Do you dream of experiencing the breathtaking beauty and rich history that Messina Sicily has to offer? We don’t blame you.
Known as “The Doorway of Sicily,” legend holds that this port city was established by Giants during Ancient Greek times. For centuries it served as a strategic passageway between Italy and the Mediterranean Sea. Not only does Messina boast an immense historical legacy, but its former status as capital city of Il Regno delle Due Sicilie still significantly contributes to both Sicily’s economy and all of Italy today. Make your trip to Splendid Messina in beautiful Sicily truly unforgettable!
A visit to Messina province is an unforgettable experience, from awe-inspiring Greek ruins and glistening beaches to majestic Roman monuments. But that’s just the beginning! The area around Messina in Sicily also offers amazing wine-tourism activities! Join us as we take you on a tour of must-see spots during your time in beautiful Messina and explore some of the nearby wineries that shouldn’t be missed!
Traveling to Messina – Things to know before you go
Where is Messina?
Conveniently situated on the northeastern tip of Sicily, Messina is the third-largest city in this Italian island. It lies within the province bearing its name and radiates a beaming energy that draws visitors from near and far.
How to get to Messina Italy
The best way to reach Messina Italy is flying to Catania Airport (CTA) that is less than a 100km away. You can reach Messina by taking a bus from Catania to Messina for 1h45. Another option is to land in Reggio Calabria Airport (REG) and then take the ferry to Messina.
Where to stay in Messina
You have the choice of several kinds of accommodations in Messina! Find your perfect hotel in Messina, or private lodging:
Discover more, to have a better overview on what’s available for your trip.
Top 6 things to see in Messina Sicily
Messina is a living testament to the many civilizations that have traversed it: from Roman, Byzantine and Arab invasions to the days of glory during Aragon’s reign when Messina became capital of Due Sicilie Kingdom.
Yet, despite earthquakes and war bombardments ravaging its structure over time, Messina has been reborn as an entirely modern city thanks to stringent safety regulations which specify low-rise buildings with wide streets. Other than ruins or monuments still standing today in tribute to its past glories, this new wave of development means no one would ever suspect how long ago these foundations were first laid!
Discover this list of our top 6 must-see places during your stay in Messina Italy!
1. Piazza del Duomo
When disembarking the ferry, Piazza del Duomo will be waiting to welcome you! This is one of Messina’s most renowned attractions – an outdoor gathering place adorned with several Sicilian monuments. Discover Fontana di Orione, the Bell Tower and the majestic Cathedral as your journey begins in this charming Italian city.
2. Messina Cathedral
The majestic Messina Cathedral, constructed by one of Michelangelo’s apprentices in 1551 and located on Piazza del Duomo, is a hallmark of the Sicilian city. It has weathered several challenges over time but its original architecture remains intact with it having undergone numerous restorations since then. You will be amazed not only at its interior grandiosity but also at its breathtaking exterior – you must go see for yourself!
3. Santissima Annunziata dei Catalani
A superb building of Norman architecture, this small church is a unique one: it is one of the only buildings from the Ancient Era that survived over time. You will find it south east of Pizza del Duomo. Make sure to snap this real-life Norman heritage!
4. Messina Regional Museum
Located in the northern part of the town, you must explore the Messina Regional Museum. There, you will find art-works of Caravaggio, one of Italy’s finest artists: the Shepherds’ adoration of the Christ Child and Resurrection of Lazarus. The Museum also fides archeological pieces and sublime Renaissance sculptures.
5. Zona Falcata and its Lighthouse
On the more commercial and modern aspect of one of Sicily’s major cities, you must discover Messina’s port at Zona Falcata. It will give you an idea of the daily Mediterranean port-life Messina locals work in. If you walk until the edge of the port, you will be able to admire Messina’s impressive Lighthouse, and a complete panorama on the Italian city.
6. Temple Christ the King
Perched on a hilltop, you can’t miss the Temple Christ the King that overlooks Sicily’s late capital. Head to Viale Principio Umberto to see it face to face. A rather recent building, built in 1937, this impressive monument was designed under the influence of Corinthian art, together with Baroque characteristics.
Events in Messina not to miss
Be a part of Sicilian customs and traditions by participating to one of Messina’s incredible events!
- End of January: Annual Carnival – colorful streets, processions and incredible costumes;
- April for Easter celebrations;
- May 1st: Carro Siciliano Festival – a celebration with traditional Sicilian cart.
- 13th & 14th of August: Ride of the Giants – a splendid and festive parade to celebrate Messina’s founders, legendary Giants of Ancient Greece.
Top wineries to visit near Messina – Discover Sicily wine
In addition to being a city that testifies incredible richness over centuries and still to date, the city of Messina is also part of Sicily vineyards and offer wine wonders. The Messina Province is home to the Mamertino DOC appellation, of which:
- White wines are made out of Ansonica and Grillo grape varieties;
- Red wines are made out of Nero d’Zvolo and Nocera grape varieties.
Wondering around Sicily vineyards should entirely be part of your trip in northern Sicily. Here is a selection of 2 wineries near Messina that offer top experiences to discover Sicilian wines and meet passionate winegrowers!
1. Cantine Madaudo
Entirely dedicated to sparkling wine production, Cantine Madaudo has been carrying on the family production for four generations. Attached to Sicilian terroir, they only grow autonomous grape varieties, and the estate is now listed as one of the most important wineries of Sicily.
Today, they welcome you for tasting their premium Sicilian Bubbles at their Sparkling Wine Plant. During a guided tour, you will see with your eyes the bottling and capping process o this special sparkling wine. Then, you will enjoy a commented tasting of their Capovero Grillo Cuvèe Extra Dry and the Capovero Metodo Classico.
2. Tenuta Enza La Fauci
Close to Cao Perolo, where legendary Ulysse meets the sirens during his journey, you will find the Tenuta Enza La Fauci Sicilian winery. Their terroir is unique due to peculiar soil and types of wind: a mix of clay, limestone, winds of Scirocco and Tramontana and abundant rain.
They are happy to take you to their vineyards for a beautiful Sunset Walk, after visiting their cellar and learn all there is about their wine-making methods. They also organize a special Lunch in the winery activity, that includes of course a delicious Sicilian meal with winegrowers.
3. Other great wineries near Messina
If you stay in Messina, you will probably want to visit the Mount Etna (and you should!). While doing so, you can also spend a bit of time discovering wineries nearby:
Other cities to visit near Messina
You might want to visit Catania.
Enjoy your amazing Italian trip to Messina Sicily!
FAQ & Useful resources
Is Messina in Sicily worth visiting?
Once the capital of a great kingdom, the one of Sicily, Messina is a beautiful and authentic Sicilian city that has a massive historical heritage. Messina is definitely worth visiting if you are planning a trip to Sicily.
What is Messina Sicily known for?
Messina is known for being Sicily’s capital city when the region was a powerful kingdom (Il Regno delle Due Sicilie). Considered as the door of Sicily, Messina’s port has been, over centuries, a coveted strategic spot for trading.
Are their beaches in Messina Italy?
Messina province counts several beautiful beaches. Major ones are those of Scaletta, Cape Ali and Nizza di Sicilia.
How do I get to Messina Italy?
_ Land in Catania and take the bus to Messina
_ Land in Reggio Calabria and take the ferry to Messina
How long is the ferry from Calabria to Sicily?
From Reggio Calabria, it will take you about 30 minutes to reach Messina by ferry.
What does Messina mean in Italian?
In Italian, Messina literally means “Place in Italy”. Founded by Greeks during the Ancient Era, Messina was once a very powerful city, and is still very active thanks to its thriving port.