Catania!

Yesterday Babilonia, the school that I am studying at, decided to take us on a trip to the nearby city of Catania. Catania is one of the larger cities in the area, but thus far the only part of the city that I saw was the airport, so I was really excited to explore more. One thing I had known about the city previously to going yesterday is that it had to be completely rebuilt after Mt. Etna erupted in 1662 because majority of the city had been destroyed. I was curious to see how much of the ancient city remained after such devastation. Another thing that I found interesting is that when they chose to rebuild the city, many parts of the city were rebuilt using lava stone since it is a resource that  is abundantly available here. Besides lava stone, the rest of the buildings are build using other types of stone because wood is a scares material.

But here is just a small sample of impressive buildings that we saw.

Exterior of a church.

Interior of the church.

A medieval style castle.

The trench that used to serve as the moat for the castle.

One of the Catania University buildings.

Besides checking out the local architecture, we also went to the local fish market. Here locals can buy fish and other products, caught or grown locally for relatively cheap prices. Although I have been to outdoor fish markets before, I don’t think I have ever been to one this big.

Entrance to the fish market.

One of the fish stands. I got to see this poor fish get cut into pieces shortly after taking the picture...

Interesting things handing over in the meat section of the market.

One of the fruit stands!

The purple cauliflower I mentioned in a previous post.

One thing I loved about the fish market/other markets is that the prices were so cheap. Although I personally don’t like fish, I do love fruits. I went to the fruit stand to try to buy a single orange and the stand owner actually just gave me the orange for free! Here you can find oranges growing on a random tree walking down the street so they only cost pennies here. After finding out how delicious the oranges from her stand were, I actually went back and bought three oranges and three bananas for 1,50 Euro (they use commas instead of decimals when talking about money and 1,50 euro is about $1.91….crazy!)

After touring through the markets and getting lunch, we then took a tour around the surrounding smaller fishing towns. One of my favorite places that we stopped at was the beach. At one of the beaches we were able to see a cluster of rocks that are said to be the rocks the Cyclopes threw at Odysseus in the Greek mythology.

Some students playing on the rocks.

After touring the fishing villages we returned to Taormina for the night.

Sunset seen while driving back up to Taormina.

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