Catania and its surrounding districts constitute the most densely populated area of Sicily, making the city an important commercial and tourist destination for the island. Its historical and cultural importance is striking, given the influences of the many populations that have dominated Catania and the UNESCO World Heritage Site designation for having maintained, along with seven other municipalities in Val di Noto, the late Baroque architectural style reconstruction following the 1693 earthquake. Mount Etna can be seen in the hinterland, and nearby Taormina is an ideal destination for a day trip. Italy Euro Italian Image Image Image The late Baroque UNESCO World Heritage Site Here’s the description of Catania's nomination as a World Heritage Site: "The eight towns in south-eastern Sicily: Caltagirone, Militello Val di Catania, Catania, Modica, Noto, Palazzolo, Ragusa and Scicli, were all rebuilt after 1693 on or beside towns existing at the time of the earthquake which took place in that year. They represent a considerable collective undertaking, successfully carried out at a high level of architectural and artistic achievement. Keeping within the late Baroque style of the day, they also depict distinctive innovations in town planning and urban building”. A reason of great pride for the city and the entire Val di Noto! Image Etna Etna is Europe's largest active volcano, whose frequent eruptions over the years have changed the surrounding landscape to some extent. A UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2013, Etna is ideal for winter sports such as alpine skiing, cross-country skiing and snowboarding, with its facilities open from mid-December to late spring. Finally, the mountain's regular eruptions have made it the subject of numerous tales from Greek and Roman mythology, not to mention popular beliefs that have tried to explain the volcano's behavior through legendary gods and giants. Image Taormina An hour from Catania is Taormina, also called the 'Pearl of the Ionian Sea', a town that overlooks the sea and offers visitors nature, culture and typical Sicilian delicacies. Not to be missed are the Greek Theatre, whose performances make any setting even more magical due to the breathtaking view of the sea, Corso Umberto, the lively main street, and Taormina Cathedral.