Melior de Cinere Surgo: Catania History in under 5mn
Catania is a beautiful city with more history than you might think:
Almost 30 Centuries, 8 Different Rulers, at Least 9 times the city got destroyed only to rise again from its ashes.
Earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and conquests; through it all, it has never surrendered and has managed every time to rise and return brighter than before!
“Melior de cinere surgo”
No monument represents better than Porta Garibaldi Catania’s desire and ability to rise after a catastrophe. The sentence under the arch states:“Melior de cinere surgo“, “born again from the ashes even more beautiful”.
9 times in fact, Catania has been destroyed; And as many times, it was reborn; Each time brighter, prettier and more fascinating! (not to mention a little more above sea level)
Here are the cliff notes so you can pass for a #cataniaexpert
729 B.C. It was founded by the Greeks under the name “Katané.”
122 B.C. The first historically documented Etna eruption that severely damaged the city.
263 B.C. The Romans conquered Catania during the first Punic War.
Moving to A.C timeline:
440 The end of Roman Empire.. The Vandals takeover
555 It’s time for Byzantine rule. A period of refinement and economic growth
875 The southern neighbours, The Arabs, crossed the Mediterranean from Tunisia and took over.They bring couscous to Sicily!
1072 The Arab domination ends at the hands of the Normans who wanted better weather.
1169 More than 15.000 people die when a devastating earthquake hits the city.
1282 A movement/rebellion known as Sicilian Vespers ends the domination of the French dynasty. Catania enjoys 200 years of semi-autonomy
1434 King Alfonso V founded here the Siciliae Studium Generale, the oldest university in the island.
1693 One of the most powerful earthquakes (estimated 7.4) hits the island and region causing upwards of 60,000 casualties. It razed the whole city.
1700s The Big “Baroque” reconstruction and urban plan starts.
1860Giuseppe Garibaldi, whose name is everywhere, landed in Sicily. The island was annexed to the Kingdom of Italy.
1904 Inauguration of the Catania Tramway.
1924 Inauguration of the Catania Airport.
1946 Club Calcio Catania, the Elephants, is created through the merging of 3 local teams
1950s The Golden Years of Catania Calcio with 2 different promotions into Serie A and of course a multitude of financial scandals.
1999 Catania launched it “subway” service.
2003 Caso Catania: The scandal forced by Catania Calcio that caused Serie B to go from 20 to 24 Teams.
2013 The Catanese astronaut Luca Parmitano flew throught the space on board the International Space Station
2020 I moved to Catania and the city might never be the same again.
Of course, there’s more! But this is a quick under 5mn primer to Catania. Did i forget anything? Please let me know in the comments.
One of the oldest dog breeds in Italy calls the area home and is named after it: Cirneco dell’Etna.