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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, 95124 Catania, Sicily, Italy
Phone Number: +39 095 710 2767
9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Open now
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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'.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 1,252 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 93
  • 65
    Very good
  • 16
  • 5
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Huge monastery

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... read more

4 of 5 bubblesReviewed 2 weeks ago
Jo S
Weybridge, United Kingdom
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1,252 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 179: English reviews
Silver Spring, Maryland
Level Contributor
31 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

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
75 reviews
40 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

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 2 weeks ago

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 4 weeks ago

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
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 weeks ago

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
397 reviews
297 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 182 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 weeks ago

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 

2 Thank KTGP
Auckland, New Zealand
Level Contributor
534 reviews
158 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 128 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 20, 2016

I went here for a conference, but found a historical gem as others have said. I was very taken with the stairs which are marble worn down by countless steps of monks over the years. Walking the halls gives one a feeling of deep history as if the walls and ceilings are talking to you. On a hot day an... More 

Thank waiake1
Raleigh, North Carolina, United States
Level Contributor
10 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 9, 2016

You will have to climb to the highest point in Catania to visit this unexpected gem. The monastery is now home to the languages department of the university, but detailed guided tours are routinely given. As you descend through each level of the buildings. more and more history of Catania is revealed.

1 Thank Susan A
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
33 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 5, 2016 via mobile

Not sure of the guided tour in English as we did ours in Italian, but the amount of information was phenomenal and the monastery is really beautiful, even just the free sections but all the access you get on the tour makes it worth it.

Thank neridar
Level Contributor
10 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 28, 2016

The place is beautiful, but the best part to see is really the stairs leading from the main entrance up to the next floors. The place has a lot of beautiful art but also mixed in with some modern renovations.

Thank Deanna C

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