Sitting in the imposing shadow of Mt. Etna, the streets of Catania are dominating by the Sicilian volcano. One of the best places to see the volcano is from the wide, straight avenue that is aptly named Via Etnea. My favorite place to enjoy the view, the buzz of the city, and some of the best pastries in Catania is at Pasticceria Savia.
Pasticceria Savia dates back to 1897 and is one of the places to see and be seen in Catania. The stylish pastry shop makes fantastic traditional Sicilian sweets like cassata and cannoli. These are available at all hours, so you can have a sweet fix for breakfast or stop by for a treat at any time of day.
However, my favorite thing to order is granita. Granita is a type of Sicilian shaved ice that is made with nuts or fruit. It is unbelievably refreshing in the hot climate and the granita at Pasticerria Savia is some of the best I have had anywhere on the island.
A hot coffee, a fresh brioche, and a cool almond granita at one of the outdoor tables is my ideal way to start a day in Catania.
However, Catania really comes alive during the evening. This is when families and friends take a passeggiata down Via Etnea. That makes the hours between work and dinner another perfect time to visit Pasticceria Savia. The eatery is popular for aperitvo and makes excellent arancini – fried balls of risotto filled with ragu – as well as sweets.
But it is the sweets that get me every time and I usually attempt to take some home with me… though they rarely make it past the plane ride back to Rome.
For a completely different side of the city, be sure to wander down Via Etnea to the very end. Here you will find the cathedral and the famous Catania fish market. The market is surrounded by eateries for a great seafood lunch.
Via Etnea, 300/302/304
At the intersection of Via Umberto I
Closed Mondays. Open every other day from 7:45 am to 9:30 pm.