- Art City Culture
Messina was built in 756 B.C. by the Greeks with the name of Zancle. After the Greeks, the city was dominated by the Romans, the Byzantines, the Arabs and lastly by the Normans.
The city is located in the easternmost point of Sicily, right in front of Calabria. The two territories are separated by the Strait of Messina, which is 3 km wide and 16 km long.
Strait of Messina
The Strait of Messina is a strip of water where the Thyrrenian Sea meets the Ionian Sea: their different currents create unique hydrodynamic phenomena like vortexes and whirlpools. In ancient times, these strong currents were so violent and inexplicable that they gave birth to the myth of Scylla and Charybdis. They both were believed to be monsters living on the opposite sides of the strait, who destroyed the ships out of anger (Scylla) and swallowed them out of greed (Charybdis).
Another fascinating legend is associated to the Strait: the Fata Morgana effect, called after Morgan le Fay – a sorceress who created mirages to led sailors to death. This is an optical phenomenon which, under specific atmospheric conditions, gives the illusion of a city suspended between earth and sky.
Places of interest
Messina old town is beautiful and you can easily walk to visit it.
The main place of interest is Piazza Duomo, where is located the Cathedral with its Astronomical Clock: at noon the complex clockworks activate and the many bronze statues move, giving birth to a beautiful show.
In Piazza Duomo is also the Fountain of Orion.
Symbol of the city is the statue of Madonna della Lettera, located in the harbour.