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Province of Catania

Trip Planner Europe  /  Italy  /  Sicily  /  Province of Catania
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Catania is an Italian city on the east coast of Sicily facing the Ionian Sea, between Messina and Syracuse. It is the capital of the Province of Catania, and is the second-largest city in Sicily, the tenth in Italy, and the hundredth-largest city in the European Union.Catania is known for its seismic history, having been destroyed by a catastrophic earthquake in 1169, another in 1693, and several volcanic eruptions from the neighboring Mount Etna volcano, the most violent of which was in 1669.Catania has had a long and eventful history, having been founded in the 8th century BC. In 1434, it witnessed the opening of the first university in Sicily. Then in the 14th century and into the Renaissance period, Catania was one of Italy's most important and flourishing cultural, artistic, and political centers.GeographyCatania is located on the east coast of the main island of Sicily, at the foot of the Mount Etna.As observed by Strabo the location of Catania at the foot of Mount Etna was both a source of benefits and of evils. On the one hand, the violent outbursts of the volcano from time to time desolated great parts of the city's territory. On the other, the volcanic ashes produced fertile soil, especially suitable for the growth of vines. (Strab. vi. p. 269.)
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