Monastero dei Benedettini

Piazza Dante 32, Catania


Monastery of San Nicolò l'Arena welcomes thousands of tourists all year long, for being the second oldest monasteries in Europe. The monastery is also one of the largest in Europe, so as a tourists zone it has a lot to share and show. It is included in the UNESCO world heritage list.
The monastery was founded in 16th century. During the history it had many functions, but today it serves as home to the Department of Humanities of the University of Catania.
The complex includes also San Nicolò l'Arena, which is another historical value. Earthquakes, eruption of Etna mount have partly destroyed the site, but is still stands and remains an interesting spot for its visitors.

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Open Hours:

  • Mon

    09:00 - 17:00

  • Tue

    09:00 - 17:00

  • Wed

    09:00 - 17:00

  • Thu

    09:00 - 17:00

  • Fri

    09:00 - 17:00

  • Sat

    09:00 - 17:00

  • Sun

    09:00 - 17:00

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  • Valérian PASTORELLI

    - 14 July 2018 -

    Tour in English was amazing. Really interesting guide who told you all about the history of the place. A must to do in Catania!

  • Vishoka Bala

    - 17 May 2018 -

    Imposing building, which is accessible to everyone since it is owned by the university. Baroque details adorn every corner, but you can see the decay in the building, which is quite sad. Definitely worth a visit.

  • Nuno Soares

    - 15 March 2018 -

    Very impressing place. A little bit hidden in the city. The monastery is a quiet place to wonder around. The basilic next to it is a wonder. Could have a bit more of information and history of the place for tourists to get to know better of this place.

  • Jean Paul Barreaud

    - 23 February 2018 -

    Few years ago, past students of this ancient monastery transformed (1980/2010) in the University of Catania by excellent architect Giancarlo De Carlo, have decided to organize visits of this fabulous complex. Even professional guides like me are not allowed to lead any visit there and the challenge with local Cicero is the best warranty for the public. I personally enjoyed it very much. Then, if you are fan of libraries and rare books, by appointment you may be accepted to visit the incredible library. It is not easy, happy few, but it is certainly worth trying!

  • Ko Han Hsu

    - 31 December 2017 -

    Beautiful and calm place for visit, I came here late so no chance to get in for visiting, but only seeing outside exterior is very impressive, unique and tasty.

  • Marc Faucher

    - 28 December 2017 -

    Staircase and patios/courtyards are what you need to see. Also seeing the offices of the university professors. Beautiful. Absolutely stunning for an office considering I'm used to a dim lit cubicle...

  • Kristóf Péterffy

    - 11 December 2017 -

    A fascinating place, definitely worth the guided tour. I joined an Italian tour, but the tour guide was super nice and also explained a lot of things in English.

  • Maria Calipari

    - 09 December 2017 -

    Today this sacred place, hosts the Department of Humanities (DISUM) of the University of Catania. The Monastery is a unique place that tells about the human and historic events of the city on the slope at the foot of Etna, from the ancient times until today. There are English and Italian guided tours, well worth the 7euro. The English tour is at 14.00 , not everyday, best to call ahead and see if they are running on the day or not. Our tour guide (Italian) was wonderful! Best time is Saturday...

  • Jakub Anderwald

    - 19 September 2017 -

    A great place to see, dating back to 1500s. I strongly recommend taking the guided tour so you can see all the rooms and buildings inside. Our tour was an Italian-speaking one and we got a summary of each location in English text to read - this wasn't a great experience as we lost a lot of side information and the style it was conveyed. I would suggest to get an English-spoken tour if that's possible.

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