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Messina (Sicily), Italy

Just a few miles from mainland Italy, Messina has served as a gateway to the island of Sicily since antiquity. Over the centuries, the city has been influenced by foreign invaders and powers, and its architecture is a mix of old and new.

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Messina (Sicily), Italy

Port of Call

The One Thing You Don't Want to Miss

For a show unlike any you've seen before, check out the world's largest astronomical clock, Orologio Astronomico, in the Piazza del Duomo. It's set in a 197-foot bell tower and when the clock strikes noon, it comes to life. As Ave Maria begins playing from a loudspeaker, the bronze mechanical figures start to move. A lion roars, a bird flaps its wings, and two historical heroines take turns ringing the bell, all before it ends with a statue of Jesus appearing from a tomb.

Other Fun Things to Do

Take a walk through the Duomo, the town's main cathedral in the Piazza del Duomo. Although most of it has been refurbished in recent years, it has retained some of the original Norman-style features from 1160, when it was built by the Holy Roman emperor Henry VI.
Make a wish in the Fontana di Orione in the center of the piazza. The pre-baroque-style fountain was built to commemorate Messina's aqueduct and symbolizes the four rivers, Tiber, Nile, Ebore and Camaro.
Spend some time in the Museo Regionale. Here you'll find an amazing collection of art rescued from the 1908 earthquake, including pieces dating back to the 13th century.

Get a Taste of Local Flavor

For a taste of traditional Sicilian cuisine, look for eggplant caponata - a stew of tomatoes, eggplant, capers and olives - typically served in restaurants as an antipasto. Rice balls, or arancini di riso, are also very common and can be found in many restaurants and at sidewalk stands. For dessert, try a slice of Sicilian cassata cake, a square sponge cake covered with ricotta cheese frosting, maraschino liqueur, candied fruit and nuts.

Local Currency

The Euro (EUR), the currency of the European Union, is the official currency of Italy. Many stores and restaurants also accept major credit cards, which usually offer you a good exchange rate. When shopping, remember there is a Value-Added Tax added to most purchases.

Weather in Messina (Sicily), Italy


Temperature Fahrenheit Celsius
Average High 58.1° 14.5°
Average Low 49.6° 9.78°
Mean Temperature N/A N/A
Record High N/A N/A
Record Low N/A N/A
Precipitation Inches Centimeters
Average Precip. 4.5 in 11.43 cm

    Before You Visit

    Learn more about this port city with these tourist information guides.


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