Near the Piazza del Duomo in Catania, the historic fish market is an unmissable stop to learn about the authentic folklore that has inspired the capital of Etna for centuries. The fish market is located beyond the Fountain of the Amenano, the underground river that flows underground into the most ancient area of Catania, and can be easily reached along the Via Etnea in a southerly direction up to the historic Archi della Marina. The fish market is a true hymn to one of the most ancient economic resources of Catania and today it is also a place of unquestionable tourist attraction.
From the early hours of the day the hawkers set up the counters proudly displaying the fresh catch with varieties typical of the Catania backdrops: spatulas, masculine or anchovies, swordfish, tellines and squid. The peculiarity of the place derives from the very way in which the goods are offered to passers-by who are fascinated by the sing-song sound with the unmistakably Arabic sound. It is in fact an alternation of ‘vociate’, this is the term in dialect, whose origins date back to the times of Arab domination in Sicily surviving intact to this day.
A visit to the fish market in Catania offers the opportunity to explore the most ancient district of the city with monuments such as the Fountain of the Seven canals and Roman architectural remains such as the Terme dell’Indirizzo. Small icons placed at the corners of the streets depict St. Agatha, the patron saint of Catania, on whom it is customary to find citrus crowns as a sign of devotion. In addition to fresh fish, the market is full of stalls of dried fruit, vegetables and fresh bread.