Labyrinth’s Itineraries

Walking through the streets of the city as an anthropological conquest, as a victory of human nature over the artifact that man himself has built: there are two images on which a similar idea is built. One is that of the maze, the city network. The other, that of Ulysses, who is the traveler who reaches out to find the way, and who finally learns that the way is always a return.

The city whose stratification we explore is ancient. Its foundation dates back to 729 BC. If we only think of this, here every corner seems to shine with the light of one of the spirits who have left their traces in this city: from the founder Evarco, to the deacon Euplo; from the magician Eliodoro to Ansgerio builder of the Cathedral; from Benedetto Fontanini to the Prince of Biscari, from Micio Tempio to Peppa to ‘Cannunera.

In the method, we approach the urban anthropology of Jane Jacobs Walk and her Jane’s Walk, the “Bloomsday” initiative, the day in Dublin where the urban (and literary) odyssey of Ulysses of Joyce, who was right to say: “If I can touch the heart of a city, then I can touch the heart of the world”.

In applying the method, we will not forget that our city has a stratification of XXVII centuries, all to be told, all to be explored, from the Greek origin of the foundations, to the Roman era, from the Byzantine to the Arab era, from the Normans to the Anions and from vespers to the Aragonese, from the Bourbons to the Risorgimento and up to modernity.

The awareness of one’s cultural heritage is a decisive point of interest in the formation of good citizens (didactic and educational value) and creates attention for tourists and patrons: after all, each city lives more in the literary portrait that is offered than in its geographic reality.

The 15 points of interest that you will discover in this itinerary

Garibaldi Door

The Triumphal Arch built in 1768, an emblem of reconstruction and rebirth. The occasion of the wedding of Ferdinand I and Maria Carolina of Habsburg offered itself as a political motive, from which the door was called "Ferdinandea door".

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Horse Increase Institute

The nobles of the time did not want their amorous conspiracies to be discovered among the soft lights of Via dei Crociferi. The curious had to be kept away. Someone mocked the legend of the headless horse.

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Bourbon Intention

In the city there are three beheaded statues of the Bourbon kings Ferdinand I, Ferdinand II and Francis I of Bourbon. A compelling story linked to the advent of Garibaldi's troops is that of Peppa la Cannoniera.

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Well of Acqua Janca

The story of Eliodoro dates back to the time when Sicily was under Byzantine rule, in the time of the iconoclastic struggles. Emperor Leo III had forbidden the worship of sacred images, but this measure found a strong opposition in Italy.

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Santa Barbara Climb

In this point we discover the Jewish quarter through the story of Salvatore "Turi" Salemi, an anarchist poet, Jew, from Catania, who lived as a beggar in different cities and died of pneumonia never treated.

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"Maronnuzza" Icon

In this point of the itinerary discover the sacred representations of the Madonna dei Trovieri, "found" in the trash by a street sweeper and subsequently delivered to the local church and the Black Madonna.

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Benedictine Monastery

The Benedictine Monastery is an imposing construction, second only by extension to the Mafra Monastery. The story of Benedetto Fontanini can help us relive the spirit of the era in which the work began. A peculiarity of the structure are the mysterious three balls.

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Terme della Rotonda

The complex of the Chiesa della Rotonda is located near the Benedictine Monastery. Born as a Roman spa, it will later become a Byzantine church and a medieval mausoleum. During the excavations conducted in 2004, there is talk of unearthed bodies of Templar warriors.

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Ancient Theater

Literally buried by buildings for over a thousand years, the ancient theater of Catania is a place whose existence has long been doubted. Greek in its roots and Roman in its development, Byzantine in the era of abandonment, medieval in the era of its looting.

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Alley Maura

The construction took place under the direction of Michael Scotus and Ruggero da Lentini, who was its architect. Scotus wanted the workers to be Jewish craftsmen and this is evidenced by the mosaic Menorah that appears on the north-west tower.

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Via Gisira

Giudecca stretched around the forum, the area of ​​the first Jewish settlement. The Jewish community was subject to the payment of gizìa (tax for freedom of worship), which still resounds in the denomination of the Via Gisira.

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Ursino Castle

Riccardo da Lentini was the architect of the Federician castle called Ursino. The importance of Riccardo's architecture lies in the overcoming of the traditional Norman castle model and in the spread of the Swabian castrum.

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Well of Gammazita

The legend is part of the stories of the Sicilian Vespers, the revolt against the Angevins of Sicily. Gammazita was a young girl who preferred to throw herself into a well rather than give in to the pitfalls of a French soldier.

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Mazzini Square

The "work of the puppets" is both folklore and an educational medium to modern values ​​and the fight against tyranny. In what we now call Piazza Mazzini, in the nineteenth century, the Opera dei Pupi used to be represented.

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Source of Amenano

To enhance the urban space it is essential to know its history, there are no shortcuts and the road must be traveled on foot, walking. The secret of the underground river and its link with the "rivers of heaven".

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Route Map