Castello Ursino


Catania's forbidding 13th-century castle once guarded the city from atop a seafront cliff. However, the 1669 eruption of Mt Etna changed the landscape and the whole area to the south was reclaimed by the lava, leaving the castle completely landlocked. The castle now houses the Museo Civico, home to the valuable archaeological collection of the Biscaris, Catania's most important aristocratic family. Exhibits include colossal classical sculpture, Greek vases and some fine mosaics.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Catania attractions

1. Museo Civico

0.01 MILES

Housed in the brooding 13th-century Castello Ursino, Catania's civic museum holds the valuable Biscari archaeological collection, an extensive collection…

2. La Pescheria

0.23 MILES

Catania's raucous fish market, which takes over the streets behind Piazza del Duomo every workday morning, is pure street theatre. Tables groan under the…

3. Fontana dell'Amenano

0.25 MILES

Separating Piazza del Duomo from rough-and-tumble food market La Pescheria is gushing Fontana dell'Amenano, a Carrara-marble fountain created by…

4. Parco Archeologico Greco Romano

0.25 MILES

West of Piazza del Duomo lie Catania's most impressive ancient ruins: the remains of a 2nd-century Roman Theatre and its small rehearsal theatre, the…

5. Porta Uzeda

0.26 MILES

Built to connect Via Etnea to the port, Porta Uzeda was commissioned by the Duke of Camastra and completed in 1696. The gate is named in honour of Spanish…

6. Museo Emilio Greco

0.26 MILES

The Museo Emilio Greco hosts a large collection of sketches by renowned Italian artist Emilio Greco (1913–1995), whose work is marked by a sensual, erotic…

7. Museo Belliniano

0.26 MILES

One of Italy's great opera composers, Vincenzo Bellini was born in Catania in 1801. The house he grew up in has since been converted into this museum,…

8. Museo Diocesano

0.28 MILES

The most obvious reason to visit this museum, adjacent to Catania's duomo, is to see the Fercolo, the famous silver reliquary bust of Saint Agata that's…