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Car Hire Sicily - Catania Airport
Get ready to immerse yourself in the rich culture and fierce energy of Sicily when you rent a car at Catania Airport. Catania–Fontanarossa Airport, also known as Vincenzo Bellini Airport, is located 8 km southwest of Catania, the second largest city on the Italian island of Sicily. The airport is named as a tribute to the celebrated opera composer Vincenzo Bellini, who was born in Catania. This is Sicily's busiest airport and the country's sixth busiest, with more than 6.4 million passengers annually.
Many visitors to Sicily hop into their Catania rental car and immediately head for Palermo, the Greek temples, Syracuse, or Mount Etna, without ever stopping to explore Catania itself. This is a mistake. One of southern Italy's most dynamic cities, Catania is a lively spot with an infectious energy and a wealth of Baroque architecture that warrants a good two days' attention. Spend the time and you will discover glorious art works, eccelesiastical museums, and Roman ruins, as well as breathtakingly fresh food and a theatrical fish market (la pescheria).
Catania is inextricably linked with neighbouring Mount Etna and was largely buried by lava in 1669. Indeed, builders used solidified black lava in the masonry for the city's stunning Baroque architecture, much of it designed by Giovan Battista Vaccarini (1702-68) and Francesco Battaglia (1701-1788). The results turned Catania into an unmissable stop on the "Grand Tour" of Europe.
If you are planning some day trips from Catania, don't underestimate how long it will take you to reach your destination, as distance is not a good indicator. Narrow, winding roads and mountainous terrain mean a journey of 250km could take you nearly five hours.
Image: Roman Amphitheatre, Catania, by grahamc99