Catania, reborn many times after devastating earthquakes and Etna eruptions, has devoted some of its most prestigious and enchanting churches and monuments to its Patron saint.
In the Church of Sant’Agata al Carcere, in salita dei Cappuccini street, the 3rd century ruins contain the prison where Saint Agatha suffered martyrdom and died.
Nearby there are the churches of Sant’Agata alla Fornace (in piazza Stesicoro) and Sant’Agata la Vetere (via S. Maddalena), this very last was Catania first cathedral and probably place of her first burial. You can go on with the visit to Badia di Sant’Agata, the stele in piazza dei Martiri, the fountain in via Dusmet, the Norman-Baroque Cathedral.
The church protects one of the most precious religious memoirs in the city, it suggestively evokes the countryside, although located in the city centre. On top of the high altar there is a big painting by Niger, depicting Saint Agatha at the stake, dated 1588. Next to the prison there is a lava stone with footprints that is highly worshipped. In the sacristy an ancient image of the Saint dating back to the 15th century. Memorial tombstones, bas-reliefs, and an epigraph “Noli offendere patriam Agathae, quia ultrix iniuriarum est”.