Catania, Sicily
World Literature Today|Autumn 2020
LAST OCTOBER, I chose to use Catania as a base for exploring the towns of southeastern Sicily I had yet to discover.
Lisa Mullenneaux

What I didn’t expect is that I’d fall in love with the port city itself. Whereas Palermo and Taormina seem to steal the spotlight, Catania boasts some of the island’s best restaurants, opera by puppets and live actors, world-class Greek and Roman antiquities, and, for the adventurous, an active volcano. Though Mt. Etna’s eruptions rarely claim lives, its hardened lava flows are part of the landscape, frequently cut into building stone. When I flew into Catania’s international airport, the snow-capped crater was fuming, not flowing. “You must never speak badly of Etna,” my elderly seatmate confided. “We are all guests on her slopes.” Don’t let a little ash stop you from taking the 9850-foot cablecar ride and guided tour.

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