You’ll see stunning artwork, Roman ruins and fine Baroque architecture when you visit the centerpiece of Catania’s main square.
Search for the original Roman columns or see the eruption of Mount Etna depicted in paintings when you visit the stunning Catania Cathedral. Admire the beautiful Baroque styling and find ornate tombs, interesting lava carvings and more as you stroll around one of the city’s most iconic buildings.
Catania Cathedral is built on the site of the original Roman baths, on what is said to be the very spot where the martyr Agatha died in the third century. Evidence of the original Roman columns, as well as parts of the Norman church that was built here in the 11th century, can still be seen, though the cathedral is known primarily as one of Catania’s finest examples of Baroque architecture.
Stand beside the fountains in the spacious Piazza del Duomo and observe the ornate Baroque façade, with its many columns, statues and small turrets. Look for bright white cupids and the large statue of Christ above the main entrance, then head inside to discover a wealth of artwork and history.
Immediately on your right as you walk through the entrance you will see a tomb resting on a pillar. This holds the remains of the famous Catanian composer, Vincenzo Bellini. Continue through the long main building to the Chapel of the Madonna. The ornate graves here contain the ashes of Aragonese King Frederick III and his wife.
Farther inside the cathedral notice the original Roman columns from the nearby amphitheater. These are part of the original structure that was all but destroyed when Mount Etna erupted in 1669.
At the rear of the cathedral enjoy a display of wood carvings etched onto the choir stalls. These depict the life of Saint Agatha.
Catania Cathedral is open every day and admission is free. It is located in the Piazza del Duomo in the heart of the city.