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A handsome harbourside city

Messina’s seafront has been the first glimpse of Sicily for countless travellers over the centuries. This handsome city sits on a curve of harbour at the island’s northernmost point, facing the Italian mainland over the sea. However, the port is much more than a gateway, and Messina holidays offer the chance to explore this fascinating area.

The city boasts a Gothic cathedral with bell tower, three fountains, including the beautiful and ornate 16th-century Neptune’s fountain, and the Camposanto, considered the most beautiful cemetery in Italy. The city is laid out on a grid of early 20th-century design, dotted by domes and neo-classical piazzas. With a host of impressive historic buildings at its centre, the grand townscape is hemmed by undulating green and grey hills that make tempting escapes on foot or by bike.

More reasons to book holidays to Messina include the acclaimed Sicilian cuisine, and the lively, popular bars and clubs that make the nightlife so exciting. With a vibrant atmosphere and laid-back Mediterranean lifestyle, Messina is one of Sicily’s undiscovered gems.

Your Messina questions, answered

As Messina is not as touristy as some other resorts, sightseeing in the city is affordable, and the restaurants and bars are especially good value.

You can get by here without speaking Italian, as people who work in industries that serve visitors usually speak some English, but it’s worth brushing up on a few phrases.

The golden sands of Sant’Agata di Militello are only a 20-minute drive away. It offers azure water, a backdrop of green hills and plenty of services.

Best things to do in Messina

See the Cathedral Square

Messina’s Cathedral Square is a graceful collection of buildings overlooked by the 60-metre high bell tower and its 18th-century clock, all centred around a 16th-century marble fountain.

Go mountain biking

Work up a sweat by cycling into the jewel-green hills around the town for stupendous views across Messina and to explore the bay, port and coast.

Visit the church

Santissima Annunziata dei Catalani is a beautiful domed 12th-century church with an exquisitely simple interior. Although described as a Norman church, it also contains elements of Arab, Byzantine and Roman influences.


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