Had a great few days staying at the 5 Balconi. The penzione has four rooms, prettily decorated with high ceilings, huge windows and balconies. The price is kept ultra low by the two shared bathrooms, but these are kept spotlessly clean and there was never a wait in the days I was there. A great breakfast (with freshly baked croissants) is included in the price, and there's an area where you can help yourself to tea, coffee and water all day.
The penzione is near the castle and five minutes' walk from the Piazza del Duomo. (Don't miss the incredible fish market, nearby). Best of all though, is the treatment you get from owners Rob and Cristina, who are completely charming - they can help with all kinds of questions, lend you guidebooks and maps, and find out bus times.
Catania itself is much more beautiful than the guidebooks give it credit for, and dotted with baroque churches and pleasingly rundown piazzas - it can only be a question of time before the city council realises it's sitting on a goldmine and gentrifies everything, but for now it's still a pocket of authentic, unspoilt Sicily, with excellent and cheap restaurants and a population that's largely oblivious to tourist interest.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Cristina (Sicilian) and Rob (English) welcome you to the "5 Balconi Bed & Breakfast," a sunny palazzo built in the 1800's, with lots of color, character and charm. We are situated in the historic heart of Catania, in the quarter of the famous fish market and right above the 13th Century Ursino Castle, which dominates the piazza and gardens of Federico di Svevia. Here you can wine and dine "al fresco" on delicious typical dishes at very reasonable prices, while soaking up the atmosphere of an authentic Sicilian quarter. We offer elegant & luxurious rooms to accommodate singles, doubles, triples, with inter-connecting family rooms for up to 5 people. All have 5 metre high domed ceilings and chandeliers, very comfortable beds with mosquito nets, duvets in winter and flowering balconies of iron and marble.NB: Fresh linen/towels, air conditioning & heating are standard in all the rooms.Wi-Fi, iron & ironing board, a fridge, chilled mineral water, organic biscuits & tea/coffee making facilities are also available for guests, any time and free of charge. We also provide a list of our recommended restaurants, local information & book excursions to the volcano.Our breakfasts are nutritious and delicious and can be taken in your room or in the communal dining area.NB: We serve locally produced organic oranges, bread & marmalades. Savoury breakfast alternatives are available for guests who don't have 'a sweet tooth'. We are only 10 mins. By bus/car from the airport, a 20 min. Walk to a golden sandy beach and a convenient base for exploring the East coast of the island (Taormina, Etna, Siracusa, Pantalica & Enna are all within 1 hours drive).Parking is free, infront of the B&B and in the surrounding streets. We are situated on the 2nd floor and have a lift for our guests comfort and convenience. A City Tax of €1-00 per person, per night, up to a maximum of 3 nights, is payable on departure. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- 5 Balconi Catania, Sicily