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Fontanarossa Airport is one of Sicily’s two major airports, and is the gateway to the eastern side of the Mediterranean’s largest island. The airport serves cities all over Europe, as well as the Middle East, North Africa and even as far as Moscow. Taormina, one of Italy’s most chic and most exquisite cities, is within easy reach of Fontanarossa. Accommodation near Fontanarossa Airport ranges from budget options to luxurious palaces with beach access.
Catania-Fontanarossa Airport is sleek and modern, with places to eat and shop before you board your flight. There’s a stylish wine bar, and the duty-free shop gives you a final chance before boarding to stock up on Sicilian specialities, including pasta, sauces, delicious cured meats and excellent regional wines and grappa.
Catania-Fontanarossa Airport is less than five miles south of Catania. Regular buses connect the airport with Catania’s railway station in the city centre, and take about 20 minutes. Other bus services go to Taormina and Mount Etna to the north, and ancient cities such as Siracusa and Ragusa to the south. If you want to explore much further afield, there’s a bus service that goes to Sicily’s capital, Palermo, on the western side of the island.
Stroll through the lively streets of Catania’s UNESCO-listed historic centre, where Baroque squares are filled with grand palaces and busy cafés and bars. The fish market is a must-see – a lively affair that takes place every morning in the picturesque streets behind the central Piazza del Duomo. You can’t escape history in Sicily’s second-largest city, as it’s easy to stumble upon the ruins of the Greco-Roman Theatre and its neighbour, the Odeon. And looming over it all is the smouldering volcanic peak of Mount Etna.
Arabian flavours mingle with Italian and Greek, Spanish and French, reflecting the different cultures that have ruled Sicily over the centuries. It all adds up to a rich and particularly varied cuisine, with exotic spices and fruits mixed with pistachios and olives. And then there’s the wonderfully fresh seafood. Pasta is as important in Catania as in any other part of Italy, including pasta con le sarde (sardines) and the dish that was created in the city: pasta alla Norma, named in honour of the most famous opera written by Catania native Vincenzo Bellini.
A cable car makes quick work of visiting Mount Etna, Sicily’s most dramatic landmark. Once you reach the summit, you’re surrounded by the most surreal lunar landscape. Even when snow is still on the ground – which is usually well into spring – the ground is warm and smoke wafts upwards. It is an active volcano, after all.
Whichever city in Sicily you’re visiting, you’ll find travelling to and from Catania-Fontanarossa Airport easy. This major air travel hub is your first stop for exploring the history and beauty of Sicily’s east coast.