Messina can be considered the gateway to Sicily. Due to its strategic position, with the sickle-shaped harbor that faces the southernmost tip of Italian peninsula, over the centuries it has always been a trading city.

Funded by the Greeks with the name of Zancle (connected to the word scythe), over the years also Romans, Byzantines, Arabs and Normans left their imprint on the city.

Undoubtedly, Messina has a troubled history; many natural disasters and unfortunate events have undermined several times the city. The last big catastrophe, the earthquake of 1908, laid the town to waste; to make matters worse, it endures conspicuous areal damage and bombardment during the second world war

Nevertheless, these events have brought out Messina’s resilient soul: the soul of a city that knows how to rise from the ashes.

Today Messina is a major port city which still has both military and trade importance. The city centre, quite small, is rich in highlights and cultural sites to visit; the Dome Cathedral, for example, was completed in 1160 and is the oldest church on the island.

Walking along Messina’s roads means also bump into numerous beautiful parks and shopping arcades. Even more, art and culture passionate people will find here bread for their teeth: the Regional Museum of Messina and the Cavour Art Gallery are just few examples of cultural spots worth visiting.

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