Fontana dell'Elefante

Monument in Catania
Image by Scott R Barbour / Scott R Barbour

Taking centre stage on Catania's showpiece Piazze del Duomo is the city's most memorable monument, the smiling Fontana dell'Elefante (Fountain of the Elephant; 1736). Made of lava stone and dating from the Roman period, the comical statue is of an adorable elephant, known locally as Liotru and the symbol of the city. The statue is surmounted by an improbable Egyptian obelisk, which according to local folklore possesses magical powers.