Messina, founded by Greek Colonists in the 8th century BC, is located near the North-East corner of the island, at the Strait and it is known as the door of Sicily.
Top rated tourist attractions are the Cathedral, from the Norman’s age (12th century), Santissima Annunziata dei Catalani, clearly reflects Arab architectural influencesand Santa Maria degli Alemanni, a rare example of Gothic church in Sicily.
Worth seeing places are the Sanctuary of Montevergine, the Fountain of Neptune, the Senatory Fountain, Palazzo Calapaj, the Botanical Garden "Pietro Castelli" and the Regional Museum where there are masterpiece like “the Polyptych of San Gregorio” by Antonello da Messina and two Caravaggio’s “the Adoration of the Shepherds” and “the Resurrection of Lazarus”.
Messina is very devoted to Mary the Madonna and celebrates the Mother of Jesus with the processions of the “Assumpion of the Virgin Mary”, on the 15th August, and the “Madonna della lettera”, on the 3rd June.
Another event is The Ride of the Giants, on the 13th and 14th of August, in honour of the mythical founder of the city.
Typical dishes are "la pasta 'ncaciata" ,"la ghiotta di piscistoccu" and arancini di riso.
Don’t forget to taste pignolata, a typical messina’s pastry.
On the Strait it is possible to observe the natural phenomenon called Fata Morgana (Morgan le Fay from the Arthurian legend), a mirage where object like islands, ships and cliffs on the horizon are resulting like a Fairy Castle.