Chiesa di Sant'Agata al Carcere


The young virgin Agata resisted the advances of the nefarious Quintian (AD 250) and was horribly mutilated (her breasts were hacked off and her body rolled in hot coals). You can visit the dungeons where these atrocities were committed under this church, behind the Roman amphitheatre on Piazza Stesicoro. The saint's jewel-drenched effigy is ecstatically venerated on 5 February in one of Sicily's largest festivals.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Catania attractions

1. Anfiteatro Romano

0.11 MILES

The modest, neglected ruins of this Roman theatre, below street level in Piazza Stesicoro, are worth a quick look if you're passing by. Note that opening…

2. Chiesa di San Giuliano


Attributed to Sicilian baroque maestro Vaccarini and built between 1739 and 1751, the Chiesa di San Giuliano features an elegant convex facade and, above…

3. Via Crociferi

0.22 MILES

A lovely, tranquil spot for a morning stroll, Via Crociferi is one of Catania's most attractive streets, famous for its exuberant baroque churches and…

4. Via Etnea

0.24 MILES

It's not difficult to see how Catania's main shopping street got its name – on a clear day you can see Mt Etna rising majestically at the end of it. Via…

5. Giardino Bellini

0.25 MILES

Escape the madding crowd and enjoy the fine views of Mt Etna from these lovely, if unkempt, gardens along Via Etnea. Speckled with lush foliage and…

6. Monastero delle Benedettine

0.26 MILES

The Monastero delle Benedettine covers two adjacent sites: a Benedictine convent and the Chiesa di San Benedetto. Top billing goes to the church, built…

7. Arco di San Benedetto

0.26 MILES

The Arco di San Benedetto is an arch built by the Benedictines in 1704. According to legend, it was built in one night to defy a city ordnance against its…

8. Museo Arte Contemporanea Sicilia

0.26 MILES

Old and new conspire at MACS, a compact, contemporary-art museum inside an 18th-century abbey of the Monastery of St Benedict. Occupying two floors, the…