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What to do and see in Messina


Not many people know this, but it is this small, big city, "the door of Sicily", for having been a time direct competitor to Palermo to get the title of the Sicilian capital.

City rich in culture, history and traditions, is unfortunately often overlooked.

But we go to see, in 9 small points, what is it that gives us this wonderful city!

The first three points I would like to dedicate them to as many religious structures of indescribable beauty.

I'm so in love with them, that I would not even put them in order of "pleasure", because otherwise I should make one big speech,  so I will list following the classic, impartial, alphabetical order!



1CATHEDRAL (Dedicated to Santa Maria Assunta)



The much more commonly called, the Duomo, in short!

It would almost be more correct to say that he was born first and then the city itself!

Built after the Arab invasion, it was from these profaned and rededicated in 1192 only.

If it could talk, this poor Basilica would have stories to tell! As the fire of 1254 that destroyed much of the original roof, or damages caused by earthquakes in 1638 and 1783, not to mention the earthquake of 1908, which, although on the one hand helped to bring to light some finds Normans, from other destroyed it almost entirely.


During the bombing of World War II then, much of the interior was destroyed.

But this "does not matter", because what came to us today is about as original as possible can be.

Also boasts a magnificent organ, second in size only to that of the Milan Cathedral.

The most beautiful thing is still its magnificent bell tower, which in addition to the aesthetic part, also has a deep metaphorical meaning.

The figures relate to the War of the Vespers; Lion victory of the Sicilians on Anjou; Dina and Clarenza are the women who helped to ensure that the city was protected and the Church that disappears the place where the people Angevin tried one last time to invade the city.

Everything on the beautiful notes of the Shubert’s Ave Maria;


Established around the twelfth century, this piece of history has seen inside generations of Messina (and not), what else neither can they do but be enchanted in front of such splendor.

During the age of the Aragonese became nothing less than royal chapel and, around the '400, was later sold to some Catalan merchants (hence the name).

Today is three meters lower than it is the actual "height" of the town, literally raised after the earthquake of 1908 that swept away everything (or almost).

And it is probably this that contributes to the charm that in the times have attributed.





Symbol of the Sicilian tradition, it is said that, after the expulsion of the spanishes, was the flight of a white dove to trace its borders.

It is from here that you can indulge in one of the most beautiful views of the entire city!









Completed around 1852, appears to be, to date, one of the most beautiful theaters in the entire region, as well as a source of pride for a city that is trying in every way to fight for the art.






The style is neoclassical and one cannot but be enchanted by the sight of a masterpiece in the ceiling of room that bears the name of "the myth of Colapesce", painted by the hand of Renato Guttuso.






Built following the earthquake of 1908, this museum contains within it some of the most beautiful and significant worldwide.

Its most attractive feature is that it has created the exhibition halls according to a real chronological order, so that anyone who decides to visit him can not only admire the works, but enjoy a real journey through centuries of history, painting and sculpture.






It dates back to 1553 and represents the success of Orion, in fact, the founder of the city.

It was built by the pupil of Michelangelo, Giovanni Angelo Montorsoli, to celebrate the success of the

construction of the first city aqueduct.






Opera, also this, Montorsoli.

It was originally located in front of the facades with his back to the sea.

Strangely they suffered the most damage during the revolution of 1848, rather than after the 1908 earthquake.

Today the original is kept inside the regional museum, and the copy, fantastic work of Gregorio Zappalà, is in square units of Italy with hand outstretched toward the sea, almost as if to (according to old legends messinesi) protect the city from other devastating disasters.


And while you are near this fountain, enjoy a little bit relaxation through the "promenade", where you can enjoy the smell of salt air and the melody of the waves crashing on the rocks, without having to wait for the summer!





If all this walking will then put appetite, stop in a pastry and surrender to the sweetness of our highly renowned cannoli, or, why not, even a nice slice of cassata!

Sicily will be well to the south, but how do the desserts us, does not make them any!

Do not believe me? Come and try them for yourself!


Marina Buscema

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