Welcome to the Benedictine Monastery of “San Nicolò”.

Nowadays it hosts the Department of Humanities (DISUM) of the University of Catania. The Monastery is a unique place that tells about the human and historic events of the city on the slope at the foot of Etna, from the ancient times until today.
The monument is open everyday, for everybody. Find out how to visit, experience and live one of the largest Monastery of Europe.

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Our visitors say:

The guided tour comprises not only a description of the very complex building itself but also an insight into the history of Catania (volcanic eruption, earthquake, etc) and the history of Sicily and Italy (warring barons, unification, etc). The tour is not expensive and there are sessions in Italian and in English. There is no charge for wandering around the gardens outside the monastery, but that activity is in no way comparable to a tour inside the monastery with a knowledgeable and personable guide.
Michael V
I recommend guide only because of plenty information but if you want to go solo it is still ok. You can ask people around or students about history of this aristocratic monastery. You will surely have a pleasant time.
No thrills, no major excitement, yet a very pleasing afternoon break. Like all of Catania's historic buildings, there's a wealth of history everywhere you choose to visit. I didn't take the guided tour, just quietly wandered around, discovering that there's much more than I saw at first. I also appreciated the juxtaposition of tradition and youth; the monastery now being a university college.
We visited the monastery with a guide (having the ticket with the museum) and the tour of 1 hour was interesting especially for all the information the guide gave us.
We spend an hour wandering around the monastery and its gardens. Very peaceful, away from the bustle of Catania - but that's about all there is to it. The architecture and decoration of the monastery is fairly nondescript. Woth up to an hour of your time but that's all.