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Monastero dei Benedettini

Certificate of Excellence
Neighborhood: Centro Catania
As featured in Visit Sicily
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Address: Piazza Dante 32, 95100 Catania, Sicily, Italy
Phone Number: +39 095 710 2767
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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'.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

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Visitor rating
  • 670
  • 196
    Very good
  • 36
  • 12
  • 4
Very interesting with almost private guided tour

When I visited I got an almost private guided tour with only an Italian couple besides me. The complex has a very interesting history that began after the previous building was... read more

4 of 5 starsReviewed 2 days ago
Rotterdam, The Netherlands
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918 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Level Contributor
15 reviews
13 attraction reviews
2 of 5 stars Reviewed yesterday NEW via mobile

Not as nice as in the pictures. Definitely needs a facelift. The fact that the building is in use as a university does not help either. Frankly we could have spent our time better than to come here.

Thank Qwido
Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Level Contributor
353 reviews
134 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 251 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

When I visited I got an almost private guided tour with only an Italian couple besides me. The complex has a very interesting history that began after the previous building was destroyed by lava in the 16th century. The lava sort of stopped half way the building then and in various spots you can see the lava remains from that... More 

Thank SeimenBurum
Level Contributor
12 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

During this most interesting visit of approximately just over an hour's duration, a well informed guide took us through the past and present of this intriguing monastery in the heart of Catania, Questions were fielded capably. Currently put to use as a university, library etc. the refurbishment carried out is such that it can be dismantled. Well worth the entrance... More 

Thank BrigitteAttard
Zug, Switzerland
Level Contributor
10 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

Very impressive place to visit. But check the tour language in advance! Otherwise it is very untouched and well kept.

Thank Cosmopolitan1985
Bronx, New York
Level Contributor
39 reviews
27 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 14, 2015

The Past: High above Catania stands the Benedictine Monastery of San Nicola that began construction in 1558. Through the years it has undergone numerous changes, additions and purposes. It was the second largest Monastery in the world. It had been almost completely destroyed by a lava flow in the 16th century. The Present: The Benedictines eventually gave the monastery to... More 

2 Thank leecee2015
Duluth, Minnesota
Level Contributor
8 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 1, 2015

On recommendation I took a chance, so glad I did. The history of this monastery is long and interesting. Tour guides are accommodating and welcome questions. Well worth the admission and time

1 Thank Dan M
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 26, 2015 via mobile

I wasn't too excited about going to see a 17th Century monastery especially since it wasn't a monastery any more. And I was in two minds about the tour but I was totally wrong. The tour is fascinating and you get to see things that are not open to the public (like the Roman mosaics and wall paintings). You get... More 

1 Thank M_H1957
Havre, Montana
Level Contributor
141 reviews
33 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 111 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 24, 2015

To best appreciate this immense former monastery, now a part of the University of Catania, take a guided tour, generally offered every hour. When you buy your ticket (6 euros), make sure you get the 5-page description if your tour isn't offered in English. If possible, read it before the tour so you can spend your time admiring the many... More 

2 Thank niteed
Cheshire, UK
Level Contributor
20 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 23, 2015

The Monastero dei Benedettini is a working school and as such there are a number of areas you cannot access, which meant we were unable to get out in to the internal courtyard or on to the balconies, which was a disappointment.

Thank Sam75
Florence, Italy
Level Contributor
13 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 12, 2015

This immense monastery with its beautiful cloisters was the largest Benedictine monastery in Italy and second largest in the world. It is now being used as part of the University of Catania. In order to appreciate it you need a guide. We wandered in by chance and only later discovered that we had missed some important areas like those with... More 

Thank Anna M

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