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“Incredible stories...” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Monastero dei Benedettini

Monastero dei Benedettini
Piazza Dante 32, 95100 Catania, Sicily, Italy (Centro Catania)
+39 095 710 2767
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Ranked #2 of 71 Attractions in Catania
Type: Historic Sites, Museums
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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'.
Inishmore, Ireland
Top Contributor
152 reviews 152 reviews
72 attraction reviews
Reviews in 35 cities Reviews in 35 cities
43 helpful votes 43 helpful votes
“Incredible stories...”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 8, 2013

I'd recommend this place to all types of tourists, unless you bring children with you ( they might get bored, the place is nowadays a university).

Make sure to take the tour and visit all of it, especially the cellar and the cloisters!

Visited January 2013
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Plant City
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
“Benedetto Monastery”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 1, 2013

Be sure to take the tour. Ours was in Italian, but since this was a field trip with the Federico II language school, our guide from the school did the interpreting for us. We went on a Friday afternoon and there were no classes, so we didn't see it functioning as a university. However, graduation was that afternoon so we did see students and parents all dressed for the occasion. Our guide took a lot of time with us, giving our school person time to tell us about the area we saw. It is amazing that this institution survived the eruption! The tour was definitely worth the time!

Visited March 2013
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Burlington, Vermont, United States
Top Contributor
203 reviews 203 reviews
83 attraction reviews
Reviews in 79 cities Reviews in 79 cities
128 helpful votes 128 helpful votes
“Well Worth the Visit”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 1, 2013

First, one must remember that this is a working university. The tour takes you through many working spaces. The monastery was built over time from the early 1700's (actually in 1667 but destroyed by the earthquake of 1693). So you ought to plan to go there outside school hours (brochure says there are guides Mon-Fri 9-17h and S-S 9-12h.) August its every day 11-18h. Guide is in Italian (some English) but they give you a four page handout in English and you can pretty easily follow along. It's an amazing place! The modern architects have done an absolutely fabulous job of retaining all the old with strikingly new and modern touches. That, alone, is worth the visit. You can see the church from a balcony, but not permitted inside. I was there and took a tour Easter Day and it cost me 4 Euro (Sr rate). Think regular is 6 or 7 and well worth the money. Nice gift shop as well. It is an amazing place with a Roman house in cellar, the old monastery with three cloisters and numerous halls, rooms and other interesting features. Don't miss it!

Visited March 2013
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TN
Top Contributor
128 reviews 128 reviews
70 attraction reviews
Reviews in 49 cities Reviews in 49 cities
47 helpful votes 47 helpful votes
“Worth a visit”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 20, 2013

Info on the monastery indicated it was open on Sunday am, so we sent. Only available tour was in Italian, but there was some info in English available. Guide was ok and could answer some questions in English. Only disapptment was that we could not go into the church.

Visited March 2013
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London
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Great Place...Go At Right Time??”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 14, 2013

This place had all the hallmarks of a fantastic visit...but maybe I went at the wrong time (Monday morning). This is actually an University, which I didn't realise, so the place was packed. A lot of the rooms were locked or out of bounds. The basement area couldn't be accessed due to exams. All the corridors look the same so you will easily get lost. I gave up in the end and had to ask for an escort to get outside! Would have been a fantastic place to visit at the right time - maybe when there are less students around.

Visited March 2013
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