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Messina is definitely an unfortunate city around the northwest corner of Sicily. The entering Carthaginians destroyed the town over two 1000 years back. The town was reconstructed and grew to become an effective port for Crusaders to prevent it enroute towards the Holy Land. Devastating earthquakes equalized the city in 1894 and 1908, the second wrecking practically all things in sight. Two-thirds of Messina's population of 120,000 died in the 1908 quake. Consequently, Messina's architecture stands aside from the relaxation of Italy's. Every building is built low in stature to ensure that it will not topple if another earthquake hits. This in short, is an overview of Messina’s never-ending and looming woes.
Today, Messina struggles since it lacks that link with yesteryear that pulls site visitors with other Italian metropolitan areas. The city attempts to be tourist-friendly. Actually, the tourism office here is among the best in most of Italia. However, smiling faces are only able to achieve this much, since many individuals who visit Sicily spend their amount of time in Palermo or Taormina, using Messina only like a spot to change trains and obtain a fast bite to consume.
Docking & Local Transportation
Cruise ships pier in the Autorita Portuale di Messina in Messina, on Sicily's northwest coast. There's easy accessibility relaxation from the city in the port.
Trains travel twenty-six occasions each day from Messina to Taormina. In Messina itself, four bus companies run overlapping routes. They all are similar in quality, plus they all stop whatsoever major tourist points of interest in Messina. Taxis usually congregate close to the Duomo. Ferries and hydrofoils visit nearby Reggio.
Local Interests
Sadly, most vacationers use Messina weight loss of the stopover point instead of a tourist destination. Even though it is the 3rd biggest city in Sicily, it's developed right into a place where individuals go enroute to more glamorous locations, like nearby Taormina, or perhaps to Sicily's capital, Palermo, which lies towards the west.
Nonetheless, each day put in Messina need not be lost. Begin by going to the Azienda Autonoma Per L'Incremento Turistico (Via Calabria 301). The tourist office provides you with a lot of maps and a lot of useful information, in British believe it or not.
A bus tour of Lage Grande and Capo Peloro offers the road-weary traveler having a slow-paced tour of Messina's better scenery. Catch bus No. 8 while watching stop to visit with the outer edges from the city.
Sadly, the majority of Messina's historic monuments and points of interest happen to be lost because of the city's unlucky past. The Piazza del Duomo consists of the Duomo and also the nearby cathedral. The Duomo was built-in the twelfth Century, and it should be divine intervention which has stored it from falling over. The time tower is a fairly attraction here, using its interpretation of man's ongoing metamorphosis from humble origins towards the noble creatures that we're all striving to become.
The Fontana di Orione is yet another illustration of Messina's misfortune. The fountain was said to be built through the great Michelangelo, but he begged off without no reason, delivering students of his, Angelo Montorsoli, to construct it in the place. The lone memorial around may be the Museo Regionale (Viale della Libertà 465, 090/361-292), which houses all the artwork collected from five more compact collections in early 1800s.
Cathedral and the Piazza del Duomo
One of Messina's main attractions is the Cathedral which stands on the Piazza del Duomo. It was built in the 1100s but seriously damaged by an earthquake in 1908. The reconstruction remained true to the original form and retained important 15th and 16th C features. The cathedral square, Piazza del Duomo, is the historical center of Messina and home to the Orion fountain. The Orion fountain (1547-51) was the creation of G.A. Montorsoli from Florence, a pupil of Michelangelo. On the left long side of the cathedral stands the baroque column of the Virgin Mary by Giuseppe Buceti (1758). The square is closed to cars.
Santissima Annunziata dei Catalani
The second most important church in Messina is the Santissima Annunziata dei Catalani. It is the only building to have survived the earthquake of 1908. The church was built in the second half of the 12th century under Norman rule. The east side dates from this time. The main apse between the transept arms is distinguished by the delicate architectonic arrangement of its false arcades on small elegant columns, and by its multi colored building materials. The west side with its three portals dates from the 13th century, when alterations to the building were undertaken. In the three-aisled interior, stilted arches are supported on ancient columns with capitals which are not uniform. The central aisle has barrel vaulting, the side aisles have cross vaulting.
Regional Museum
The Regional Museum in Messina contains a Picture Gallery, Sculpture Collection, and Archeological Section, all with significant pieces. Significant works include sculptures by Antonello Gagini (St Antonius), Francesco Laurana (Madonna with child) and Goro di Gregorio ("Madonna of the cripples"), as well as the originals of the Fountain of Neptune. In the Picture Gallery is the double-sectioned "Polyptychon of Saint Gregory" by Antonello da Messina, painted in 1473 but damaged in the earthquake of 1908. Also of note are the "The Worship of the Shepherds" and "The Raising of Lazarus from the Dead" by Caravaggio, and finds from the ancient Zancle in the archeology section.
Fontana di Nettuno
The Fontana del Nettuno, or the Fountain of Neptune, is located in a city park, set apart from the city center. It was built in 1557 and, like the Orion fountain, is a work of Montorsoli. The fountain shows the god of the sea caught between Scylla and Charybdis, the two monsters of the Strait of Messina. The Via della Liberta begins at this fountain and leads out of the city towards the exhibition ground of the Fiera di Messina.

Villa Mazzini
From Piazza Antonello Corso Cavour runs north, passing the Teatro Vittorio Emanuele, to the Villa Mazzini public gardens. Trees provide shades for the walkways and statues grace the paths. On the north side stands the Palazzo del Governo (prefecture). West of the gardens is the church of San Francesco d'Assisi, rebuilt in 1254.
On the west side of the Piazza Dante is the Camposanto, or Cimitero, one of Italy's most beautiful cemeteries. On top of the hill is an Ionic colonnade, the Pantheon of the town's leading citizens, from which there are fine views of the city and the strait.
Piazza Antonello
Northwest of the cathedral is the circular Piazza Antonello, with the Palazzo Municipale, the Town Hall and the Head Post Office.
Torre di Faro
There is a scenic trip, running 15 km along the coast road, which runs northeast of Messina. The road runs between villas and gardens, passes two salt-water lagoons, the Pantani, also known as the Laghi de Ganzirri. The road eventually comes to the village of Torre di Faro, on the Punta del Faro, Sicily's north-eastern tip. There are fine views from the lighthouse. From Torre di Faro the coast road continues around the most northerly cape in Sicily. The return to Messina is over the Colle San Rizzo, which reaches a height of 465 m.
Panoramic Road
A very attractive panoramic road, Viale Italia, begins to the west of the university and continues westwards under varying names (Viale Principe Umberto, Viale Regina Margherita). The road runs above the city, following the course of the old fortifications, and ending in the north on the coast road. It skirts the Botanic Garden, the rebuilt Santuario di Montalto, and the votive chapel of Cristo Re.
Promontory Citadel
The promontory juts out from the west of Messina into the harbor bay. It can be reached on foot by crossing over the tracks at the railroad station, although it is better to use the boat service. On the promontory are the remains of the citadel, built in 1681, which is called the Fort of San Salvatore. It is named after the famous Greek monastery, which in the 12th century was supported by the Normans, but was destroyed in the 16th century. At the top is the "Madonnina" of 1934 with the inscription, "Vos et ipsam civitatem benedicimus" (We bless you and your city).
Viale San Martino
From the Marine Station on the south side of the harbor it is a short distance west to the north end of Messina's main street, Viale San Martino. This road cuts through the southern part of the city, crosses the tree-shaded Piazza Cairoli, Messina's busiest traffic intersection, and in another 1.5 km joins the spacious Piazza Dante.
Side Visit to Taormina
Messina pales compared to Taormina, Sicily's most breathtaking resort town, situated twenty-seven miles towards the south. In Taormina, natural splendor along with a festive climate surrounds you. Certainly one of Sicily's best beaches is situated in Taormina. Lido Mazzaro is swamped throughout peak summer time season. To achieve Lido Mazzaro, get a cable vehicle just south of town from Via Pirandello. Do not worry should you miss one, because they run four occasions an hour or so. The shore is teeming with activity, with hotels, restaurants, bars, and aquatic sports equipment available.
Ferragosto Messinese is definitely an annual festival that can last for 72 hours, from August thirteenth through August 15th. The festival is really celebrated countrywide and 150,000 pilgrims stretch Messina to the limits. Two extra-large human effigies, one Arab and something Catholic, represent Sicily's diverse past. They're paraded with the city, together with a huge camel, inside a ceremony known as the Procession from the Titans. In June, a far more moderate festival, the Festa patronale della Madonna della Lettera, is well known in recognition from the Virgin Mary.
Messina's shopping scene leaves much to become preferred. You're much best in Taormina, where there are many shops to select from. However, should you absolutely need to shop in Messina, there's a pleasant choice of hands-crafted pottery at Ceramiche Artistiche Josa.
Dining and Night life
Swordfish is Messina's valued seafood, and also the one most clamored for in local restaurants. It's been prepared in several ways to maintain local demand. If you're a swordfish lover, you'll love Messina!
Osteria Etnea includes a fine choice of wine, as well as an attractive outside patio. Lo Scrigno provides an excellent risotto. Pizza e Coca delivers the niche it's named after pizza and Coke. Its junk food, but it is scrumptious. Alberto Sporting includes a great dessert menu. Lastly, Osteria del Campanile comes with an ever-altering menu. What does not change may be the excellent excellence of the dishes offered up here.
Night life in Messina is rather nonexistent and placid. The easiest method to pass a night here's to savor the temperate climate outdoors of the nice outdoor eatery. The above Osteria Etnea is among the best options available. Otherwise, a night stroll within the quiet cobbled roads of Messina might be a good idea.

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