Discover our local Gay Catania Guide and insiders’ recommendations, for best gay bars, clubs, restaurants, museums, monuments, shopping …
Catania is the second most populated city in Sicily, after Palermo.
Located on the east coast of the island, at the foot of Etna volcano, the city was almost destroyed in 1693 by an earthquake. Therefore it was completely rebuilt in a superb Baroque style.
Beautiful and extravagant, the old town was classified UNESCO World Heritage Site.
You will see magnificent baroque fountains all around the City. The most famous is the Elephant Fountain, built of black basalt, a volcanic stone. It is located on the Cathedral square and has become the city’s emblem.
This Elephant protects the City from Etna’s eruptions. We hope it really works.
The gardens of Villa Bellini are located at Via Etnea, the main shopping street of the city. It is a large park right in the center, with impeccably maintained lawns, century-old trees, and many fountains. This is a perfect place to rest a bit and enjoy the sun.
The city attracted gay people from all over Europe for centuries.
Taormina, a village located about fifty kilometers from the city, with a very pleasant microclimate, became a kind of local Sitges, since the 19th century until the 1950s.
It was a holiday spot for gay celebrities from Oscar Wild to Truman Capote.
This village, perched above the sea offers superb panoramas and is famous for being the place where the German photographer Wilhelm von Gloeden, shoot most of his homoerotic pictures.
Von Gloeden is one of the pioneers of male nude photography.
He was fascinated by the beautiful Sicilian peasants and fishers. Wilhelm shoots them in fields, on beaches or in the middle of ruins, after having them dressed lightly, or even nude, in the taste of the antique world.
The artist took more than 7000 pictures, and some of them still published nowadays. His work influenced many gay artists, such as Robert Mapplethorpe.
Taormina offers superb festivals that take place in the Greco-Roman theatre, one of the best preserved in Europe.
The descendants of Wilhelm’s models are still there, so keep an eye out. However, please don’t ask them to dress like Greek shepherds, that would be unwelcome 😉
Day trip from Catania
From Catania or Taormina, a visit of Etna seems essential. Etna is indeed one of the very few active volcanoes in Europe. You can organise a tour
It is recommended to join a group via an agency, for security reasons and to enjoy the lunar landscapes, caves, calderas, ancient craters, formed by the eruptions.
Note that in winter, you can ski in small resorts set on the slopes of Etna. This experience is unique since you are skiing down the hills, with views of the Mediterranean, the Eolian islands and the Catania Gulf. An experience you will never forget.
Gay area in Catania
There is no proper gay area in Catania, but many venues are located near Via Alessi. The atmosphere is relaxed, and Sicilian guys are really handsome.
Finally, Naples is strategically positioned when visiting Italy, as it is only a few hours drive by car, boat or train to make your way to fascinating and gay-friendly cities such as Palermo, Naples or Rome, or going north to Florence, Turin, Venice, Padoa, or Bologna.