The Monastery of San Nicolò l'Arena in Catania, Sicily is a former Benedictine monastery, located on Piazza Dante 30 in the city of Catania, region of Sicily, Italy. After the Mafra, this abbey is the second largest Benedictine monastery in Europe. It is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site (as a part of Val di Noto World Heritage Site), and houses the Department of Humanities of the University of Catania.
The monastery was founded in 1558. Dedicated to San Nicola di Bari, the suffix of Arena (sand) derived from the volcanic sand present in the area.
|Monday||8:00 AM – 8:00 PM|
|Tuesday||8:00 AM – 8:00 PM|
|Wednesday||8:00 AM – 8:00 PM|
|Thursday||8:00 AM – 8:00 PM|
|Friday||8:00 AM – 8:00 PM|
|Saturday||8:00 AM – 6:00 PM|
|Sunday||10:00 AM – 6:00 PM|
Jean Paul Barreaud | Feb 23, 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!
Maria Calipari | Dec 9, 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...
Marc Faucher | Dec 28, 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...
Jakub Anderwald | Sep 19, 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.
Ko Han Hsu | Dec 31, 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.
Nuno Soares | Mar 15, 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.
arnon navot | Apr 26, 2018
Impressive architecture, beautiful garden and lack of any inside direction unless in Italian makes this gem less than it should be. Theoriticaly there are gueded tours, not during my visit. The building is huge. No chance you find your way alone .
Vishoka Bala | May 17, 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.
Valérian PASTORELLI | Jul 14, 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!
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