Messina's one great sight is the Norman Duomo (or at least a faithful replica of it). One of Sicily's finest cathedrals, its treasures include an impressive carved altar and a grand inlaid organ, the second largest in Italy. Originally built in the 12th century and accidentally burnt to the ground in 1254, the cathedral was destroyed again in the earthquakes of 1783 and 1908, as well as by an incendiary WWII bomb in 1943.

Very little remains of the original structure, except for the striped marble inlay, the tracery of the facade and the arresting Catalan Gothic portal. Treasures such as the famous Manta d'Oro (Golden Mantle), used to 'cloak' holy pictures during religious celebrations, are kept in the Museo della Cattedrale, accessed from inside the cathedral.