Catania, Sicily, is the second largest city on the island, after Palermo. Located on the east coast of Sicily facing the Ionian sea, it sits at the base of Europe's most active volcano, Mount Etna. Earthquakes and volcanic eruptions have forced the city to rebuild many times, leaving a unique blend of styles in the churches, palaces and squares in the historic center.

Like many other Sicilian cities, Catania was founded as a Greek colony. The volcano's ashes and lava have produced particularly fertile soil in the area, creating one of the most productive agricultural areas in Sicily, as well as the best wines in the world. Catania's agricultural wealth led it to develop as a major hub of trade, and its port and airport continue to be major points of exchange, travel and wealth.

One of Sicily's most venerated saints, St. Agata, was born and martyred in Catania, and the city is filled with significant religious sites associated with her.

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