Corso Umberto is the main street through the centre of the old town with shops, the Cathedral and old palaces
Umberto is the main street that runs through the centre of the old
town, linking Porta Catania at the north end with Porta Messina at the
south end. These are the remains of the old gateways through the walls
that once surrounded the old town. It is the main shopping street and always busy.
Half way along, past the Cathedral is Piazza 9 Aprile, entered under the C12th clock tower gateway. This is a pleasant open space surrounded by upmarket cafes which spill out over the square, and views down to the Ionian Sea.
The Small C15th church of San Agostina is now the public library.
Corso Umberto is lined with buildings from the Arabic to the Norman and from the Gothic to the Baroque.
Palazzo Corvaja dates from the C10th and still reflects its Arabic influence. It was the site of the Sicilian Parliament in the early C15th and now houses Tourist Information.
The Palazzo Duchi di Santo Stephano was built on the line of the medieval wall next to Porta Catania in the C13th and again is a mix of Arabic and Norman architecture. Concerts are held in the Great Hall and there are two rooms displaying works by C20th sculptor, Giuseppe Mazzullo.
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