We stayed for a week including Easter weekend. Our 'standard' room was very comfortable. The staff are extremely friendly, helpful and professional at all times whether on reception, in the restaurant, in the bar, or the room staff. The breakfast was consistently very good. The hotel is modern, stylish, and small enough to be welcoming and personal. It was immediately home from home.
Catania is a fascinating place and richly deserves it's world heritage status. The place has great charm, lots of accessible history, some brilliant restaurants ( we enjoyed eating at EAT Pizzeria, Il Mara, and Street Food - all round the corner from Romano House), has great people, feels very safe and of course has the gem of Etna as its back drop.
The location of Romano House meant we could explore the key parts of the city on foot and reach the transport hubs to go further afield.
When we wanted to travel further afield the main bus and railway station was a 10 minute walk away. I would recommend using 'Interbus' to travel to places like Taormina and Syracuse. The service was always on time, used comfortable air conditioned coaches and the ticket prices were great value. The bus stations in both places were located a short walk from the historical centre of Taormina and Ortygia (the old city of Syracuse), respectively.
We visited Etna and we strongly recommend taking or wearing warm clothing. The contrast in temperatures was great and when we visited it snowed. We visited with Geo Etna Explorer (leaflet in hotel reception). Fabio our guide was fun, knowledgeable, and very pleasant.
On day one to get to the hotel we used the local bus (AMT Alibus Number 457) to travel to Catania Central Railway Station. To find the ticket office turn right out of the arrivals building, the ticket kiosk is the last of three on the right, and a ticket costs one euro for a single fare. The journey takes about 20 minutes. The ticket is timed and you should remember to validate it by stamping it in the machine on the bus. There is an on the spot fine if you do not. Obviously, if you have too many suitcases or for whatever reason do not fancy walking for 10 minutes to the hotel from the railway station there are plenty of taxis at the airport. Going home the hotel arranged our taxi and we were charged 23 Euro.
The driving is 'interesting'. The rule appears to be there are no rules and the horn is used as the force field that protects and the laser that cuts a path through the traffic. The pedestrian is probably lowest in the food chain. In the older part of down there appear to be few traffic lights and even fewer controlled pedestrian crossing points. Pavements can be narrow and have cars parked on them. You should take care. We followed the lead of local pedestrians - to step out and the traffic did stop or at least slow down. We survived. Fascinating.
Of course no place is perfect and we are all different in terms of our holiday expectations. I personally feel you have to be accepting of culture, people and place particularly if you are a visitor for a matter of days. We visited to experience not to criticise.
Some other reviews have commented on the prostitutes plying their trade a short walk from the hotel. This is true. There are beggars and homeless in Catania. There are street vendors who will try to sell you stuff. There are groups of young unemployed men (mainly) just hanging about as you go around the city. There does seem to be poverty and inequality. Catania clearly has some social and economic issues which I have no doubt in time will be resolved. And if I think about it all the above can be found in my own country!!!
Others might say large parts of Catania seem frozen in decay while others will say this is part if the rich heritage that lines most streets, alleys and squares.
It is for the City, its people, regional and national government to resolve and improve the social and economic opportunities for its people and to invest in renovation and redevelopment as it sees fit.
All in all you should visit Sicily and visit |Catania. It is a great place.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Luxury 4 star hotel located in the heart of baroque Catania, is a harmonious cross between historical 17th century architecture and the most contemporary and exclusive design. Precious 17th century art rooms combined with the most sophisticated design. Charming suites and comfortable luxurious rooms, each with an ad hoc atmosphere and typology, catered to your wishes.House Bar and "Il Riccio Restaurant" is part of Romano House Luxury Hotel, a place where tradition meets innovation. A rich Sicilian, and in particular Catanian traditional "cuisine", reinterpreted and modernised with complete respect for territory inspired flavours.To complete the offer, guests can find many modern meeting spaces.WiFi internet access is free in all rooms and spaces. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Hotel Romano House Catania, Sicily