The Province of Catania

Almost halfway on the east coast of Sicily, encircled by lemon and orange orchards, the city of Catania was founded by the Greeks in the eighth century BC. They called it Katane (grater) because the characteristics of the rock formation shaped by the lava’s eruptions of Mount Etna, the tallest active volcano in Europe, which sits to the north of the city.
Catania is the second largest city in Sicily with 375,000 inhabitants.  

Mount Etna

The industries, the port and the hardworking people of this province have developed manufacturing and commerce to an extent that makes Catania the most energetic and flourishing Sicilian city.

Traditions and taste are merged and enjoyed in Catania by its inhabitants and the world’s gourmands.
In Catania, bread dough stuffed with fresh cheese called tuma and anchovies or cauliflowers with cheese are baked to make the aromatic schiacciata, in a shape similar to an empanada.
Fried dough stuffed with ricotta, the crispeddi, is either a nutritious snack or a dessert if the ricotta is sweetened. When stuffed with cheese and anchovies, they are called Siciliana in Catania.
Among the special pasta dishes imitated all over Sicily and beyond are spaghetti alla Norma, made with tomato sauce, eggplants and ricotta salata ,and pasta con i masculini, made with fresh anchovies fried with onions, wild fennel and peas.




Salsiccia e bastardu affucatu, barbequed sausages, are served with purple sautéed cauliflower, which grows exclusively at the lower slopes of Etna.             The pesce arrostito, roasted fish is seasoned and served with a sauce made with fresh oregano, thyme, olive oil and lemon juice.
The olive di Santa Agata, prepared for the festival of the saint patron of Catania, are small green balls of liquor-flavored marzipan in the shape of olives. Crispelle di riso, sweet rice croquettes covered with orange honey, are made throughout the province. Praiseworthy desserts include torroni, gelati, a large variety of almonds cookies, cassata, cannoli, cakes and pastries, which create an exceptional mosaic of tastes particular to this city.