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It is the capital of the Metropolitan City of Catania , one of the ten biggest cities in Italy, and the seventh largest metropolitan area in Italy. The population of the city proper is , while the population of the city's metropolitan area, Metropolitan City of Catania , stood at 1,, inhabitants. Catania was destroyed by catastrophic earthquakes in  and , and by several volcanic eruptions from the neighbouring Mount Etna , the most violent of which was in Catania was founded in the 8th century BC by Chalcidians.
The city is noted for its history , culture , architecture and gastronomy. The city is the main industrial, logistical and commercial center of Sicily. The ancient indigenous population of the Sicels named their villages after geographical attributes of their location. The Sicilian word, katane , means "grater, flaying knife, skinning place" or a "crude tool apt to pare". Other translations of the name are "harsh lands", "uneven ground", "sharp stones", or "rugged or rough soil".
The latter etymologies are easily justifiable since, for many centuries following an eruption, the city has always been rebuilt within its black-lava landscape.
The Naxian founders, coming from the adjacent coast, later used the name for their new settlement along the River Amenano. The former has been primarily used for its supposed assonance with catina , the Latin feminization of the name catinus.
Most likely a prehistoric sculpture that was reforged during the Byzantine Era, it appears to be a talisman that was reputedly powerful enough to protect the city from enemies and to keep away misfortune, plagues, or natural calamities. Afterwards, many Arabic agronomists developed these crops and the citrus orchards in the area around the city. Catania is located on the east coast of the island of Sicily , at the foot of Mount Etna.