It’s no wonder Catania has an overall scorched look, the seismic history can only be described as catastrophic. There have been several volcanic eruptions from neighbouring Etna.
After devastating earthquakes and eruptions, Catania was rebuilt from the volcanic rock.
So it’s a city of scorched stone buildings, some of them really beautiful but they look plain, old-fashioned dirty. Well it is dirty.
The yellow toned 20th century building shows how dirty the older buildings look.
The citizens rebuilt, literally, from the ashes, in 1169, in 1693, and especially after the violent eruption of 1669.
Catania is a grimy, grotty city and walking around for just an hour gave me dirty hair and a film of dust on my face and hands. It smells singed too, the smell when you scorch your best shirt with the iron.
Etna dominates the skyline and she constantly throws up smoke, fumes and little bits of scoria which fall like slow hailstones.
My appartamento was near the old fish market, the Pescheria, just off Piazza Duomo near the stunning cathedral.
So you have the combined smell of something burning, spice and fish. Lots of fish.
The Duomo really is stunning. I think it’s made of bluestone which is, after all, volcanic rock. It’s the cathedral of Sant’ Agata, patron saint of Catania