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“Well Worth the Visit”

Monastero dei Benedettini
Ranked #2 of 169 things to do in Catania
Certificate of Excellence
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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'.
Burlington, Vermont, United States
Level Contributor
351 reviews
125 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 171 helpful votes
“Well Worth the Visit”
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
3 Thank John H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Level Contributor
181 reviews
106 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 69 helpful votes
“Worth a visit”
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
Thank PatKTn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
18 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Great Place...Go At Right Time??”
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
Thank pridash
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Paris, France
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Love escape in Catania at the B&B Globetrotter”
Reviewed January 16, 2013

Worth visiting, one of the biggest Benedictin monastery in Europe hosting now the University of Catania

Visited January 2013
Thank Muriel O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
23 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Go with the tour, even in Italian”
Reviewed January 4, 2013

I visited monastery at the beginning of September, later in the afternoon, so place was almost empty. When I first stop by in tour office, they told me that tours are offer in Italian only and suggested that I should grab map and just wondering by my own. I tried, but it did not work – some rooms was closed, some was hard to find, etc; so I get back to the office and join tour in Italian. My guide did not speak English at all, but I got I cheat-sheet with a numbers, so on each stop she pointed on appropriate number and I read comments in English, which were really interesting. Monastery is very impressive blends of roman, baroque and contemporary architecture and tour is needed to really understand and appreciate work of many generations.

Visited September 2012
4 Thank Barbara2009
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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