Monastero dei Benedettini
Monastero dei Benedettini
4.5
9:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Monday
9:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
9:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
9:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
9:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
9:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
9:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
9:30 AM - 5:00 PM
About
Duration: 1-2 hours
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The area
Address
Neighborhood: Centro Catania
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See what travelers are saying
  • Carolina
    16 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Visit Monastero dei Benedettini
    I had the pleasure of visiting the Benedictine Monastery of San Nicolò l'Arena with a guided tour led by Nicola, and it was an incredible and enlightening experience. Nicola's knowledge and passion for the history and architecture of the monastery truly shone through, making the tour not just informative but also captivating. The monastery itself is a marvel, with its rich history and intricate details. Nicola's explanations and anecdotes added depth to every corner we explored, giving us a profound understanding of the monastery's significance. His enthusiasm for sharing the monastery's history made the tour engaging and memorable. What stood out most was the opportunity to learn about the daily lives of the Benedictine monks who once inhabited the monastery. Nicola's storytelling transported us back in time, and I felt like I could truly grasp the essence of their existence. I highly recommend the guided tour with Nicola at the Benedictine Monastery of San Nicolò l'Arena. It's a perfect blend of history, art, and culture that left me with a newfound appreciation for this hidden gem in Catania.
    Visited October 2023
    Traveled with friends
    Written October 16, 2023
  • Roy S
    Derby, United Kingdom219 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Highlight of our day in Catania
    My wife discovered this tour and we booked online for that day, a Saturday. We were met at the entrance by the tour guide who took us around this spectacular palace/ monastery. The guide was very knowledgeable and entertaining. As it was a Saturday and there was no university staff working we got to visit a couple of rooms not available during the week. A thoroughly enjoyable visit and easily the highlight of our day in Catania.
    Visited October 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written October 19, 2023
  • duhoz
    Beroun, Czech Republic6,980 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Second largest monastery in Europe
    Second largest monastery in Europe but today university. It has most valueable library, probably you can see it as part of guided tour. I just walked around on my own the huge complex and cloisters as I have not time to take about 90 minutes guided tour I reccommend to visit the next door church and climb up to cupola at the high 62 meters.
    Visited October 2023
    Traveled solo
    Written November 2, 2023
  • genibre69
    London, United Kingdom5,129 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Fantastic English tour
    My friend and I attended the €10 English tour at 1pm. Our tour guide was AMAZING. Seriously, we agreed it was one of the best tours we’ve ever been on. The guide’s English was excellent, the history and anecdotes fascinating, with plenty of humour thrown in. Incredible architecture and design, as well as decor. Absolutely worth the money for the 1.5 hour tour.
    Visited March 2024
    Traveled with friends
    Written March 31, 2024
  • Robin M
    5 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Take the tour
    Just missed the tour, so I peeked around. I recommend the 10 euro tour for the best experience and must see ancient foundations. Still an active school and some of the lecture rooms are deep in the ancient foundations. Walkable from the duomo (St. Agata). Authentic and not touristy.
    Visited April 2024
    Traveled solo
    Written April 21, 2024
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles2,347 reviews
Excellent
1,749
Very good
464
Average
99
Poor
19
Terrible
16

Lulu041178
Bordon, UK52 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2020
Although the building has the potential to be very impressive, it is very poorly maintained. The staff is unfriendly, and unhelpful, and borderline rude. We were first told entry would cost 2 Euros per person, it inexplicably increased to 8 Euros per person.... we were also not informed initially that the tour we enquired after, would only be in Italian. They kept that for a surprise when we went back to reserve the tickets. We were given a very inadequate English translation, that was clearly not nearly so expansive as the very self important guide related to her Italian guests, while we were completely ignored. What a shame to treat paying tourists with such disdain.

Written September 30, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

LPKait
19 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2022 • Couples
We visited the monastery and church in early September. It is a beautiful building but there is very limited signage and being a working university we found it very difficult to navigate and find the places we wanted to see. Visiting is free, but we found little information about tours or how to navigate a visit without a guide which is a shame. Some of the surrounding grounds look like they are not well taken care of and full of litter. The best bit was the church where you can climb to the roof for views over the city.
Written September 6, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Charley
23 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2022 • Solo
I attended one of the English speaking guided tours as a solo female. The tour guide was extremely knowledgeable and spoke very good English. He was able to answer questions and provided a wealth of information. The mine start itself is large and beautiful, with a fascinating history. I particularly enjoyed the information regarding the Etna eruptions and to be able to see and touch lava. The tour itself was great value for money, lasting almost 90mins.
Written July 9, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Joan J
2 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2022
An Exception Review! How can Italians, Sicilians, Catania residents, their elected officials, local governments, students and professors allow for such an amazing and beautiful place of history, art, architecture and now a working major University to have even one piece of trash or unkempt garden and points of interest overgrown with weeds on or near this place? And to gaze upon ancient gates to see so much paper, food waste and plastics strewn about? To drive into and about the city of Catania to see mounds of trash, torn open garbage bags and even mattresses revealing the lenght of time they have been in place as weeds are seen to be prepared to cover them completely. We have lived in Sicily, traveled back and forth for 30 years when we thought the trash could not get worse. It has to the point of disgusting. Tourists from other parts of Italy, EU, Canada, US and 3rd world countries can never be prepared for this trash problem if the streets and roads
Written July 29, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Carolina
16 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2023 • Friends
I had the pleasure of visiting the Benedictine Monastery of San Nicolò l'Arena with a guided tour led by Nicola, and it was an incredible and enlightening experience. Nicola's knowledge and passion for the history and architecture of the monastery truly shone through, making the tour not just informative but also captivating.

The monastery itself is a marvel, with its rich history and intricate details. Nicola's explanations and anecdotes added depth to every corner we explored, giving us a profound understanding of the monastery's significance. His enthusiasm for sharing the monastery's history made the tour engaging and memorable.

What stood out most was the opportunity to learn about the daily lives of the Benedictine monks who once inhabited the monastery. Nicola's storytelling transported us back in time, and I felt like I could truly grasp the essence of their existence.

I highly recommend the guided tour with Nicola at the Benedictine Monastery of San Nicolò l'Arena. It's a perfect blend of history, art, and culture that left me with a newfound appreciation for this hidden gem in Catania.
Written October 16, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Travelingjohn123
Peterlee, UK3,054 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2022 • Couples
Fairly average building. It was very close to where we were staying but otherwise I wouldn’t recommend travelling or going out of your way to see it. Part of the building is some sort of university building with classes taking place and students dossing around. The church part was ok but fairly non descript. The most interesting part was the plaques commemorating the Italian dead of WW1
Written May 6, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

CFM
25 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2022 • Couples
I cannot recommend this tour enough. It is rated highly, but the pictures here do not do this monastery justice. We only booked this as we did not know how else to fill our time, but it ended up being one of the highlights of our trip. The monastery/University itself was absolutely beautiful. Great spot to get some good photos. We took a guided tour for five euro each (student price). Our guide spoke perfect English and was so passionate and informative. He explained the history of the monastery alongside the history of the 17th century earthquake and lava eruption. The monastery is like a relic frozen in time, being but around the wreckage of the lava eruption. The tour lasted a out 90 minutes, taking you through the University study halls, library, courtyard, and garden as well as the 'basement' of the old monastery, where there are ruins of roman houses dating to 800 BC. Would definitely recommend for anyone visiting catania.
Written August 31, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Zsanett L
Sliema, Malta20 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2022 • Couples
We booked with the tour that offered here to see as much as possible of this monastery, that now used by the University of Catania. Tickets were 8€ each, well worth it. The tours are mostly in Italian, however we got a very informative leaflet in English and also the guide ended up explaining everything in English as well (thanks to him again, we really appreciated it). Lots of beautiful scene here, and very interesting history of the building. Recommended if you're in Catania.
Written March 28, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Robert O
Rotterdam, The Netherlands5,365 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2022
The monks of the Benedictine order hail from the upper classes of the society. They founded the monastery in the 16th century. It must have looked like a palace. All, but the basement and part of the first floor was devastated by the 1693 earth quake. An earlier eruption of Etna resulting in lavaflows had leveled the church.

The complex you see today is largely built in the 18th century. Baroque and neoclassicism are the predominant architectural styles. Striking is the comfort and richness of the Benedictine monks' lifestyle. The higher your place in the hierarchy the more spacious and more beautifully adorned your living quarters.

Nowadays the former monastery is used by the university. To get a better understanding joining a tour is absolutely necessary.

Missed information on the workers who did the actual construction work.

Tour price 9€ (less if you are senior or student).
Written January 14, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Jonathan H
Lyon, France7 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2022
This was a great tour! The tour is in Italian, but you are given a translated booklet with what the guide will say. Given that our group was almost entirely English speakers, the guide included some English explanations for things not found in the text. Definitely a hidden gem with lots of interesting information about how the monastery was built on lava! Would highly recommend.
Written July 31, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Monastero dei Benedettini - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

Frequently Asked Questions about Monastero dei Benedettini

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