What to do in Messina, Sicily on the Mediterranean

Messina is a walkable port with a 12th-century, Norman Messina Roman Catholic Cathedral which was destroyed by an earthquake in 1908. The building was rebuilt between 1920 to 1929 with many of the materials restoring its Gothic portal and 15th-century windows. An astronomical clock on the bell tower stands next to it, and at noon on a Sunday, recorded music plays as the clock performs to a crowd, especially if a ship is in. The Cathedral, formerly the episcopal seat of the Diocese of Messina, became the archepiscopal seat of the Archdiocese of Messina-Lipari-Santa Lucia del Mela in 1986. Formerly, in June 1947 Pope Pius XII had granted it the status of a minor basilica.


Nearby are marble fountains decorated with mythological figures, the one opposite the church is the Fontana di Orione, with its carved inscriptions. On the seafront, along from the cruise port is the Neptune Fountain, topped by a statue of the sea god. There is a copy in the Museum.

Messina is a harbour city in northeast Sicily, but that does not mean the ship berths and you have to be shuttled out. Quite the opposite, the ship berths on the front just steps from the main square, town hall, and hop on hop off bus. It is hilly, so the climb to the Tempo is a workout and you must find the right route, but it is worth it to pass the Falcon Fountain and Falcons. Jean finds most of these on her walk, as well as shows you that the tram is the option to get to the Museum or the beach. Neither are the top features of Messina; those are within walking distance.


Contents of the Video Guide on YouTube = 0:00 – Messina 0:22 – Hop On bus 0:36 – Town Hall surprise 1:35 – Remains St James Church 1:54 – Cathedral + Clock Tower 3:14 – Fountain Orion 3:41 – Church Maria on Hill 4:25 – Falcon Statues Fountain 5:23 – Tempio Votivo 6:10 – Cathedral San Salvatore 6:35 – Court Buildings 6:50 – Church Mount Carmine 7:15 – Theatre 7:43 – Neptune Fountain 8:05 – Beach 8:40 – Regional Museum 10:11 – Preview Syracuse


If you have done all this before then Taormina is 50 km away and that is a different experience. A taxi for 4 is normally about €150 there and back with a two-hour wait. The train is over an hour and is a local train, so some are longer.


MESSINA WEATHER, MAPS and filmed guides – click here

Our own films, made at various destinations, try to show what a cruiser can expect. As one person’s meat is another one’s poison, by looking at the film you might discount some places, and decide on another. Cathedral, museum, gardens, town walk …… or beach. We show as much as we can film each time we stop on a ship.

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