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Unlike Palermo, Catania has a really kicking nightlife, perhaps influenced by the fact that it lies closer to the mainland than the capital does, or that the university has more students. Pick up a free copy of Lapis (www.lapisnet.it), a bimonthly bulletin in Italian listing all that's buzzworthy in local entertainment and by night, published both in Catania and in Palermo. It is available at hotels, bars, cafes, and tabacchi.

Pubs and dance clubs rule the night, especially in the historical center of town. A fantastic way to start off the night and mingle with the locals is to head for an aperitivo. Enoteca Sud Est, at Via Di Sangiuliano 171 (tel. 095-7159096), is a quaint, cozy little wine bar where hip Catanians flock to for a glass of red or white coming from the well-stocked cellar, accompanied by a platter of local delicacies. For something a bit more rambunctious, The Stag's Head in Via Michele Rapisardi 7-9 (no phone) is one of Catania's most jumping pubs with wall-to-wall go-getters, and no shortage of beers; even local brew (!) is on tap. If after all this hopping the night is still young, cut the rig over at Discoteca Red Light on Via Michele Gioia 16 (tel. 095-7237124) where techno sounds and retro hits fill the dance floor quickly.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.