Recent Searches
Clear

COVID-19: Check local travel restrictions and learn what we're doing to help keep you safe and your plans flexible. Learn more.

Read More

Things to Do in Messina

Category

Church of the Santissima Annunziata dei Catalani (Chiesa della Santissima Annunziata dei Catalani)
12 Tours and Activities

This stunning example of 12 and 13th century religious architecture is one of the most-prized landmarks in all of Messina. That’s because a 1908 earthquake leveled much of the city but let this prestigious structure untouched. Today, Annunziata is used as a church for the nearby University, but travelers can still visit the place and take in much of its original splendor.

From the western entrance, travelers will find three ancient doors that decorate a remarkably well-preserved façade. Once inside, they’ll be greeted by towering Corinthian columns in yellow, white and red stone. An iconic statue of Don Juan of Austria—with his foot standing atop the head of Ali Bassa, an Ottoman leader—is located towards the rear of the church.

Read More
Bell Tower and Astronomical Clock (Orologio Astronomico)
4 Tours and Activities

One of Messina’s main draws is its cathedral, which houses its own campanile, or bell tower. The 200-foot tower was built in the late 16th century, destroyed after an 18th-century earthquake and rebuilt in 1908. In 1933, an astronomical clock was installed at the top of the tower, and it remains one of the largest such clocks in the world. The clock's show happens at noon each day, when bells begin to chime, a lion roars, a rooster crows, and a procession of golden statues circles atop the tower. It's an incredible show, one that draws spectators daily.

Read More
Messina Cruise Port (Terminal Crociere di Messina)
5 Tours and Activities

Messina is the 'door of Sicily'. A busy port town located on the narrow Strait of Messina, famous for its unruly waters and conflicting currents, it is the closest city to mainland Italy and often a first port of call for travelers from other parts of Europe.

The city has endured many tests over the centuries: revolt against the Spanish in 1678, which burnt the city to the ground; earthquakes in 1783 and 1908 (this one sank the shore half a meter and killed 80,000 people); and World War II bombing in 1943. Also, the famous volcano Mt Etna smokes and breathes daily in the hills behind the city. Despite all this, Messina thrives as a noisy, crowded port city.

The cruise port is right in the heart of downtown Messina and it is easy to walk straight off the ship and into the Piazza del Duomo, the heart of the old town area and the part you'll want to explore.

Read More