One of the nearly adjacent museums honoring local sons (Emilio Greco, and Bellini), this is the most compelling and the one that most easily evokes an emotional reaction from Catanians, many of whom view it as a national shrine. You enter a quiet courtyard off the Piazza San Francesco, and then climb to the drab, second-floor apartment where composer Vincenzo Bellini was born in 1801. Bellini is known for such titanic works as La Straniera, Sonnambula, Norma, I Puritani, and I Cavalieri.
Here you'll see original folios of his operas, his death mask, harpsichords and spinet pianos he rehearsed on as a child, and the coffin in which his body was transferred, in 1876, back to Catania from its original burial place near Paris. Signatures in the guest book read like a who's who of international musicians, ranging from Carlo Muti to Pavarotti. Many of the mementos of his life were donated by Rossini, a devoted latter-day fan of Bellini's brilliant bel cantos. If you're an opera fan, you will likely find this museum thrilling.