View of the Bellini Theater Square in Sicily (Catania), Italy
Music lovers will enjoy visiting the Bellini Theatre, named after composer Vincenzo Bellini and inaugurated in 1890 with a performance of his masterpiece 'Norma'. Fun fact: The most famous dish in Catania, pasta alla norma, is named for this number.
A group climbing Mt. Etna in Sicily
Hike through the lush landscape and cloudy mist as you visit the craters and lava pit stops on Mt Etna. A local tour can guide you through the history of the eruptions. The vineyards planted in the volcanic soil of this area give life to unique, ethereal wines.
The vivacious fish market is a street theatre of everyday life in Sicily today. The amusing banter among the customers and vendors is well worth the early morning stroll to the Pescheria. Cruises to Sicily allow you to enjoy local delicacies that include sea urchin and bottarga, a salt-cured tuna roe.
Catania is a culinary adventure. Head to a street vendor in the city centre and pick up a slice of sfincione, the Sicilian pizza topped with anchovies, onions and cheese. Don't miss Catania's pasta alla norma, named for the composer Vincenzo Bellini's masterpiece, with eggplant, ricotta salata, basil and oregano. In the mood for seafood? Try sarde a beccafico, fried sardines stuffed with currants, with a glass of zibbibo, the local white wine.
Don't leave without bringing home a bottle or two of the complex, otherworldly wines produced from Catania's volcanic soil. Small shops offer up local wines made from grapes cultivated in the rich lavic turf of Mt Etna. You'll find much of the best shopping in the Pigno neighbourhood with your Sicily cruise. Head there to pick up a coffa bag – a colourful straw handbag unique to the area – or a vase, decorative bowl or piece of jewellery made from volcanic stone.
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