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“Take the Guided Tour”

Monastero dei Benedettini
Ranked #2 of 173 things to do in Catania
Certificate of Excellence
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Owner description: Il Monastero di San Nicolo l'Arena di Catania (#monasterocatania), gioiello del tardo barocco siciliano e tra i complessi benedettini piu' grandi d'Europa. L'edificio monastico, che nasce nel '500 e si sviluppa fino ai giorni nostri, e' un esempio di integrazione architettonica tra le epoche: contraddistinto da molteplici trasformazioni oggi e' patrimonio mondiale dell'Unesco. Sede del DiSUM (dipartimento di Scienze Umanistiche) dell'Universita' degli Studi di Catania, custodisce al suo interno due domus romane, i chiostri e un intero piano costruito da G. B. Vaccarini sopra il banco lavico del 1669. Dal 2010 Officine Culturali, in collaborazione con l'Universita degli Studi di Catania, si occupa della valorizzazione del Monastero dei Benedettini. Il Monastero e' considerato uno dei beni culturali piu' significativi del meridione d'Italia. La missione assunta da Officine Culturali consiste nel rendere accessibile e comprensibile il Monastero nel migliore dei modi e al maggior numero di persone possibile. A tal scopo Officine Culturali ha attivato un'offerta di fruizione variegata e dinamica. Attraverso il servizio di visite guidate giornaliero e' possibile conoscere gli aspetti piu' significativi dell'ex plesso monastico. I percorsi guidati per i piu' piccoli sono arricchiti dai laboratori, dove la narrazione delle "arti e mestieri" benedettini e' svolta in maniera creativa e divertente da professionisti della didattica dell'arte, dell'architettura, delle tradizioni e delle scienze. Oltre al quotidiano svolgimento delle attivita' di promozione, valorizzazione, informazione e accoglienza, Officine Culturali e' promotrice di iniziative ed eventi culturali e di intrattenimento, finalizzati a rendere il Monastero uno spazio di integrazione e aggregazione per la collettivita'.
Ipswich, Suffolk, England
Level 6 Contributor
139 reviews
37 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 61 helpful votes
“Take the Guided Tour”
Reviewed 12 May 2014 via mobile

We just happened to visit as a tour was about to start, so decided to go for the tour. Our tour was in Italian, but we were given a handout in English and our guide answered all of our questions. By taking the guided tour, we were able to see many areas closed off to the casual tourist. There are stairs involved, but also a lift(elevator) for going on the various floors, but not all available in each area visited. The Monastero dei Benedetti is well worth a visit, but do your best to take the guided tour, otherwise you will be very limited on what you can see, and may go away disappointed.

Visited May 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank SSgt_Fury
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Oxford, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“disappointed”
Reviewed 7 May 2014

Impressive from the outside but disappointing since it was the 1 May holiday in Sicily, all the buildings were closed.

Visited April 2014
Helpful?
2 Thank Barbmike7583
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Guildford, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Amazing”
Reviewed 6 April 2014

An absolutely stunning building on the UNESCO world heritage list. There were lots of tourists in Catania but we were the only visitors at the time we were there. If you are in Catania this is a must see!

Visited March 2014
Helpful?
3 Thank Amanda S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bristol, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
27 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“Felt like we may have missed the point...”
Reviewed 28 March 2014

We went to this attraction on our day in Catania, as it was ranked very highly on here. However when we actually had a look around, we really became genuinely confused...

So this place was a benedictine monastary, and I agree that the architecture is impressive enough, but the majority of places on the map we were given were either off limits to tourists, or closed completely. It seems that all the average tourist is actually able to do here is walk down the corridors inside the building, past all of the students who are studying there as this is now a part of the university.

There were apparently some guided tour points marked on the map, which supposedly allow access to other parts of the building, but firstly, actually at these areas, there was nobody in sight, and secondly, all the tours were in Italian according to the lady at the front entrance.

So we left after looking at some students and hallways, and some gardens through the windows feeling rather like there may actually be some massive tripadvisior conspiracy as to how this got such high ratings.

I think Average is all I would score this place - it's nice enough to look at, but then, so are a lot of other places in Catania...

Visited March 2014
Helpful?
8 Thank Matt S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto, Canada
Level 5 Contributor
75 reviews
31 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
“Weird... it's a university now?”
Reviewed 15 March 2014

This was the most highly recommended site to us in Catania but, when we got there, we felt like we were in the middle of frosh week at a university. Apparently the monastery is used as a university now so there were young adults everywhere, going to class, smoking, chatting, etc. and we felt like total weirdos wandering around. We couldn't go in to any rooms because classes were going on so we only stayed about 20 minutes. I'm not sure if we did the right thing but it was definitely odd.

Visited March 2014
Helpful?
5 Thank AlJess902
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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