The most mythological town of Sicily – Messina

View of Messina, ©Daveness_98/Flickr

View of Messina, ©Daveness_98/Flickr

The town of Messina was formerly called Zancle, which used to be a native Sicilian settlement even before the Greeks have colonized the island in 756 BC. Later the Romans have realized how important this island is from a strategic point of view then the Saracens and the Normans have been connected to it as well as in the 11th century they have conquered it. In Greek mythology Messina plays an important role. In the story of Odysseus, he faced Scylla at the Strait of Messina, which was also sailed through by the Argonauts and swam across by Hercules. Messina has always been an important port and even today it is a significant part of Sicily.

Lost in history

Messina has always played an important role in the life of salesmen, knights and merchants during the Middle Ages, as it was a major stopover and waypoint. The island was visited by significant historical characters such as King Philip II and Richard the Lionheart. Until the 17th century Messina was the second most important town of Sicily. The town has faced several disasters over the centuries. There were earthquakes, plague, bombardment and others.

Porto di Messina, ©Vito Manzari/Flickr

Porto di Messina, ©Vito Manzari/Flickr

Sights of Messina

This beautiful historical building is located near the train station of Messina. The church was built in the end of the 12th century and it served as a place of worship for the Germans.

Messina Duomo, ©Vito Manzari/Flickr

Messina Duomo, ©Vito Manzari/Flickr

Church of Santa Maria is one of the few buildings to be found in Sicily which can be associated with the Gothic style. If you pay a visit you might get a taste of how ancient Sicily was like during the time of kings and knights. The church of the Annunciation is another significant landmark of Messina which was also built during the 12th century in Byzantine and Norman-Arab style. It was the place where the beforehand mentioned Richard the Lionheart went to worship during the Norman dominion in the 12th century. The building was damaged by earthquakes and now is under reconstruction.

View of Messina, ©Daveness_98/Flickr

View of Messina, ©Daveness_98/Flickr

Visiting Messina

Beside the mythological and historical attractions there are plenty other things to do. There are several restaurants, pizzerias and shops in Messina. Buy a beautiful piece of ceramics as a memento from the wide selection exhibited on the markets. If you are looking to stay for a longer period of time we recommend you book you accommodation online, for it is the easiest way.

Riviera di Messina, ©MrSbPier/Flickr

Riviera di Messina, ©MrSbPier/Flickr

Leave a Reply