly pears!

“I have peeled forty, try one.”

“Catania is the most beautiful city in the world.”

Here we are inside the fish market.

The fish of the Mediterranean Sea is famous for its extraordinary variety.

There are also delicious little restaurants where they cook excellent fish.

The blue fish of the Mediterranean Sea, famous all over the world.

“These are masculine della maglia (sicilian for mesh anchovies).”

I start running again.

This is an underground river, the Amenano, which flows right here in the fish market, two steps away from the sea.

Here is Piazza Duomo, the heart of Catania.

There is the cathedral dedicated to St. Agatha, the venerated patron saint of the city, the town hall is above that obelisk the famous symbol of Catania: the Elephant, u liotru in Sicilian.

The lava stone, often alternated with limestone, draws a beautiful baroque.

Here is Via Etnea, the living room of Catania.

Ciuri, ciuri …

This is Piazza Università.

This is the beautiful baroque church of the Collegiata.

Puffpuff, pantpant, here I am in Piazza Stesicoro.

Enjoy your ice cream ma’am!

That’s the Roman amphitheater down there.

Etna’s lava has repeatedly submerged the city and many ancient monuments are underground.

Here I am inside “a fera o luni“, another city market

Uhmmm tailoring since 1926, let’s see.

“My grandfather made it”

“This is a craft that you learn when you’re a child, there are very few of us left”.

“These are pictures of all the historical tailor shops in the world, we’re here too.”

Ok, thanks, I’m back to running

Here I am again in Via Etnea: Savia since 1897

The most famous Sicilian pastry shop: cannoli, arancini and pizzette

Right in front of Villa Bellini, the park of Catania.

Hey guys from Catania when you do not go to school do you come here?

“Also, often

Arancino or Savia’s pizzetta?

“Arancino, arancino”

What a sunshine, guys!

Are you from Catania?


Arancino or pizza?


What are your names?

(dicono il loro nome)

Here is a resident of Catania training

Two quick questions: pros and cons of Sicilians

“We are welcoming but also too lazy.”

Puff puff, pant pant, puf fpuff, pant pant

Ehy watch out for those pins!

Let’s take a look at that gentleman sitting on the bench.

Do you know that Sicilians are perhaps the people who sit on benches the most?

“It’s a way to relax and find oneself”.

“You can’t do without Sicily because of the climate, the sea and the sun. And the food of course.”

This is Corso Italia.

There are many beautiful Art Nouveau villas

We are in Piazza Europa: that is a tower of the 1500 that was used to sight the pirates who at that time infested the Mediterranean.

Smell of sea and sun of Sicily.


November 6, Sicily

Shoes off

Away with everything

30 seconds before going in

(continuo a parlare in inglese, mi immergo …)



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