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Get to know Sicily’s second-largest city through its markets with our Catania guide.

If you’re a market lover who is looking to sample the best produce at the market, only interested in the places to eat right NOW, thinks the best way to experience a city is by sipping coffee at a cute café and watching life go by, our Catania guide was made for you. Besides the best things to do, markets to visit, and places to eat, we’ll also tell you where to get a perfect shot of the city, what to watch and read in anticipation of your trip and some practical tips to reduce travellers’ anxiety (but where on Earth can I buy a bus ticket?!).

Check out this Google Maps list including all the places mentioned in this guide.

La Pescheria – Catania Fish Market

The Catania fish market, known locally as “La Pescheria,” is a historical marketplace located in the heart of the city centre of Catania, Sicily, Italy. Beyond its central square where the fishmongers set up shop every day, the market sprawls into adjacent streets, offering fruits, vegetables, cheese, meat, and more.

Where: Piazza Alonzo di Benedetto

When: Monday-Saturday, 7am-2pm

What to buy:

  • Tripe: now only sold by single vendor, who is visited by chefs from across Catania
  • Seltz, a refreshing drink made with combining soda water, lemon and sea salt. A slightly sweeter version made with tangerine syrup is also great
  • Fresh oysters: both the French and the smaller, round local Sicilian variety
  • Roasted artichokes
  • Citron (cedri in Italian), the huge Sicilian lemon. The best part is the white pith, sprinkled with sea salt
  • Dried figs, roasted almonds and dried oregano at Le Delizie di Maurizio e Gaetano

Market tips

  • Wear proper shoes that are easy to clean. The ground is wet and there are the occasional discarded fish guts flying around.
  • Get a tour guide: they’ll help you navigate the market, have personal relationships with the vendors and will help you taste thing without having to purchase a full portion
  • Come back for lunch and dinner at one of the many restaurants around the market
  • The best time to visit is around 8-9am
Markets in Catania

La Pescheria

Fera O’Luni

Fera O’Luni, a huge daily market in Catania offering a plethora of goods. The name means “Monday Fair” as it used to be held on Mondays only. Today it is open every day from early morning til noon, except on Sundays. Here, one can find household items, haberdashery, fresh produce, seafood, cheese, meat, clothes, designer shoes (ranging from authentic to counterfeit), and even a selection of second-hand stalls selling everything from vintage fur coats to 90s ski overalls.

Where: Piazza Carlo Alberto di Savoia

When: Monday – Saturday, 6am-12pm

What to buy:

  • Branded shoes at a discounted price. There are several shops selling genuine brand shoes: last season’s merchandise, factory seconds or irregulars, overstock or excess inventory, and samples. They most commonly sell brands that are popular in Italy such as Liu Jo or Saucony and unbranded high quality leather goods.
  • Vintage clothes: you’ll find lots of vintage for a steal: vintage fur coats, 90s ski overalls, costumes, denim and moe
  • Roasted artichokes
Fruit stand at the Fera O’Luni market in Catania
Fera O’Luni, Catania guide

Fera O’Luni, Catania’s huge daily market

Picture perfect

For the best views of Catania with Mount Etna in the background on clear days, climb up the stairs to the terrace and cupola of Chiesa della Badia di Sant’Agata (182 Via Vittorio Emanuele II). The fee to visit the cupola is €5.

If you’re at Piazza Scammacca, ask nicely to see the rooftop and they might take you up there if it’s not too busy. It’s not officially open to the public yet, but the views are breathtaking.

The view from the top of the Badia di Sant’Agata church - A market lover's Catania guide
Catania skyline - A market lover's Catania guide

The view from the top of the Badia di Sant’Agata church in Catania

Where to eat

Forma A cute café that is perfect for breakfast in a quiet, peaceful square with a selection of pastries and cakes. ☕ Must try: a cappuccino and a ricotta cannoli make the perfect Sicilian breakfast!

Legatoria Prampolini A book shop with a café that is the perfect spot to sit, enjoy a cup of coffee, read, get some work done or have a glass of wine/cocktail. They’ve also got natural wines!

Mm! Trattoria Traditional Sicilian fish dishes in a former butcher shop. They have two locations by the fish market, one is more of a sit-down restaurant, the other is street food focused.

Me Cumpari Turiddu Classic Sicilian dishes with a focus on using seasonal, local ingredients. Owned by a former lawyer who decided to return to Sicily after a successful career. 🍝 Must try: The Pastore’s Maccheroncini pasta made with goat cheese is to die for!

Canusciuti Sicilian Cafe A great place to sample the best of traditional Sicilian snacks such as arancini, sandwiches, hand-pressed pizza (pinse), fried fish and pastries. Super cute interior too. 🍙 Must try: any of the classic arancini or the sweet ones!

Piazza Scammacca A metropolitan market home to 7 independent restaurants, each with its own counter. You can order from any menu – whether it’s pizza, pasta, seafood, sandwiches, barbecue, cocktails, or wine – then pay for everything together. 🐟 🍷 Must try: the mixed fried fish (fritto senza spine or fritto misto) with the orange wine by the glass.

Vermut The cool kids of Catania hang out at this bar with a long list of vermouth and gin based drinks and small bites.

Fried fish and orange wine for dinner at Piazza Scammacca, a metropolitan market in Catania

Mixed fried fish and orange wine @ Piazza Scammacca

Pastore’s Maccheroncini @ Me Cumpari Turiddu

Get in the mood for your trip to Sicily

Practical info (as of February 2024)

  • Bus ticket from airport to city centre costs €4
  • Bus ticket within the city is €1
  • Bus tickets must be validated with the machine on the bus. Once validated, a bus ticket is valid for 90 minutes, even if you change buses
  • Bus tickets can be purchased at kiosks or from the bus driver as well. Cash is better but during my trip all of them accepted cards as well
  • Catania also has a new metro line. It’s very clean, one of the nicest metro and metro stations I’ve ever seen. Currently it only has 7 stops, but they are extending it until the airport. A single ticket is €1 and a day ticket costs €2
  • You can’t always trust the public transport info by Google Maps. Or the bus schedules in general. You have to learn to let it go. Hopefully you’ll get to your destination, if not, get something delicious to eat instead!
  • Check out this Google Maps list with all places from this guide


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