31 Photos - Jun 10, 2016
Photo: First night in Catania. We took a shuttle from our hotel into town, walked around town some and had a bite, and then took a bus back to the hotel. But ... turns out the bus didn't go where it was supposed to go. So some of the other passengers very kindly helped us out (after sensing our utter panic), and got us to an area where there were cabs.

The place they took us to was the Piazza del Duomo, and it featured this cool statue of an elephant, done in lava. The elephant is the symbol of the town - you can read about it here: http://www.ceramichemiriam.it/Photo: Neon elephant on the Piazza del Duomo, CataniaPhoto: Back to our hotel ... me posing with a beautiful cart in the hotel lobbyPhoto: The hotel we stayed at was in a seaside town called Aci Castello a mile or two north of Catania. We decided to walk up the castle, which itself was about a mile north of the hotel.Photo: Chris with Aci Castello castle in the backgroundPhoto: Top of the castle, Aci CastelloPhoto: Me, atop the Aci Castello castlePhoto: And again...Photo: Cannon, Aci Castello castlePhoto: "Beach" party at the foot of the castle. We didn't see a beach anywhere near our hotel; the coastline is rock. But people made do, sunning on rocks like this or on man-made platforms jutting out over the water.Photo: Sun worshippers at the foot of the Aci Castello castlePhoto: Cactus garden, Aci Castello castlePhoto: Pretty foliage, Aci Castello castlePhoto: The town of Aci Castello, from the top of the castlePhoto: Wandering around Catania ... another Roman Amphitheater, this one right smack in the middle of the city, like the one we saw in Lecce but only a corner of this one was preserved.Photo: Amphitheater walls, CataniaPhoto: We went out for pizza that night ...Photo: ... and were served two of the largest pizzas I'd ever seen. (In Italy, everyone gets their own individual pizza, so these were not to be shared by two or three people). 

They were great, and (needless to say) we both finished them off.Photo: Sexist t-shirt worn by a waiter at Vicolo Pizza and Vino, which is where we got the amazing pizzaPhoto: Our hotel featured do-it-yourself cannoli ... for breakfast. Here's Chris getting ready to stuff a cannoli.Photo: ... and finishing off Operation Cannoli.Photo: Painting of St. Agatha mounted on a wall somewhere in Catania. St. Agatha is the patron saint of the town, and you see images of her and churches dedicated to her all over the place.Photo: Seen in the piazza in front of the university, "SPQC" (like "SPQR")Photo: We took a walk around the fish market. Swordfish is a favorite in Catania.Photo: Bunch o' fish, fish market, CataniaPhoto: Shrimp and some other stuff, fish market, CataniaPhoto: Ouch, fish market, CataniaPhoto: Anguria (our favorite new Italian word of the trip because of anguria gelato), fish market, CataniaPhoto: Duomo, Catania, mostly made of volcanic rock. A lot of the buildings in Catania are made from gray or black stone from Etna, giving the city a little bit of a dirty look.Photo: University building, CataniaPhoto: Sign posted at the University of Catania marking a visit by various royals in 1909