Messina is a chaotic, traffic-clogged city; most people come here to travel the high seas to mainland Italy or because they have four flat tyres and no car jack. The reality is that Messina is all about the straits, a veritable highway of seafaring traffic. The Greeks mythologised the clashing currents as the twin monsters of Charybdis (the whirlpool) and Scylla (the six-headed monster), and strong currents still make swimming a danger.
Beneath the choppy surface of the sea a geological fault line has brought both prosperity and adversity to the city. In 1908 it was responsible for one of the worst natural disasters to hit the island – an earthquake sank the shore by half a metre and killed 84,000 people – but the narrow waterway is also the secret of Messina’s economic success. The building of the world’s largest suspension bridge to span the straits between Sicily and the mainland, which has been on the drawing board for years, seems less certain these days.
Messina destination guides
Messina Shore Excursion: Messina City Hop-On Hop-Off Tour
While in port in Messina, spend your time experiencing the beauty of this ancient Mediterranean port city on this shore excursion. Explore Messina's top attractions aboard a hop-on hop-off sightseeing tour, complete with informative audio commentary. With the choice of two different routes, you'll get to experience the cultural and artistic heritage of this great city.
Messina City Hop-On Hop-Off Tour
Explore Messina’s highlights on a hop-on hop-off sightseeing tour, complete with informative audio commentary. With the choice of two different routes, you can experience the city’s rich cultural and artistic heritage.