Art Nouveau is one of the more dominant architectural styles in Catania and, increasingly often, tours are organised around the city to accompany those interested in or passionate about this style as they discover buildings and villas that may not be well known or even open to the public but that are undoubtedly important from a historical and aesthetic perspective.
The Art Nouveau architectural style spread throughout Catania in the early 20th century, not in a pure form but contaminated by the eclecticism that was dominant at the time, which often combined architectural elements from different styles and eras.
Catania is a multi-faceted city: it has Greek and Roman aspects, Medieval aspects, and of course Baroque influences, yet its Art Nouveau side is often little-known by its own inhabitants but deserves to be appreciated.
Villa Manganelli on Corso Italia, close to the Palazzo delle Scienze, was built by Palermo architect Ernesto Basile in 1907, after being commissioned by Prince Manganelli, the owner of the Manganelli Palace in the city. This building was part of the set for Luchino Visconti’s famous film “The Leopard” and should undoubtedly be promoted more.
This elegant residential building is on Via VI Aprile, between Catania Centrale station and Piazza dei Martiri. Palazzo Rosa was built in around 1904 based on the design of engineer Fabio Majorana, and its decor, with volutes and woven plants, is typically Art Nouveau.
Palazzo delle Poste
Palazzo delle Poste on Via Etnea was designed by Francesco Fichera and its construction began in 1919, finishing ten years later in 1929. The building occupies an entire block in the city and is now the central Italian Post Office in Catania. It has highly valued structural and decorative elements, with references to different styles.
Located on Viale XX Settembre, Villa Miranda was designed by architect Francesco Fichera between 1906 and 1908. One of its most distinctive elements is a lookout tower in the corner that helps to give the entire structure of the building a light and elegant feel.
The Sangiorgi Theatre, located on Via San Giuliano, was designed by architect Salvatore Giuffrida and built between 1897 and 1900. Originally created as an open-air theatre for summer performances, it was covered in 1907 and subsequently became one of the most important theatres in the city of Catania. Its elegant decorations were created by painter Salvatore De Gregorio and its facade features a wealth of elements typical of the Art Nouveau style.