Catania may seem pretty sedate during the day; taking a meander through the Catania Botanical Gardens or marveling at Porta Garibaldi are two must-do activities while here. But when the sun goes down, the city goes into full party mode!
Nightlife in Sicily consists mainly of dancing in the clubs and discos, parties on the beach, concerts and performances, and of course, wine tastings at local wineries. Doesn't this sound wonderful? It is pretty easy to find things to do in Catania at night.
Whether you are in the mood for live music at a concert in one of the grand theatres or looking for a funkier music or wine festival in the park, you will definitely find something that grabs your attention. Be prepared to spend the night dancing, enjoying delicious wine, and making new friends as you enjoy the festive nightlife of Catania.
Before hitting the narrow streets for a fun-filled night, find a Catania luggage locker close by so you can drop your things for safekeeping. Chances are pretty high you will be moving throughout the city at lightning speed and do not want to lose anything important. Why not explore the city centre and make your way toward the old town? From one place to the next, you'll meet the locals and have a lovely time!
Address: Via Penninello 44, Catania
Located just a short walk from the most beautiful and popular street in Catania, Via dei Crociferi, InterneTTeria is a fantastic budget-friendly eatery. While you would not think of a café as a happening place to hang out at night, this particular one is rather unique and offers a place to catch up with friends without the hectic, loud atmosphere of the clubs.
The creative décor will bring a smile to your face, with recycled cups and other materials used to create interesting artwork for the walls and ceilings. There is plenty here to see and some pretty great conversation pieces.
Enjoy several events hosted here such as cocktail mixing courses, live music, and even cooking classes. You will find some of the best appetizers served at InterneTTeria and you can learn how to make them. Stay out all night and then drop in for a fabulous breakfast and delicious cappuccino.
Teatro Massimo Bellini
Address: Via Giuseppe Perrotta 12, Catania
This iconic opera house was named after Vincenzo Bellini, a famous composer who was born in Catania. The theatre opened its doors on May 31, 1890, and 1,200 guests were treated to Bellini’s most famous work, Norma. The beauty of the exterior is definitely the very distinguishing baroque style that became so popular in Sicily. Villa Bellini is not far from the opera house.
The ornate interior boasts an impressive marble foyer complete with a life-size statue of Bellini that is prominently displayed between the two central arches. The luxurious interior offers main floor seating along with four magnificent tiers of private boxes. Be sure to look up when you visit and marvel at the painted ceiling depicting several scenes from Bellini’s best-known operas.
Address: Strada Statale 417 km69, Catania
Only about a 20-minute drive from the city centre of Catania, Mercati Generali is a fantastic nightclub that offers a good time to everyone who steps through the doors. This high-end club is the ultimate party spot for those looking for an entertaining place to hang out at night while in Catania.
Three large rooms make up Mercati Generali, each with a different theme. The main room, called the Palmento room, has a large courtyard with big palms for shade and privacy and is the ideal place to sit and listen to live music. Dining is available here as well.
Food ranges from authentic Sicilian pizza to pasta dishes to traditional bar food and snacks. Arrive before midnight for free admission. If you come after midnight there is a cover charge and the club really starts to fill quickly. Enjoy a delicious cocktail or two, enjoy a light snack or hearty meal, and dance the night away.
Address: Via Gustavo Vagliasindi 42, Catania
Classified as a bar or pub, Skyfall is so much more than just a place to grab a drink and catch up with friends. Offering a fantastic organic menu with dishes made with fresh produce from the land and eggs that come from their laying hens, Skyfall is an interesting place to hang out at night. The extra virgin olive oil that they use even comes from their own olive trees!
The dishes that come out of the kitchen are a fusion of traditional Sicilian cuisine and Italian fine dining. Delicious sandwiches, savory crepes, handmade rolls and buns, and delightful cocktails make your experience at Skyfall one-of-a-kind. The staff is very friendly and is there to ensure you enjoy all Skyfall has to offer. Listen to lively music and dine on scrumptious dishes while here.
Piazza del Duomo
Located at the intersection of three main roads in Catania, the Piazza del Duomo is the main square in the city and where tourists love to gather. Look to the east and see the Cathedral of Saint Agatha also known as the Duomo di Catania, the largest church in Catania. The original cathedral was destroyed in the 1693 earthquake but was rebuilt during the 18th century. Parts of the cathedral have been damaged by many earthquakes.
Walk to the southern edge of the square to see the Palazzo del Seminario dei Chierici, one of the best examples of baroque architecture in the piazza. The palace was also rebuilt after the tallest active volcano in Sicily erupted in the 18th century. You can wander through the Porta Uzeda, which connects the Cathedral of Sant’Agata and the Palace of the Seminary of the Clerics.
One of the main features of the plaza is the Fontana dell’Amenano, which was built in 1867 out of Carrara marble. The fountain was created by Tito Angelini, a Neapolitan sculptor. Another main sight and perhaps one of the most magnificent is the Fontana dell Elefante, a fountain created from lava stone. The Fountain of the Elephant has become the symbol of Catania.
You can easily spend all evening and part of the night exploring all the nooks and crannies of the Piazza del Duomo while checking out a UNESCO World Heritage Site or two. With plenty of shops and restaurants scattered throughout, there is plenty to see, do, and taste to make a memorable night in Catania.
The historic Roman baths are located underneath the eastern edge of the square and are home to several impressive structures. The iconic fish market is located next to the Piazza del Duomo; its rich culture should not be missed.
Orto Botanico dell’Universita di Catania
Address: Via Etnea, 397, Catania
The botanical gardens were started in 1858 by a Benedictine monk named Francesco Tornabene. It was the first botanic garden created solely for plants that had medicinal purposes. While the gardens have since expanded, there is still a section that is dedicated to the original plants that Francesco Tornabene planted and cultivated in several flower beds.
The Catania botanical gardens are currently cared for by the Biological, Geological, and Environmental Science Department of the University of Catania and is located right in the city centre. Here you can see about 50 different species of Palms and over 2,000 species of Succulents as well as other wild plants found in Sicily.
Be sure to visit the General Garden where there are a lot of different exotic plants to learn about. The Sicilian Garden was created to cultivate many of the wild species in Catania and all of Sicily. Visit in the evening during the spring and summer months for shows and concerts. You can also stroll along well-lit paths and check out the gardens by moonlight.
Address: Piazza Federico di Svevia, Catania
Home to the Museo Civico Castello Ursino, Ursino Castle is a true marvel to see in person and is a go-to attraction when you visit Catania, as are all of Catania's museums. The castle was ordered to be built by Emperor Frederick II and construction began in 1239 and was completed in 1250. It sat on a promontory overlooking the Ionian Sea on the east coast.
An earthquake in 1669 caused the landscape surrounding the castle to drastically change and the lava flow to the south of the castle closed the gap between the promontory and mainland Italy. The lava covered much of the land and raised the height of the land. To this day, the new area created by the lava is being cultivated into thriving neighborhoods.
You can stroll around the grounds and then come inside for a tour of the castle and the civic museum where you will see an extensive collection from the Benedictine monastery. While you may not think of visiting the castle as a nighttime activity, you will avoid the large crowds and get to see the castle walls lit up when the sun goes down. Wine tastings are even offered here occasionally.
KARMA Lounge Bar
Address: Viale XX Settembre 62, Catania
Visit KARMA on a Friday night to enjoy live music. This lounge bar is a terrific place to visit to unwind, have a drink, and enjoy a scrumptious meal. With a wide variety of dishes to choose from, including vegan and vegetarian, you will find something delightful to try.
The fun and rather relaxed atmosphere is perfect when you are looking for a place to kick back and wind down from a day of sightseeing. It is within walking distance of the historic centre near the Catania Centrale Station, which is where to go to get around Catania by train.
Address: Via Vampolieri 2 Acicastello, Aci Castello
Just a short drive from Catania is one of the best discos in Sicily. You will want to dance the night away while listening the DJ spin hip hop, techno, electro, drum, and base. This sleek nightclub offers a welcoming atmosphere filled with excitement.
Banacher is open from Tuesday to Sunday and has a different theme each evening. Thursdays are mainly for youth and students with the majority of the people showing up around 9:00 p.m. Join the Bohemian crowds and throw yourself into the theme of the day.
Check Banacher out on Fridays when international DJs along with national DJs compete to create some of the most electrifying playlists. Grab a friend or make a new acquaintance on the dance floor or head out to the pool for a quieter time and easier conversation. Many times there are live shows or even fashion events hosted here.
Teatro Francesco Alliata
Address: Via Cardinale Dusmet c/o Vecchia Dogana, Catania
The Cine-Teatro Francesco Alliata is a theatre or cinema that offers a marvelous experience any time of day but is best to visit at night. The cinema plays several short movies that are dedicated to local history. They also have movies that can be seen in innovative 5D including exploring marine and interplanetary worlds. The immersive effects will make you feel as if you are a part of the show.
Check out the puppet museum while you are here and sit down to watch puppet theatre. It is fun for both adults and children. Children will be learning as they enjoy the experience of being at the Teatro Francesco Alliata.
Visit Catania, Italy After Dark
Flying into Catania Airport? As you descend you'll see the most impressive structures (either buildings or natural wonders) in this area of Eastern Sicily. As you determine your Sicily itinerary, be sure to include things like baroque churches, places like Piazza Carlo Alberto, and of course, Mount Etna.
Whether you are planning day trips to San Francesco Church to see history, Isola Bella to explore the beach, or Siracusa to enjoy the coast, you will still want to fill your evenings and nights with fantastic things. Grab your friends and explore Palazzo Degli Elefanti and the Catania Cathedral and then grab some fabulous street food or enjoy a fish restaurant.
Summer weekends in Catania are the best when you have a comfortable bed to fall into after a night of partying and exploring. See our guide to the best hotels and neighborhoods in Catania!