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Monastero dei Benedettini

Address: Piazza Dante 32, 95100 Catania, Sicily, Italy (Centro Catania)
Phone Number: +39 095 710 2767
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Ranked #26 of 1,760 things to do in Catania
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Type: Historic sites, Sights & Landmarks, Museums
Owner description: Il Monastero di San Nicolo l'Arena di Catania (#monasterocatania), gioiello del tardo barocco...
More attraction details
Attraction details
Type: Historic sites, Sights & Landmarks, Museums
Owner description: Il Monastero di San Nicolo l'Arena di Catania (#monasterocatania), gioiello del tardo barocco siciliano e tra i complessi benedettini piu' grandi d'Europa. L'edificio monastico, che nasce nel '500 e si sviluppa fino ai giorni nostri, e' un esempio di integrazione architettonica tra le epoche: contraddistinto da molteplici trasformazioni oggi e' patrimonio mondiale dell'Unesco. Sede del DiSUM (dipartimento di Scienze Umanistiche) dell'Universita' degli Studi di Catania, custodisce al suo interno due domus romane, i chiostri e un intero piano costruito da G. B. Vaccarini sopra il banco lavico del 1669. Dal 2010 Officine Culturali, in collaborazione con l'Universita degli Studi di Catania, si occupa della valorizzazione del Monastero dei Benedettini. Il Monastero e' considerato uno dei beni culturali piu' significativi del meridione d'Italia. La missione assunta da Officine Culturali consiste nel rendere accessibile e comprensibile il Monastero nel migliore dei modi e al maggior numero di persone possibile. A tal scopo Officine Culturali ha attivato un'offerta di fruizione variegata e dinamica. Attraverso il servizio di visite guidate giornaliero e' possibile conoscere gli aspetti piu' significativi dell'ex plesso monastico. I percorsi guidati per i piu' piccoli sono arricchiti dai laboratori, dove la narrazione delle "arti e mestieri" benedettini e' svolta in maniera creativa e divertente da professionisti della didattica dell'arte, dell'architettura, delle tradizioni e delle scienze. Oltre al quotidiano svolgimento delle attivita' di promozione, valorizzazione, informazione e accoglienza, Officine Culturali e' promotrice di iniziative ed eventi culturali e di intrattenimento, finalizzati a rendere il Monastero uno spazio di integrazione e aggregazione per la collettivita'.

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English first
Chicago, Illinois
Top Contributor
343 reviews 343 reviews
191 attraction reviews
67 helpful votes 67 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 25, 2015 NEW via mobile

The monastary is now the University of Catania - and very active with students. When we visited an English tour was not available so we wandered around on our own (for free) with a map provided at the ticket office. It was interesting to be strolling through the halls with the students. The architecture was interesting and the stairways leading... More 

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Bern, Switzerland
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 25, 2015 NEW

Very interesting indeed, the place is packed with history and tales from those times, human beings who shared the same believe, so much commitment must have been needed to endure it all.. only their prayers would have being their salvation from the plain mind thoughts, lets face it, angels were they not`´´… if the walls could speak it would definitely... More 

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Calgary, Canada
Top Contributor
304 reviews 304 reviews
123 attraction reviews
173 helpful votes 173 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 24, 2015 NEW

Guided tours are available, but most are in Italian, so if you want an English tour be sure you check when these happen before you go. You can explore parts of the monastery for free, but the guided tours are much more informative. It's a beautiful place. Stop by for an hour or two.

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Chester, United Kingdom
11 reviews 11 reviews
6 attraction reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 24, 2015 NEW

This monastery has appeared under various guises throughout history and each one has completely overtaken the previous identity. However now belonging to the university, clever architects have designed it in such a way that you can see evidence of all the occupants through uncovered layers. Planners in my city could well learn a lot from this style. The most spectacular... More 

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Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
5 attraction reviews
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 6, 2015

This was easiest my favorite tourist attraction in Catania, and for some reason not much is written about it in guide books. I really recommend paying for the guided tour (it is the only way to get into some of the more interesting areas of the monastery), even if the only one available is in Italian. We speak not a... More 

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Devon, Pennsylvania
Top Contributor
71 reviews 71 reviews
13 attraction reviews
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 3, 2015

The Monastero is presently housing the University of Catania. The underground library is well worth a visit. Guides are abundant and informative. The gardens while not up to Tivoli standards are nonetheless interesting. The floors and stonework alone make the Monastero well worth an hour's visit.

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Talloires, France
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
6 attraction reviews
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 12, 2014

I thoroughly enjoyed my tour with Simona (I was the only one there so I had a personal tour). The building has an interesting history and gives an in-depth insight into the life lived by the Benedictine monks at the times they lived there. You can see the forces of nature - Etna - coming face to face with the... More 

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Piran, Slovenia
3 reviews 3 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 11, 2014

Me and my brother we were travelling in Sicily this October. We stopped also in Catania for five days. We absolutely had to visit The Monastery San Nicolo. Incredible! We had great guided tour with Miss Maria Rachelle. We appreciate very much that it is in the same time also the University. We are sure you can not miss this... More 

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Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
12 attraction reviews
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 6, 2014

It is possible to join a tour guide for this sight and I would highly recommend that. This is a place where one should really get to know it's history and be guided to view all the ancient ruins beneath the monastery. A lot of history here and good to be able to wander about.

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Florianopolis, SC
Senior Contributor
49 reviews 49 reviews
26 attraction reviews
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 5, 2014

Great architecture and beautiful inner gardens in this former monastery, now part of the University of Catania. Don't miss the unfinished church right next to the Monastero, where you can see the biggest meridian clock in the world! Impressive.

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