Catania has had a long and eventful history, having been founded in the 8th century BC. In the 14th century and the Renaissance, Catania was one of Italy's most important and flourishing cultural, artistic, and political centers, having witnessed the opening in 1434 of the first university in Sicily. Today, Catania is one of the main economic, touristic, and educational centers in the island, being an important hub of industry, thus gaining the nickname, "European Silicon Valley.

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