San Benedetto Church (Chiesa San Benedetto)
Known as the “Sicilian Sistine Chapel,” this baroque church on Catania’s photogenic Via Crociferi is home to dazzling frescoes by the 18th-century painter Giovanni Tuccari, sumptuous stuccoes, a lavish choir loft, and an ornate marble altar. Don’t miss theScalinata dell’Angelo, a stone staircase decorated with statues of angels.
Part of the Benedictine Monastery complex, the Chiesa di San Benedetto is one of the baroque jewels lining Via Crociferi, and a highlight of Catania’s historic center. Admire the church’s facade and interiors on a walking tour that stops at the Sicilian baroque churches along Catania’s picturesque thoroughfare. The city is also beloved for its street food, and tours often pair sightseeing with samples of traditional delicacies from nearby market vendors.
Things to Know Before You Go
Wear modest attire covering your shoulders and knees to enter the Chiesa di San Benedetto and other historic churches on Via Crociferi.
The church has steps at the entrance and isn’t accessible to wheelchairs.
How to Get There
The Chiesa di San Benedetto is located along Via Crociferi in Catania’s historic center, an easy walk from the Catania Centrale train station and most major sights.
When to Get There
Visit the Chiesa di San Benedetto and other headliners along Via Crociferi in the early morning or late afternoon, as many of the baroque churches close briefly at midday. The church becomes the focus of Catania’s religious celebrations during the feast day of Sant’Agata, when resident Benedictine nuns sing from the central gate.
Via Crociferi’s Baroque Treasures
Via Crociferi is the heart of baroque Catania and home to some of the city’s architectural masterpieces. Besides the 18th-century Chiesa di San Benedetto and its adjacent Arco di San Benedetto marking the beginning of the street, check out the Church of St. Francesco Borgia, the Jesuit College, the Church of San Giuliano, and the Convento dei Crociferi and adjoining Church of St. Camillus.
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- Benedictine Monastery of San Nicolò l'Arena (Monastero Benedettini di San Nicolò l'Arena)
- Catania Archaeological Park (Parco Archeologico Greco-Romano di Catania)
- Via Crociferi (Via dei Crociferi)
- Piazza Duomo
- Ursino Castle (Castello di Ursino)
- Massimo Bellini Opera House (Teatro Massimo Bellini)
- Villa Bellini
- Via Etnea
- Gambino Winery (Vini Gambino)