Messina is the gateway to Sicily. Stretched out on the sea, the city and its area offer many attractions, so that Messina is today one of the country’s leading cruise ship ports.
It is an ancient and noble city, located on the northeastern tip of the island. It has the perfect landscape for those who love the sea and mountains, because it sits on the convergence of the Tyrennian Sea and the Ionian Sea, with the Peloritan Mountains in between.
Messina has always served as a multicultural crossroads and meeting point for Sicily. It is the first stop and welcome point for all those fortunate enough to visit or live in Sicily. Here you begin to breathe the whole atmosphere of Sicily, experience its perfumes and flavors.
The history of Sicily goes far back to prehistoric times when it hosted proto-Celtic peoples and other groups, including the Siculi, for which the island is named. Later the Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Muslims, Normans, Swabians, Aragonese and others passed by here and left their mark. An example of Messina’s inherent multiculturalism can be seen in the figures of “Mata and Grifone”, the interracial and interreligious couple who were the legendary founders of Messina. Mata was a blonde Sicilian Christian princess married a Muslim Saracen. Legend has it that they founded the present city of Messina and the Messina citizens are their descendants.
A place of art and culture, the city produced one of the most popular Italian artists in the field of painting: Giovanni Antonio of Antonio, best known as Antonello da Messina.
Those who love the sea will greatly appreciate Cape Pelorus on the extreme northern tip of Sicily, the part of the island closest to Italy where you can watch the ships pass by on the breathtaking Strait of Messina. Beach lovers can visit many beaches during the summer which extends to November. Mortelle is one of the locations preferred by the people of Messina, where numerous beaches are found along the sandy coast. Restaurants and pizzerias abound, along with bars and clubs to spend your evenings. Messina can be very exciting at night because of the numerous bars and clubs, and other types of entertainment that animate the evenings near the Strait. And a romantic and memorable stroll along the seafront is great at any time of the year.
The Duomo is the meeting point for thousands of young university students who gather to have something to drink and move on to other places within the city center, especially on the weekends. Those who like to stay up late will find several pubs and clubs that organize theme nights, including different types of dance music including Latin American dance.
Gourmets greatly appreciate the typical local dishes that reflect the multicultural roots of Messina. Messina offers many festivals, especially the Feast of the Annunciation which involves the entire city every August 15.