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Ostello degli Elefanti
Catania, Sicily, Italy
I stayed at Ostello degli Elefanti for a few weeks whilst I was in Catania. Its location is perfect - in the heart of Catania- right by the Duomo.
The hostel is on Via Etnea (the main street of Catania). This street contains many of Catania's most famous attractions, for example the Fontana dell'Elefante, the Basilica della Collegiata, and the Giardino Bellini. Also plentiful are a variety of Italian cafes and restaurants.
There, you can find quintessential Sicilian foods, such as arancini, cannoli and granita. The hostel itself is really cool, too. The building was built in the 17th century and has authentic al fresco paintings on the roof. There's a large social lounge room with a bar, couches, a tv, and computers.
Best of all there's free wifi- and it's fast! You can go on to the roof and from there get a great view of the city, including Mouth Etna (which erups every now and then). The rooms are pretty good. They're clean, spacious, and have bunk beds. A nice feature is that each bed has a curtain that you can pull around it for some privacy. A short walk away is the Teatro Bellini, a famous theatre where you can see a show or frequent one of the many bars around there.
The night life in Catania is great, even during the winter. As a solo traveller I found it convenient to stay at a hostel so close by, because after a night out I could get back to the hostel very easily- without having to worry about taxis or buses etc.
Catania is a lively, beautiful city, with much to do. It's not too 'touristy' so you can experience some real Sicilian culture. Also, surrounding cities such as Taormina, Siracusa, and Palermo are very easy to get to by bus.