The 10 Best Museums In Catania

Published by: Bounce11 May, 2022

Catania is a port city located on the East Coast of Sicily between Messina and Syracuse, or Siracusa, and just at the base of the Mount Etna volcano. If you are someone who loves to travel then you won't want to miss a chance to go here.

Catania experiences warm weather throughout most of the year and the summers are long and hot, but if it gets too humid you can always take a dip in the beautiful Ionian Sea. It is home to some beautiful beaches as well as great restaurants (consider brunch) and several sports teams, so whether you are planning to relax in the sun or want to get active exploring the city you will have lots of opportunities to do what you love.

One thing is for sure, as Sicily's second largest city, Catania has wonderful museums that everyone who visits should check out. Learn about all the historic events that took place here. Remember, most museums prefer visitors leave bags outside. If you want to keep your luggage, large bags, or any type of extra gear out of the way, you can feel confident leaving it at a suitcase locker in Catania.

Museo Civico Belliniano

This civic museum is housed in a building that is the former house of Vincenzo Bellini, and if you visit you will get to learn all about him and his life. He was a skilled opera singer and composer who was born and raised right here in Catania in the early 19th century. Since he was known for making long melodic lines he was rewarded with the nickname of the Swan of Catania.

During your visit, you will get to stroll through his childhood residence, and see artifacts and some of his early works. The exhibits are separated into rooms dedicated to his life in chronological order so you can understand what motivated him and how he became one of the most celebrated artists in the area.

Monastero dei Benedettini di San Nicolo L'Arena

Come here to admire the rich culture and history of Catania. It is one of Europe's largest monasteries and has been an important part of the city all the way from ancient times to date. Today it is not only a local landmark but also where Catania University holds its classes for the Department of Humanities.

The huge building has several floors and is stunning from the outside. Make time to walk around the courtyard to see the pillars and stop by the fountain in the center before heading inside the building to see what treasures it holds.

Museo Arte Contemporanea Sicilia

The Museum of Contemporary Art Sicily is found in the center of the city, although it can be hard to find as it is hidden away in an alley. Once you find it you will be happy that you did, as it houses an array of unique artworks and collections.

The museum is calm and quiet so you can take your time pondering each individual piece. The building is set up with strategic lighting that really draws attention to the detailing of every exhibit, and there are quite a few to visit. Come admire objects made by glass blowing, impressive sculptures as well as both acrylic and oil paintings.

Museo Civico Castello Ursino

The Castello Ursino, or Castle Ursino, is a gorgeous fortress from the 13th century that is worth visiting for several reasons. From the outside, you can see an impressive old castle as well as one of the best spots to admire the views of Catania, and inside you can enjoy displays of some of the region's best everlasting art pieces.

These timeless artworks are set up on the four floors of the castle and were made by famous Italian artists, like Caravaggio for example. Come and admire the oil paintings and Roman busts, and if you go outside to the open-air courtyard you will see detailed carved walls and columns. If you can't get enough of the museum you can stay here overnight since it is also a functional hotel. What an interesting stay you'll have! For more information on where to stay in Catania, read our guide.

Museo Diocesano Catania

This museum is sometimes called the Catania Diocesan Museum and is housed in an old seminar building from the 17th century. The Museo Diocesano holds relics dating from the same time period, and the five storied building has quite a lot to show you.

The museum is separated into different rooms dedicated to old religious artworks and furniture. Aside from the paintings, you can see the old furnishings from the beautiful Catania Cathedral and from other churches throughout the rest of the Etna province.

Chiesa San Benedetto

There are various churches in Catania and one of the most beautiful is the Chiesa San Benedetto. It is a museum built sometime in the early 18th century and stands as its own masterpiece with some incredible Baroque architecture. You can see the original structure of the church if you visit, plus much more inside.

The interior is filled with historic ancient artifacts as well as intricately decorated walls. There is a golden altar and a ceiling that was painted by a talented and distinguished artist named Giovanni Tuccari. You can learn all about him and admire his work in person if you visit Chiesa San Benedetto!

Museo Del' Erboristeria

This museum, which is also known as the Herborarium Museum, is one of Catania's most unique and interesting places to visit. The whole establishment is dedicated to different branches of flora, unique kinds of plants and herbs, so all nature enthusiasts or people who are interested in ecology will have a blast walking through the exhibits.

Come here to learn about plant species as well as how to preserve and appreciate them. While you are here you should check out each individual exhibit since they can all teach you something new. For example, the Old Pharmacy Room displays all sorts of medicinal plants.

Archeological Complex Terme Della Rotonda

This archeological site is situated in Catania between the Terma della Rotonda and was constructed sometime between the 1st and 2nd century AD. Its original use was a Roman spa and you can explore the area in person if you stop by.

This is one of the many interesting historic sites in Catania and there is lots to see and do while you are here. Admire the old artwork on the walls and dome as well as the impressive interior frescoes. If you are interested in seeing the original blueprints of the structure they are displayed inside along with a guide to the layout.

Museo Storico dello Sbarco in Sicilia

The Museo Storico dello Sbarco is often said to be the most popular museum in the whole city, and there is no surprise as to why. It has some pretty interesting exhibits and displays exploring the local history of World War II, how Sicily was impacted and its allies.

This is one of the best history museums in Catania because it has immersive multimedia attractions as well as testimonials and important documents dating back to this time in 1943. Come here to learn about how the landing of the Anglo Americans played a part in the history of the city and the war.

Casa Del Giocattolo

This is one for the kids or the adults who are children at heart. The Casa Del Giocattolo was created in 1998 and its displays consist of a collection of old toys and games from around the world and from different periods of time. There are objects made from wood, tin, plastic and other materials, and visiting can be quite a nostalgic experience.

Most of the museum is filled with small vintage toy cars, old dolls, toy trains, stuffed animals and more. You never know what you might find here, so pay them a visit to see how many toys you recognize from your childhood. Put this on your list of things to do with the kids!

What are the best free museums in Catania?

Archeological Complex Terme Della Rotonda

Saving money when you are on vacation is always nice, and you are in luck since Catania has several museums that offer free entrance. This archeological site preserves thousands of artifacts and is always open to the public at no charge, so you can come to learn about the vast history of the city at any time.

Museo Storico Dello Sbarco in Sicilia

The Museo Storico Dello Sbarco is one of the other historical monuments that offer free entry, but only on the first Sunday of every month. Other regional Sicily museums follow the same schedule so if there are any others that you want to stop by you should save them all for the beginning of the month when you won't have to pay.

Museo Del' Erboristeria

If you have an interest in plants or nature then you will be happy to hear that the Herborarium Museum offers free entry every day that they are open. You can explore the space inside as often as you want and without paying a cent, so you can visit several times during your stay in Sicily.

Which are the best museums in Downtown Catania?

Museo Arte Contemporanea Sicilia

Whenever you find yourself in the downtown part of the city you will notice that this is where many of the museums are located, so be ready to go on a culture trip. This contemporary art museum is one of the buildings that you will be able to find in Downtown Catania.

Museo Civico Castello Ursino

Not too far away from the Contemporary Art Museum is the Castle Ursino, so if you want to visit this vast structure while you are in the area then you can. It is definitely a spot worth visiting and since it is located in the center of the city you can come back to visit it anytime.

Museo Civico Belliniano

The Civic Museum of Catania is also located in the same area as the ones mentioned above. You can learn a lot from the exhibits in these museums, and if you feel up to visiting all of them on the same day, then you definitely can.

Are there any cheap museums in Catania?

Chiesa San Benedetto

It can be nice to save money whenever you can, and luckily many of the museums in Catania are not too expensive. The Chiesa San Benedetto costs around 6 euros for a regular entrance ticket, 4 euros for students or people between the ages of 14 and 18, and 3 euros for minors aged 6 to 13. Any visitors who are younger than 6 can get into the museum free of charge.

Casa Del Giocattolo

The Casa Del Giocattolo is one of the most affordable museums in the city. You can get in for the small price of about 2 euros per ticket, so you should be able to stop by to check it out even if you are traveling on a budget.

Museo Diocesano Catania

The Museo Diocesano in Catania is also very affordable so anyone can visit, even if you don't have a lot of money to spend. The normal rate for entry is around 7 euros but the cost of a reduced ticket is only 4 euros for any visitors under the age of 9 or older than 65.

Museums in Catania

Museums are the embodiment of passion, culture and history, and are a great way to get to know a place and its people. These establishments can teach you about all of the historic events in a place and the very essence of its people and culture.

Many of the museum exhibits give their audience insights into the city and what it has been through over the centuries and this is why it is a great idea to visit as many of them as you can while you are here. Then you can go home with a better understanding of Catania, its people and what it has gone through to become the city that it is today.

Since there are so many to choose from almost anyone can find an exhibit that is suited to their interests, whether they want to learn more about the city and its development, its people, old structures or contemporary art. From ancient times till date present, Catania has a lot to offer. Then, consider a trip to Siracusa close by to see structures like the amphitheater of the Archaeological Park of Neapolis. Catania and its surrounding regions are full of history!

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