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    CHEAP CAR HIRE IN CATANIA

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    Car hire in Catania at the best price

    Scenic and very seductive, the enchanting city of Catania offers everything from Greek and Roman architecture to ancient spas and delicious street food, all set in the shadow of the world’s most active stratovolcano! Served by Catania–Fontanarossa Airport (CTA), the city provides good access to Taomina, Etna, Syracuse and a lovely batch of beautiful baroque towns lying in the more rural parts of south-eastern Sicily. Conveniently located midway along the island’s picturesque east coast – on the dramatic Riviera Dei Ciclopi coastline - cosmopolitan Catania is the island’s second-largest city after the capital, Palermo. Largely constructed with volcanic lava, it is unsurpassed in terms of traditional Mediterranean cuisine, colour and culture and offers visitors an authentic urban adventure in true Sicilian style. With its colourful wares and lively atmosphere, Catania’s morning fish market known as La Pescheria is a bustling and very colourful affair with plenty of fresh fish caught in the local waters. Local delicacies in the city's many back-street restaurants include the mouth-watering pasta alla Norma made with ricotta and locally-grown aubergines and arancini, a delicious savoury dish of stuffed rice balls. Visitors to Catania in early February are in for a real treat in the form of La festa di sant’Agata, when many of the local townsfolk parade through the city's streets before a huge fireworks display lights up the sky. Exploring the area by car is quick and easy on the excellent A18 motorway, which is in close proximity to many of Sicily’s best beaches. Car hire in Catania is a comfortable means of discovering not only the city itself but the rest of Sicily as a whole. Besides Palermo, you can tour Sicily quickly and easily by car and visit many fascinating places, including Trapani on the west side of the island and Siracusa in the south-east.

    Located on the east coast of Sicily, Catania is famous for the nearby Mount Etna and a plethora of historic sites, including magnificent palazzi built of volcanic rock, charming baroque-style piazzas and a lively fish market. Nightlife is really vibrant thanks to a large number of university students who live and study in Catania. While preparing for your holiday, get inspired with our brand new road trip in Sicily guide! Our previous customers have provided car hire reviews in Catania to allow you to see exactly what you can expect from our service.

    How is the traffic in Catania?

    Traffic and driving a rent a car in Catania doesn't differ too much than that of other Sicilian cities. You may be surprised by a large number of assertive drivers so be sure you not only respect the rules but also watch out and drive more carefully than on mainland Italy. Catania is a very old city with narrow streets, particularly in the historic part of town near the cathedral and the Roman Amphitheatre. Expect some congestion during the rush-hour periods of 7-10am and 5-8pm. Alternatively, park your car rental in Catania in one of the municipal car parks close to the centre and explore the city's top tourist attractions on foot.

    Pay special attention to one-way streets, which are quite common, and the streets and lanes sometimes merging without a previous warning sign. Never leave your possessions in the car rental to avoid theft. For general information on driving in Italy, please click here.

    Where can I park my car hire in Catania?

    Parking in Catania often turns out to be easier than one might have previously thought! There are municipal car parks located in many of the city's most popular tourist areas, including Via La Spezia, Via Luigi Sturzo, Piazza Paolo Borsellino, Via Plebiscito 747 and Via Forcile, the latter of which is close to the airport. For safety concerns, parking is recommended at the airport and secured car parks in Catania. With a regular bus connection between the airport and the city, you will be in Catania centre in no time. Always aim to choose guarded parking lots and avoid on-street parking since crime rate related to car thefts in Catania is, unfortunately, high. On-street parking is not free of charge and you can find the spaces marked with blue paint on the road as designated parking spaces. Obtain a ticket from a machine rather than from people who try to sell them at higher prices.

    Catania Airport

    Catania Airport - (CTA)
    The airport in Catania is located approximately 2.6 miles south-west of the city. Catania Airport serves as a hub for numerous seasonal charter flights from European cities. The airport is currently the busiest one in Sicily with a large number of tourists throughout the year.
    Website: www.aeroporto.catania.it
    Telephone: +39 095 723 9111

    What to do in Catania

    Catania has a wealth of tourist interest for the curious visitor, from ancient temples to modern museums portraying the city's long and chequered history;

    • Palazzo Biscari: Arguably the most important palace in the city, the very exquisite Palazzo Biscari is a fine example of Catanese baroque architecture. Rebuilt after the earthquake of 1693, the palace has many extraordinary features, including the central dome which is covered by a fresco depicting the glory of the Paternò Castello di Biscari family.

    • The Fish Market: The ritual of selling meat, fruit, vegetables and most importantly fish has been a regular activity in downtown Catania since ancient times. Get down there early to listen to the sellers plying their wares and immerse yourself in the local Catanese culture.

    • San Benedetto Abbey: Originally built in 1355, this delightful UNESCO World Heritage building is one of Catania's most striking landmarks and a real pearl of baroque architecture. The abbey also houses MACS - the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sicily - one of Italy's foremost cultural attractions.

    • Benedictine Monastery of San Nicolò l’Arena: Founded in the 1500s, this impressive monastery is a shining example of the late Sicilian baroque style and one of the largest buildings of its kind in Europe. Another of Catania's highly-prized UNESCO World Heritage sites, it comprises a well-preserved Roman domus, cloisters and a beautiful roof garden.

    • Subterranean Catania: Over the centuries, boiling hot lava from nearby Mount Etna has engulfed the city countless times, burying several layers of its past. Dig deeper and you'll find the Achillee Thermal Baths, Spas of Indirizzo and Rotonda and the Roman Amphitheatre among other fascinating attractions.

    Best day trips with my car rental in Catania

    If you're staying on the island for a few days, consider some of our suggestions for a relaxing drive to get the most out of your car hire in Catania;

    Mount Etna

    One of the world's most active and emblematic volcanoes, Mount Etna rises to a height of 10,922 feet and wholly dominates the Sicilian landscape, particularly on the east side of the island. Its spectacular eruptions and fiery lava flows have aroused the interest of scientists for centuries, while today a drive around the volcano is a very popular activity for visitors.

    Syracuse

    A short drive south of Catania, the delightful city of Syracuse is worth visiting for its historic centre, a labyrinth of medieval alleyways surrounded by Greek ruins and many buildings of magnificent baroque architecture.

    Cefalù

    Conveniently located midway along the island's idyllic north coast, Cefalù is a lovely beach town that typifies many people's idea of what a typically Sicilian seaside resort looks like. Besides its striking twin towers, the town's cathedral features some dazzling Byzantine mosaics and an old cloister with lovely carved columns.

    Palermo

    Continuing west from Cefalù brings you to Palermo, the Sicilian capital. Don't miss the Cappella Palatina, an old 12th-century church with an exquisite carved ceiling and the fascinating Museo Archeologico Regionale, one of Italy's top museums.

    Geographic Information & History

    Catania lies in eastern Sicily at the foot of Mount Etna. The active volcano has played a significant role in Catania’s history and development to this day. The highest volcano in Europe erupted in the 17th century and left the city in ruins. An earthquake followed and destroyed much of the city's remnants. Citizens did manage to find a silver lining so they used lava stones to rebuild the city and give it its old splendour back. The city boasts a privileged geography on Sicily's stunningly beautiful east coast. Its climate is typically Mediterranean with midsummer temperatures around 30/31ºC and low season readings rarely dropping below 15ºC. Originally founded as a Greek colony and later ruled by the Romans, Catania was subsequently sacked by the Vandals in the 5th century before becoming the seat of the Byzantine governor of the island. Catania was one of the vanguards of the movement for the Sicilian autonomy in the early 19th century and in 1861 became part of the newly-unified Italy, whose history it has shared ever since.

    Thanks to its easterly location, Catania is said to be one of the warmest places in Italy with mild winters and very hot and dry summers. As such, along with its environs, the city is famous for its citrus plantations and Mediterranean herbs.

    How to get around Catania

    Train

    One of Sicily's main railways lines runs between Catania and Messina at the north-eastern tip of the island. Trains also operate along a very scenic stretch of railway around Mount Etna just to the north of Catania, making it a very pleasant prospect for tourists.

    Bus

    To reach the city from Catania Airport, and vice versa, it's best to take bus 457 which departures every 20 minutes. Buses from the centre of Catania to the airport leave from the square by the main station.

    Metro

    In Catania, you will find one metro line with a limited number of stops. The main reason for such a small capacity is the city's geography - it has been built on lava and on a mountain slope. Never ride the train without a proper, validated ticket which can be bought at nearby tobacco shops known as "tabaccheria". The same is valid for city buses, in bright orange colour, which are quite affordable and can take you not only across the city but also to neighbouring villages and towns.

    Taxi

    Radio Taxi Catania is one of the most popular airport taxi services having first started operating in the 1950s with a horse and cart. Another local taxi company called 6188 is equally reliable and has been serving tourists visiting Catania and the rest of the East Sicily region since 2013.

    Can I hire a campervan in Catania?

    Catania is not only a great place to explore by car but also an amazing place to drive around with a motorhome. Explore further out and stay at some amazing campsites along the way. Many of our motorhomes come well-equiped with kitchen, bathroom and ample room.

    Useful links

    Tourist Information

    Catania Tourist Board

    Car Hire Catania Airport