Car hire in Catania
Hiring a car in Catania
The second largest city in Sicily, Catania has an ancient history that is displayed through its iconic and beautiful baroque buildings. It is an energetic and atmospheric city with a wonderful UNESCO-listed historic centre. You'll also find a vibrant market that is the perfect place to go to buy a fresh catch in the morning or just to enjoy the hustle and bustle of local life.
Catania isn't just about the history though; it also has a large student population, which means a great range of clubs, bars and restaurants. There's also the rest of Sicily to discover, with this stunning area of Italy being a good place to hire a car.
What you need to know
There is a lot of choice when it comes to finding the righ car hire company for you while in Catania. Around 17 different car hire companies operate in the city, but the number available to you will change depending on where you want to collect your vehicle from. This means it is worth checking which location offers the most choice when choosing the option that is convenient to you.
You can make it much easier to find your hire car in Catania by using our booking tool. This will show you what cars are available, their rating and how much they'll cost - without any hidden charges. Booking through Holiday Autos also means you'll get free cancellation, 24/7 support and be able to make free amendments to your reservation.
Where to pick up your car
If you're flying into Catania, it is probably easiest to pick up your hire car from Catania-Fontanarossa Airport (CTA). The airport has the largest range of options available and the majority of companies have desks in the arrivals hall. Companies that don't have desks offer free shuttle bus services or meet and greet services to make it easy for you to collect your car.
Alternatively, you can pick up your vehicle at the train station, however, only Europcar offer this option so you will not have as much choice in terms of car type or price.
“The pick-up was easy, it took 5 minutes from arriving at the desk to driving out the car, and the return took even less time.”
Where to go
Catania is a wonderfully rich and vibrant city that will give you plenty to do. From the beautiful coast to the mountainous backdrop, you're sure to find something to entertain you and a stunning place in which to do it. Take a day trip to explore Mount Etna or simply spend a few hours taking in the sights and smells of the market.
You can also soak up the sun on any one of the area's gorgeous golden beaches, which is the perfect escape from the busy city. If you want to travel further afield, either take the coastal roads to visit more Sicilian seaside towns or drive inland to appreciate cities with breathtaking mountain views. Whatever you choose to do while staying in Catania, car hire can help you have a real adventure.
If you want a slightly slower pace, head down the A18 for around 40 minutes to the town of Lentini. This town was one of the first Greek colonies in Sicily and features some great historic buildings and ruins. You'll find great fish here, especially eels, which are widely available thanks to the plentiful lake. The area is surrounded by olive groves and vineyards, so be sure to try some wine or tasty olive oil.
Further inland and in the shadow of Mount Etna is the town of Paterno. The town is known for its Norman castle but also has plenty more to see, especially if you head to the old town. Here you'll find beautiful churches and artistic buildings that are perfect for avid photographers. Portono is also known for its cuisine, with the seasoned olives, pasta dishes and typical Sicilian cakes being truly excellent.
You really can't visit Catania without taking a drive to see Mount Etna up close. There are a few different points you can start your tour of Etna from, but the nearest is around 36km from the centre of Catania. Just be sure you have good walking shoes, a camera and plenty of water with you. Once you've arrived at Etna, you can enjoy hiking, skiing and even wine tasting.
To take in more history, drive 67km down the A18 to the city of Syracuse. This is the perfect place to really see the history of Sicily as it has a huge archaeological site that will provide hours of entertainment. You can also catch a boat to the nearby historic island of Ortygia or head to the Bellomo Palace to see the grand castle.
Top attractions in Catania
You'll struggle to see everything of interest while staying in Catania, but hiring a car in the city can help you make the most of what it has to offer, including some great attractions.
Piazza del Duomo
You'll find a few great open squares in the city, but the Piazza del Duomo is by far the best. In the centre of the city, the cathedral square offers you access to a number of beautiful historic buildings, including the wonderfully picturesque Basilica Cattedrale Sant'Agata. On the east side of the square is the elephant fountain, while dotted around are lovely cafes, which are ideal for grabbing a coffee and taking in the beauty of the area.
You'll find the remains of the Roman Theatre on the southern side of the old acropolis, which gives you an insight into how the Romans entertained themselves. Constructed on a site that previously housed a Greek building, the theatre has been reasonably well-preserved. Much of the theatre was built out of lava, giving it a different look to other Roman theatres throughout Italy.
Built out of lava stone back in 1239, Castello Ursino is an imposing building that was constructed in the High Middle Ages. The large castle offers a lot to see, including stunning views. Located in the middle of a residential area, Castello Ursino is hard to miss.