Photo credit: UNA Hotel

No city can bear a million people as well as Catania can and is, therefore, rightly so, a perfect place for organising any kind of events or meetings.

INTRO 2019

Catania, with its 320,000 residents (and more than 1 million inhabitants in its metropolitan area), is the main industrial, logistical and commercial centre of Sicily and the second largest Sicilian city. Located on the east coast of the Italian island, Catania is more known for its volcano than for its meetings industry. However, Catania’s recognition on the congress map has been rapidly growing. Conference delegates can expect to find tasty Mediterranean delights such as sun-ripened fruits and vegetables, almond pastries, chiosci (kiosks) offering several types of aniseed beverages, and its diverse range of seafood served in numerous places spanning from simple local eateries to high-end modern restaurants. Then there’s the city’s sandy beaches that stretch for kilometres, and its incredible architecture, which has earned Catania a place on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites as one of the Late Baroque towns of the Val di Noto (South-Eastern Sicily), and Mount Etna, also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which silently and protectively rises above the city’s horizons. Catania’s kind and welcoming spirit, range of cuisine, landscape, cultural and historical heritage, coastline and perfect Mediterranean climate make it a must see and must experience MICE destination.

NEED TO KNOW 2019

There are countless special venues with extremely rich history and beautiful settings. The Benedictine Monastery of San Nicolò, protected by UNESCO and today home to part of the University of Catania, holds events in its many rooms. The Teatro Massimo Bellini opera house is famous for having a river running beneath it, which makes it one of the best acoustic venues in the world. Pallazzo Biscari, dating back to the 17th century, is where the Prince of Biscari still lives with his family. And last but not least, a prestigious building dating from the last century, that has been restored according to local traditions and Sicilan style – UNA Hotel Palace 4*.

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WHAT'S HOT 2019

Catania hosts annually between 800 to 900 congresses and corporate events. However, when including the local CME (Continuing Education in Medicine) courses that are compulsory for all the health professionals in Italy, the number gets much higher. When accounting for all these professional courses (for example, one hotel in Catania confirmed 1.100 events during 2017 from which 50-60% were represented by CME meetings), then there are between 3300 and 3500 events held in Catania per year.

DID YOU KNOW?
No city can bear a million people as well as Catania can and is, therefore, rightly so, a perfect place for organising any kind of events or meetings. A proof for this claim is Catania’s annual festival St.Agata, also one of the biggest celebrations in the world. As a mark of respect to its Saint, Catania holds three days of solemnity every year from 3-5 February, when the reliquary statue of St. Agatha is on a fercolo (a silver carriage) brought from her spot in the Cathedral out onto the streets among people. Every year, more than one million people gather on Catania streets. The event is surprisingly well organised, everyone is very composed, and a day after the festivities it is barely noticable that a million people had been through the city in the past few days.

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Photo credit: Sicilia Convention Bureau

BEST INCENTIVE IDEA

The Myda cooking school is where the acclaimed chef Loredana Crisafi teaches cooking classes in a modernly equipped kitchen. Another great chance to find out about Catanian food and its hidden treasures is the Streaty Tour that takes participants on a tasting tour of Catanian food. And, of course, a necessary visit to ‘Mama Etna’. In winter it is possible to ski on its slopes, while all-year-round 4×4 jeeps with experienced guides from Etna Finder take participants on an off-road adventure to see the hidden corners of Etna and its lava valleys. Particularly sought-for are the spectacular and famous evening trekking tours to see Etna’s eruptions (what, opposite to what one might think, rarely happens).

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Photo credit: Kongres Magazine

PERFECT GIFT

On the way down, it is possible to stop at one of the cellars, scattered around Etna’s slopes, that stretch from dense green forests to dark volcanic caves, from fertile fields and vineyards to the Star Wars-like lava desert, and get some Etna Rosso or Etna Bianco – wines from vineyards that grow in the fertile black volcanic soil that gives them a distinctive taste. A truly rare delight.

BEST KEPT SECRETS

Etna serves its residents so well that one of the villages on its slopes is known for having one of the longest life expectancy rates in the world – the average age in the village is 95! This is thought to be connected to its Mediterranean climate, nutritious food, good wine and siestas. Etna, though, not only provides good soil, but its unique biodiversity also provides a home to many hundreds of animal species, as well as the locals who live in its shadow.

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VOICES

VOICES OF CATANIA
Daniela Marino, Sicilia Convention Bureau

WHO TO CONTACT

Sicilia Convention Bureau SCARL
Via GIacomo Leopardi, 28
95127 Catania (CT)
Italy
T: +39 095 227 64 20
E: info@siciliaconvention.com
W: www.siciliaconvention.com

More information can be found on the website https://kongres-meetologue.eu/