Monastero dei Benedettini
Monastero dei Benedettini
4.5
9:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Monday
9:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
9:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
9:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
9:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
9:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
9:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
9:30 AM - 5:00 PM
About
Duration: 1-2 hours
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The area
Address
Neighbourhood: Centro Catania
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See what travellers are saying
  • Carolina
    3 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Visit Monastero dei Benedettini
    I had the pleasure of visiting the Benedictine Monastery of San Nicolò l'Arena with a guided tour led by Nicola, and it was an incredible and enlightening experience. Nicola's knowledge and passion for the history and architecture of the monastery truly shone through, making the tour not just informative but also captivating. The monastery itself is a marvel, with its rich history and intricate details. Nicola's explanations and anecdotes added depth to every corner we explored, giving us a profound understanding of the monastery's significance. His enthusiasm for sharing the monastery's history made the tour engaging and memorable. What stood out most was the opportunity to learn about the daily lives of the Benedictine monks who once inhabited the monastery. Nicola's storytelling transported us back in time, and I felt like I could truly grasp the essence of their existence. I highly recommend the guided tour with Nicola at the Benedictine Monastery of San Nicolò l'Arena. It's a perfect blend of history, art, and culture that left me with a newfound appreciation for this hidden gem in Catania.
    Visited October 2023
    Travelled with friends
    Written 16 October 2023
  • Roy S
    Derby, United Kingdom174 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Highlight of our day in Catania
    My wife discovered this tour and we booked online for that day, a Saturday. We were met at the entrance by the tour guide who took us around this spectacular palace/ monastery. The guide was very knowledgeable and entertaining. As it was a Saturday and there was no university staff working we got to visit a couple of rooms not available during the week. A thoroughly enjoyable visit and easily the highlight of our day in Catania.
    Visited October 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 19 October 2023
  • duhoz
    Beroun, Czech Republic6,315 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Second largest monastery in Europe
    Second largest monastery in Europe but today university. It has most valueable library, probably you can see it as part of guided tour. I just walked around on my own the huge complex and cloisters as I have not time to take about 90 minutes guided tour I reccommend to visit the next door church and climb up to cupola at the high 62 meters.
    Visited October 2023
    Travelled solo
    Written 2 November 2023
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles2,339 reviews
Excellent
1,743
Very good
463
Average
99
Poor
19
Terrible
15

Busker999
Tonbridge, UK982 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2023 • Couples
Not as much to see as expected. Great to see the old ruins and the church which is worth seeing. One of the better sites in Catania
Written 10 November 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

duhoz
Beroun, Czech Republic6,315 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2023 • Solo
Second largest monastery in Europe but today university. It has most valueable library, probably you can see it as part of guided tour. I just walked around on my own the huge complex and cloisters as I have not time to take about 90 minutes guided tour I reccommend to visit the next door church and climb up to cupola at the high 62 meters.
Written 2 November 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Roy S
Derby, UK174 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2023 • Couples
My wife discovered this tour and we booked online for that day, a Saturday.
We were met at the entrance by the tour guide who took us around this spectacular palace/ monastery.
The guide was very knowledgeable and entertaining.
As it was a Saturday and there was no university staff working we got to visit a couple of rooms not available during the week.
A thoroughly enjoyable visit and easily the highlight of our day in Catania.
Written 19 October 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Carolina
3 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2023 • Friends
I had the pleasure of visiting the Benedictine Monastery of San Nicolò l'Arena with a guided tour led by Nicola, and it was an incredible and enlightening experience. Nicola's knowledge and passion for the history and architecture of the monastery truly shone through, making the tour not just informative but also captivating.

The monastery itself is a marvel, with its rich history and intricate details. Nicola's explanations and anecdotes added depth to every corner we explored, giving us a profound understanding of the monastery's significance. His enthusiasm for sharing the monastery's history made the tour engaging and memorable.

What stood out most was the opportunity to learn about the daily lives of the Benedictine monks who once inhabited the monastery. Nicola's storytelling transported us back in time, and I felt like I could truly grasp the essence of their existence.

I highly recommend the guided tour with Nicola at the Benedictine Monastery of San Nicolò l'Arena. It's a perfect blend of history, art, and culture that left me with a newfound appreciation for this hidden gem in Catania.
Written 16 October 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

ANGELO V
Milan, Italy2,933 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2023 • Solo
The monastery of the Benedictines is part of the UNESCO heritage site "Late Baroque Towns of the Val di Noto (South-Eastern Sicily)". The monastery is currently the seat of the university of Catania's Humanities studies department, and it can be visited by guided tour only. There is a tour every hour, and it lasts around 90 minutes.

The monastery is huge, and it was originally built during the 12th century. It was expanded several times. After the 1669 Etna eruption and the 1693 earthquake, the monastery was rebuilt as it is today. In 1867 it became part of the state treasury, and it housed barracks, schools and technical institutes, the Civic Museum, an astrophysical observatory and a geodynamics laboratory.

It was damaged by bombings during WW II, and later it was restored and it was assigned to the University of Catania.

The guided tour was very interesting, and covered the history of the monastery, as well as visiting the cloisters, the gardens, the refectory, the underground library, the remains of a Roman villa, the remains of hardened lava of the 1669 eruption, the monumental staircase. I did the tour on a Saturday, so also the Abbot's quarters could be visited (on work days they are offices of the University).
Written 29 April 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Kate
Somerset, UK667 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2023 • Couples
We took the English guided tour, which is at 1 pm each day. The only way to visit in my view is to take the guided tour to access the rich history and understand what you are experiencing - we would not have learned much by navigating ourselves! Top tip as the monastery is now owned and used by the university as a campus (who have lovingly restored and opened the Monastery to the public) there are two additional but very significant rooms (the Abbots quarters) which you can only visit if you take the tour at the weekend. In the week they are offices used by university professors and not accessible. Our guide was incredible and bought to life the evolution of Benedictine Monastery; how it partially survived the lava flow of Etna’s eruption and then the devastation of an earthquake. The 50 monks certainly had a very opulent lifestyle! The excavations have also revealed the remains of a Roman villa on which the Monastery was built which was an added bonus to see the beautiful mosaics. It’s great to see all aspects incorporated into the university and used for different purposes now centuries later. We purchased our tickets online in advance but when we went in April we could have easily purchased on arrival as there were approx 30 on our tour - I would think potentially more popular in peak tourist times so would be wise to secure a place in advance.
Written 24 April 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Catriona07
Bergamo, Italy56 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2022
An impressive building with amazing architectural features and a long history that can be perceived everywhere.
Written 1 April 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Robert O
Rotterdam, The Netherlands3,924 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2022
The monks of the Benedictine order hail from the upper classes of the society. They founded the monastery in the 16th century. It must have looked like a palace. All, but the basement and part of the first floor was devastated by the 1693 earth quake. An earlier eruption of Etna resulting in lavaflows had leveled the church.

The complex you see today is largely built in the 18th century. Baroque and neoclassicism are the predominant architectural styles. Striking is the comfort and richness of the Benedictine monks' lifestyle. The higher your place in the hierarchy the more spacious and more beautifully adorned your living quarters.

Nowadays the former monastery is used by the university. To get a better understanding joining a tour is absolutely necessary.

Missed information on the workers who did the actual construction work.

Tour price 9€ (less if you are senior or student).
Written 14 January 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Chrishcardiff
London, UK181 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2022
This is no longer a monastery, part of the university, and most of it only dates from the 18th Century but it contains some hidden gems. Take the guided tour and the accompanying English notes.
Written 22 September 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

LPKait
9 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2022 • Couples
We visited the monastery and church in early September. It is a beautiful building but there is very limited signage and being a working university we found it very difficult to navigate and find the places we wanted to see. Visiting is free, but we found little information about tours or how to navigate a visit without a guide which is a shame. Some of the surrounding grounds look like they are not well taken care of and full of litter. The best bit was the church where you can climb to the roof for views over the city.
Written 6 September 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Monastero dei Benedettini (Catania) - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos) - Tripadvisor

Frequently Asked Questions about Monastero dei Benedettini