The Best Time to Visit Catania 2023: the Ultimate Guide
You could say that Catania swelters in the Mediterranean heat pretty much all year round apart from a short spell during the winter, but then the average temperature there can still be higher than most places in Europe. Has that got anything to do with Mount Etna?
Only the geologists, scientists and weathermen will know for sure whether or not Mount Etna affects the climate in Catania or not. Although it does seem that the volcanic peak provides underground heating for the entire island of Sicily and it's underground heating that has the average temperatures soaring to ridiculous heights on occasion.
Deciding on the best time to visit Catania really depends on how your body can cope with high temperatures and humidity. If you can't function when the average temperature creeps above 70°F then the window for your visit will be extremely short and you'll need to plan accordingly. If you're someone who loves to bask in a warmth that pierces through your skin and reaches your bones, you'll be in your element most of the year in Catania except for perhaps a couple of months in mid-winter.
It's far too hot and sticky in Catania to be dragging your suitcase or rucksack around with you. If you need a baggage storage solution, you'll find that Bounce luggage lockers in Catania are an ideal solution. You can drop your belongings at one of the conveniently located Bounce luggage storage facilities in Catania where they'll be stowed in a security tagged luggage locker and go off to explore this Sicilian city without breaking out in a sweat.
When Is The Best Time To Visit Catania?
The summer months of June, July and August are when many people abandon the city in search of cooler locations. The streets and main attractions in the city's historical center are a lot less crowded so while you might be able to fry an egg on the sidewalk, you'll have room to wander about without having to dodge lots of other sweaty sightseers.
If you can tolerate furnace-like heat then summer is a great time to go visit Catania as you can combine a city-based trip with time on the beach. Catania has an amazing beach, La Playa or Spiaggia della Plaia in Italian, which is an extensive eighteen-kilometer-long stretch of sand from where you can still see the ever-present Mount Etna while sunbathing.
La Playa is a well-organized beach, as most Italian beaches tend to be, with various lido facilities along its length so you won't wilt in the heat while you wander along the shore in search of refreshments. Be prepared to make a major investment in high factor sunblock though - otherwise, you'll end up looking like a freshly broiled prawn.
Summer is when you can put your dancing shoes on in Catania as every year in early August, the warmest month, the city hosts the week-long Catania Tango Festival. Tango-ing totally takes over the city in August and there are tango shows by top professionals, tango classes, and more dance events you can join in with that the soles of any normal shoes can withstand.
Why Not To Go To Catania In Summer
Don't go to Catania during the summer season if you can't stand the heat. Visiting Catania should be about enjoying yourself, but you can't do that if you're sitting in your hotel room with the air conditioning turned up full blast because it's too hot to go out. Skip early August if you can't stand tango music.
Average High Temperature in Summer In Catania
June– 84°F (29°C) July - 90°F (32°C) August - 90°F (32°C)
Average Low Temperature in Summer In Catania
June– 61°F (16°C) July - 66°F (19°C) August - 68°F (20°C)
Early fall in Catania is just an extension of summer and the average temperatures don't start to slide down the scale until at least the end of October. Typical fall-style cool weather doesn't really happen in Catania until December and then not always. What does start to increase though is the average humidity reading so while it might not be quite so hot as in August, you'll find you'll perspire more.
If you're going to visit Catania in the fall then it's advisable to take lots of light clothing as you may feel the need to change your t-shirts or shirts several times a day. It does make more laundry, but it's one way of helping you stay a little fresher than you otherwise might.
Swimming will still be on the agenda as the sea temperature is still perfect and definitely won't give you goosebumps. The beach lidos are operational more or less throughout the season or until late October at least.
Come November everything like sunbeds and parasols will have been packed away, the kiosks will have closed and you'll have a spectacular eighteen kilometers of beach practically all to yourself. When you want a break from the city center, late fall is the perfect time for long strolls along the seashore in the daytime or at night.
What you might find from October through to November is that you experience a rainy day in Catania during your stay. It's a good idea to be prepared and have a back-up plan of activities to do should that occur.
If you're fortunate to have only dry weather when you visit Sicily then making a day trip out into the Sicilian countryside is great at this time of the year as the trees will be a blaze of fall colors that makes for sensational landscape photographs.
Why Not To Go To Catania In Fall
Go to Catania from mid-September to early October and you could find yourself getting roped in to help with the grape harvest in the vineyards on the slopes of Mount Etna. So long as you don't mind slaving for a slice of bread and sausage plus a few glasses of wine at the end of the day, it's not too bad. While you won't get paid, it's a vacation experience in Sicily that you'll never forget, especially if you get sunstroke while doing it.
Average High Temperature in Fall In Catania
September– 84°F (29°C) October - 77°F (25°C) November - 68°F (20°C)
Average Low Temperature in Fall In Catania
September– 63°F (17°C) October - 57°F (14°C) November - 50°F (10°C)
The Catania climate at this time of the year is very agreeable and you'll probably only need to wear a warm jacket when you go out at nighttime. Rainy days are still few and far between in winter. Each month of this season, which is one of the shoulder seasons, records precipitation, on average, only five or six times in their entire thirty or thirty-one days.
Winter is the time in Catania when the average temperature is ideal for exploring the city's historic center and its winding labyrinth of characterful back streets on foot. It's certainly not the high season touristically so you'll be able to stroll across the Piazza Duomo and take photos of the city's iconic elephant statue with no-one getting in the way. You'll also be able to find an empty table at one of the cafes in the Piazza Duomo without too much trouble too.
If making the trek up Mount Etna is high on your list of things to do in Catania then the months of December, January, and February are some of the best to make that bucket list dream a reality. Whether or not you'll actually be able to make the hike though doesn't depend on the weather, but on the state of the volcano when you're there.
There are times when it's deemed too dangerous for the ascension so if you're there and get good weather, cross your fingers and hope Mount Etna is going through one of her calmer periods. If not, although it won't be quite so exciting, you can always take a city tour or visit the Benedictine Monastery instead. If you do get the opportunity to hike Mount Etna make sure your travel insurance covers you for all eventualities.
Catania isn't a city that misses out on Christmas and New Year's Eve. From late November on the historic center, the Piazza Duomo and many of the main streets are decorated and illuminated for the festivities. The celebrations continue after New Year until the three kings have made their appearance on the sixth of January, left gifts for the kids, and rode off into the Sicilian sunset on their camels, or in jeeps if it happens to be raining.
Why Not To Go In Catania In Winter
If you're a sun worshiper and want to bask on the beach as well as spend time in the city, you'll find the strength of the sun might not be quite enough to turn you the shade of golden brown you long for. While it might not happen as often as in other European cities, winter is the time you're more likely to experience rain and will possibly need to wear a warm jacket.
Average High Temperature in Winter In Catania
December– 63°F (17°C) January - 61°F (16°C) February - 61°F (16°C)
Average Low Temperatures in Winter In Catania
December– 43°F (6°C) January - 41°F (5°C) February - 41°F (5°C)
While Catania doesn't exactly go into hibernation in winter, it certainly comes out of its shell in spring, or at least once January is well and truly out of the way. While other places in the world are waiting for warmer weather, the Catania climate in spring is perfect for outdoor celebrations and that's something that the Sicilians well and truly make the most of.
The month of February begins with Catania's biggest celebration which is held in honor of the city's patron saint, Saint Agatha. The Fiesta of Saint Agatha is held over the same dates every year which is from the 3rd to the 5th of February.
The Fiesta of Saint Agatha is a lengthy festival that begins at midday on the 3rd with a parade and then evening fireworks in the Piazza Duomo. The following day there's another parade where a Saint Agatha icon is carried through the streets. It's Sicilian pageantry at its best which culminates in another candle-lit parade and a friendly game of tug-of-war.
The Fiesta of Saint Agatha isn't the only street party in Catania in spring. It's closely followed by carnival in early March although Catania's carnival is somewhat overshadowed by the carnival in the neighboring town of Acireale.
In Acireale the carnival is an absolute extravaganza you won't want to miss if you're in the vicinity. Similar to the Las Fallas in Valencia, Spain, in Acireale huge mannequins are paraded on floats but don't end up in flames for a grand finale.
Why Not To Go To Catania In Spring
If you're not someone who enjoys religious pageantry, fireworks displays, or the mayhem of carnival, you'll probably want to skip a visit to Catania in springtime or at least wait until late spring before going. Don't leave going too late though, as the summer months are just around the corner and that's when the daily average high temperature starts to sizzle.
Average High Temperature in Spring In Catania
March– 65°F (18°C) April - 70°F (21°C) May - 77°F (25°C)
Average Low Temperature in Spring In Catania
March– 43°F (6°C) April - 48°F (9°C) May - 54°F (12°C)
When Is The Best Time To Visit Catania For You?
Every season in Catania has its advantages and disadvantages, but hopefully after reading through this article you'll have a better idea of which time of the year would work best for you. Catania is a great place where there's lots to see and is somewhere you can even practice volcano tourism so long as the unpredictable Mount Etna remains in a good mood.