We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
Win Big When You Book on TripAdvisor

Monastero dei Benedettini

Certificate of Excellence
Neighborhood: Centro Catania
As featured in Visit Sicily
Sponsored by:
Map updates are paused. Zoom in to see updated info.
Reset zoom
Updating Map...
Sponsored by:
Get directions
Address: Piazza Dante 32, 95124 Catania, Sicily, Italy
Phone Number: +39 095 710 2767
9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Open now
See all hours
Sun - Sat 9:00 am - 5:00 pm

Il Monastero di San Nicolo l'Arena di Catania (#monasterocatania), gioiello...

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'.

read more

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 1,299 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 96
  • 66
    Very good
  • 16
  • 5
  • 0
Lovely building, worth the entrance fee to see the lower levels :)

You can walk around the Monastero free of charge, but a €7 fee per person will get you the guided tour. On the hour in Italian, and once a day in English I believe, but best to... read more

4 of 5 bubblesReviewed 5 days ago
Zabbar, Malta
Add Photo Write a Review

1,299 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
  • More
Showing 183: English reviews
Zabbar, Malta
Level Contributor
144 reviews
49 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 61 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 days ago NEW

You can walk around the Monastero free of charge, but a €7 fee per person will get you the guided tour. On the hour in Italian, and once a day in English I believe, but best to call ahead/ email for the time of the English tour. The tour lasted around 1 hour and it was the only way to... More 

Thank P-and-J-Malta
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

I lucked out and was alone on what was planned to be an Italian tour. The tour guide was a true gem, explaining the immense history of the monastery as well as sharing restaurant tips. A baroque monastery housing roman ruins and lava flows. A very interesting place, lively as it houses Catania's liberal arts university. Truly fascinating.

Thank Keith P
Catania, Italy
Level Contributor
54 reviews
22 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 weeks ago

This is a must-visit place on a trip to Catania. Very good service, unfortunately speaking mostly in Italian, but they provide reading materials following the guide in various languages. I really enjoyed the visit.

1 Thank Ok0007
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 1, 2016

In the heart of old Catania, erected thought the centuries, you will find this spectacular monastery. Its baroque architecture and impressive size will take your breath away. I recommend you take a tour with the local guides to learn more about the history of the monastery and its many legends. This is definitely my favourite place to sit down and... More 

Thank Alessandro C
Silver Spring, Maryland
Level Contributor
31 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 12, 2016

So many people encouraged us to visit this monastery that we squeezed it in at the end of our last day in Catania, taking a 5:00 tour in Italian, even though we don't speak Italian. The tour office noted we would have the printed guide in English so we thought it might suffice. Sadly, the guide was quite brief, so... More 

Thank Karen L
Weybridge, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
79 reviews
41 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 9, 2016

A massive monastery which is difficult to navigate even with a map. There are guided tours but we were told they were only in Italian. Beautiful staircases and cloisters. Be sure to visit the church next door too which is also enormous with beautiful marble flooring depicting the signs of the zodiac.

1 Thank Jo S
Reading, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
9 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 9, 2016

You can walk around the church, but if you want to see inside the monastery (which is now part of the university) you need to take the tour - but it's well worth it. We missed the English tour, and so went on an Italian one, but we were given comprehensive notes and the guide was great, checking in with... More 

Thank LandTK
Gharb, Malta
Level Contributor
51 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 28, 2016

At the end of the Summer it was a good time to visit, very hot, but a lot of place were open and very approachable

Thank Pauline V
Alton, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
41 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 26, 2016

Tours on the hour, 7 euros pp. takes just over an hour and covers most of the building. Tour in Italian with short notes for non Italians. Tour is honest, didnt try to make it sensational or excuse the excesses of past occupants or owners just to appeal to tourism. Good stuff.

Thank Bruno1300
Adelaide, Australia
Level Contributor
452 reviews
345 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 203 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 24, 2016

Monastero dei Benedettini built 1558 and now a University is worth going out of your way for, to see one of the largest monasteries in Europe. As others have said, doing the tour helps to understand the history behind this wonderful building and also gives access to otherwise closed areas. We did the tour in Italian and there are comprehensive... More 

3 Thank KTGP

Travelers who viewed Monastero dei Benedettini also viewed

Catania, Province of Catania
Catania, Province of Catania
Catania, Province of Catania
Catania, Province of Catania

Been to Monastero dei Benedettini? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing

Questions & Answers

Here's what previous visitors have asked, with answers from representatives of Monastero dei Benedettini and other visitors
2 questions
Ask a question
Questions? Get answers from Monastero dei Benedettini staff and past visitors.
Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
  • How do I get there using public transportation?
  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?