Piazza del Duomo


Piazza del Duomo is home to Messina's cathedral and its curious campanile (bell tower). Soaring 60m into the sky, the tower incorporates an astronomical clock, said to be the world's largest. Built in Strasbourg in 1733, it strikes at noon, setting in motion a procession of bronze automata that sets off a comical roaring lion and crowing cockerel. Facing the tower is the 1553 marble Fontana di Orione. Created by Florentine sculptor Giovanni Angelo Montorsoli (pupil to Michelangelo), it commemorates Orion, the mythical founder of Messina.

Nearby, just off Piazza Catalani, the 12th-century Chiesa della Santissima Annunziata dei Catalani is a fine example of Arab-Norman construction.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Messina attractions

1. Fontana di Orione

0.02 MILES

The pale marble Fontana di Orione (1553) depicts a lounging Orion, the mythical founder of Messina. The fountain was constructed by Giovanni Angelo…

2. Duomo di Messina

0.04 MILES

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…

4. Fontana del Nettuno

0.49 MILES

Located where Via Garibaldi spills into Piazza dell'Unità d'Italia, the 16th-century Fontana del Nettuno (Neptune's Fountain) is one of Messina's great…

5. Madonna della Lettera

0.55 MILES

Guarding Messina's harbour is the soaring golden statue of the Madonna della Lettera. A good spot to admire it and the harbour is from the seafront…

6. Museo Regionale Interdisciplinare

1.78 MILES

Messina's redeveloped regional museum is one of Sicily's lesser-known highlights, with an extensive collection of fascinating art and archaeology. Its…

7. Museo Nazionale di Reggio Calabria


Over several floors in Southern Italy's finest museum you'll descend through millennia of local history, from Neolithic and Palaeolithic times through…

8. Museo Nazionale del Bergamotto

7.66 MILES

Housed in Reggio's former covered market, this museum, which opened in 2018, showcases the interesting 300-year-old history of the region's bergamot…