Located on the east coast of Sicily, on the Ionian Sea, the city of Catania is a jewel of Baroque architecture. Founded in the 8th century B.C. by the Greeks, it was successively occupied by the Romans, the Arabs and the Normans. Each of these civilizations left its mark, leaving behind numerous palaces and churches, giving Catania and incredible architectural heritage.
One of the most interesting and most atypical of the city’s monuments is undoubtedly the Fontana dell’Elefanta (Elephant’s fountain). It was built in the 18th century by Giovanni Battista Vaccarini, a Sicilian architect who did a great deal of work on his native island.
The fountain is dominated by a Roman era elephant, sculpted in lava and carrying an obelisk on its back, carved with hieroglyphics. An elephant in the heart of Sicily is a bit strange to say the least, but the connection between the city and the animal seems to have its roots in history. The elephant, named U Liotru, has been the symbol of Catania since the 13th century!
Another characteristic of Catania, often called the Milan of the South, is its impressive décor of black volcanic rock. The city’s proximity to the famous and capricious Etna has obligated it to defend against its numerous eruptions over the past 2,500 years. However, a phoenix like Catania always manages to rise up from its ashes, becoming even more magnificent than before. One of the city’s mottos is “Melior de Cinere Surgo” meaning, “I will be reborn from my ashes.”
The Una Hotel Palace, located in the heart of the city’s historical quarter, is in an immense building, dating back to the previous century
just a few steps from the ancient Roman amphitheatre and the Villa Bellini, with its peaceful garden, where lovers of la dolce vita like to stroll and take advantage of the early morning breeze.
Totally renovated recently, the Una Hotel Palace has a wide choice of 80 rooms and 14 suites, each decorated differently, combining both the Baroque and modern styles. The choice of dark, precious wood furniture recalls the classic Sicilian style. The key words are elegance and simplicity, with pure white and ivory painted walls.
The Una has two gastronomic restaurants.The Una is on the first floor, opening onto a courtyard of lava rock, a subtle reminder of the city’s notorious neighbor. A variety of traditional dishes are served as well as a selection of fish directly from the nearby Mediterranean, and which are sold in the city’s open market.
On the seventh floor however, we find one of the Catania’s true wonders, the Hanging Gardens restaurant, which offers visitors a spectacular view of the city’s rooftops. Still animated at nightfall, this same space becomes much more intimate, reserved for a small group of about 30 privileged diners.
U Liotru has a very special place in the heart and the culture of Catania residents, although some uncertainties exist regarding its exact date of construction and the identity of its creator. History recounts that in the 12th century, the Andalusian geographer, Al-drisi, a member f the royal court of the Norman king, Roger II of Sicily, presumed that the inhabitants of Catania saw in this statue, a savior of their city and attributed certain powers to it such as fighting against the whims of Etna, which on many occasions, covered the city with its ashes.
4 stars / Member - Una Hotels & Resorts / Previous century building / Historic enter of Catana / Sicilian architecture / Historic / Luxury / Baroque / modern / 2 gastronomic restaurants including one on the roof / 2 bars / Fitness center / 9 conference rooms / architectural heritage
All year round
Number of rooms and suites :
80 rooms and 14 suites
Double room from 129 €
Catania - Fontanarossa Airport (CTA) – Catane
Una Hotel Palace
Via Etnea 218
Approximately 2 hours
No time difference
Mediterranean climate with mild winter temperatures (about 13°C) and limited precipitation. In spring and autumn, rain is more frequent, but temperatures remain pleasant (17°C). Summer temperatures can reach 30°C. The most popular tourist periods are from May to June and September
National ID card or valid passport
No vaccinations required
The euro (EUR)
Italian (official language)
German spoken in the High Adige region
French and English generally spoken by the staffs of hotels and at tourist sites.
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Una Hotel Palace
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+33 1 75 43 70 26 *Our reservation department is always happy to assist you via phone or via email. We are open Monday to Friday 9am to 18pm (GMT +1).