4 days in Messina, what to see?

La Madonna della Lettera a Messina

Are you planning a holiday in Sicily and don't know where to start? We suggest a unique stage of its kind that has not yet been attacked by mass tourism: Messina and its beautiful province!

The city of Messina, seen by most as a sort of "city of passage" is instead rich in architectural, historical and naturalistic beauties.

Do not you believe it? Here is a 4-day itinerary to visit Messina and its splendid province.


DAY 1: the historical centre

A visit to the city of Messina cannot be separated from a visit to its marvelous historical centre, starting from the Piazza del Duomo, with its Fontana di Orione, defined by Bernard Berenson as "The most beautiful fountain of sixteenth-century Europe", the astronomical clock built into the bell tower of the cathedral, the largest ever built, and the Duomo itself, built in Norman times and consecrated in 1197.

Not far from Piazza Duomo you can also visit the Church of the Catalans, whose peculiarity is that it stands below street level, because, after the 1908 earthquake, the new city was built on the layer of rubble .

A visit to the Monte di Pietà is also a must, a seventeenth-century building that still today often hosts cultural events including fashion shows, exhibitions and shows. After lunch we suggest you go up to visit the Sanctuary of Christ the King with its breathtaking panorama and the Sanctuary of the Madonna di Montalto.

Gastronomic advice: For the lunch break we suggest you taste the arancini, the pidoni, the typical Messina chops or if you prefer a fresher and lighter break you can taste the Messina granita which, with cream and brioche, it is a real institution in the gastronomic panorama of the city.


DAY 2: the Umbertini Forts

Built in the second half of the 19th century to defend the strait from enemies, the Umbertini Forts are today the most beautiful terraces from which to admire the Strait of Messina, one of the most spectacular landscapes in the world. Distributed on the two coasts of the Strait, the Forti Umbertini are completely invisible from the sea with embankments close to the walls and equipped with powerful artillery. Of the entire defensive system, 9 on the Messina coast and 5 on the Calabrian coast have been restored and returned to the community and made alive and usable thanks to the initiatives of cultural institutions and associations. The forts that we recommend you to visit are:

  • Forte Cavalli – Larderia where you can also see a museum of the Second World War;
  • Forte Ogliastri – near the Torrente Giostra, one of the most popular and closest to the city centre;
  • Forte Puntal Ferraro – on the road to Dinnammare, nestled in the green hills of the Peloritas, home to the Parco dei Daini, in the area you can also stop by Don Minico, to eat the famous sandwich alla disgraziata;
  • Forte dei Centri – Salice, home to a famous wine shop;
  • Forte Serra la Croce – Curcuraci locality and Forte Campone – Musolino locality on the S. Rizzo hills.
  • Torre degli Inglesi – Capo Peloro, Torre Faro. It houses the Horcynus Orca Museum of Contemporary Art (MACHO), the Garden of Sands, educational workshops, a panoramic restaurant.


DAY 3: Capo Peloro and the lakes of Ganzirri

Also known as Punta Faro, Capo Peloro is a breathtaking beach, considered by most to be the most beautiful and touristic in the city.

This is the extreme north-eastern tip of Sicily, located near the famous laghi di Ganzirri, two salt lakes communicating with the adjacent sea by means of natural canals, and under the pylon of the Strict.

It constitutes the northern entry point of the Strait of Messina and is therefore marked by a very important lighthouse for navigation.

It is the meeting place between the Ionian Sea and the Tyrrhenian Sea: its shores are crossed by very strong currents, due to which the shape of the beaches changes annually.




DAY 4: Taormina and Castelmola

Before leaving, you cannot fail to stop in Taormina, the pearl of the Ionian, a city in the province of Messina with one of the most incredible in the world. From the Greek theatre, to Isola Bella, from the Corso with its alleys to the panoramic cable car, it will seem that time runs too fast to be able to admire all these beauties.

A lesser-known, but equally valuable stage is Castelmola, just a stone's throw from Taormina, one of the most beautiful villages in Italy, which can be visited in a few hours, but full of artistic, historical and urban treasures, not least the castle and medieval monuments. For lovers of alternative environments we suggest you visit the Bar Turrisi, right in the historic centre, whose most picturesque feature is its display of wooden, earthenware and ceramic phalluses, as a sign of luck and abundance .

At that time? What do you think of this 4-day itinerary in Messina? Do you still think Messiah is “a city of passage”?

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