Messina, Italy

Messina, Italy

Overview
Messina is the third largest city on the island of Sicily
Sicily
Sicily is a region of Italy, and is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. Along with the surrounding minor islands, it constitutes an autonomous region of Italy, the Regione Autonoma Siciliana Sicily has a rich and unique culture, especially with regard to the arts, music, literature,...

, Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

 and the capital of the province of Messina
Province of Messina
Messina is a province in the autonomous island region of Sicily in Italy. Its capital is the city of Messina.-Geography and demography :...

. It has a population of about 250,000 inhabitants in the city proper and about 650,000 in the province. It is located near the northeast corner of Sicily, at the Strait of Messina
Strait of Messina
The Strait of Messina is the narrow passage between the eastern tip of Sicily and the southern tip of Calabria in the south of Italy. It connects the Tyrrhenian Sea with the Ionian Sea, within the central Mediterranean...

, just opposite Villa San Giovanni
Villa San Giovanni
Villa San Giovanni is a town and comune in the province of Reggio Calabria, Calabria, southern Italy. As of 2010 its population was of 13,747.-Geography:...

 on the mainland.

The main economical resources of the city are: the port
Port
A port is a location on a coast or shore containing one or more harbors where ships can dock and transfer people or cargo to or from land....

 (commercial and military), provided with several shipyards; agriculture (including wine production and the cultivation of lemon
Lemon
The lemon is both a small evergreen tree native to Asia, and the tree's ellipsoidal yellow fruit. The fruit is used for culinary and non-culinary purposes throughout the world – primarily for its juice, though the pulp and rind are also used, mainly in cooking and baking...

s, orange
Orange (fruit)
An orange—specifically, the sweet orange—is the citrus Citrus × sinensis and its fruit. It is the most commonly grown tree fruit in the world....

s, mandarin orange
Mandarin orange
The orange, also known as the ' or mandarine , is a small citrus tree with fruit resembling other oranges. Mandarin oranges are usually eaten plain or in fruit salads...

s and olive
Olive
The olive , Olea europaea), is a species of a small tree in the family Oleaceae, native to the coastal areas of the eastern Mediterranean Basin as well as northern Iran at the south end of the Caspian Sea.Its fruit, also called the olive, is of major agricultural importance in the...

s); tourism.

The city has been a Roman Catholic Archdiocese and Archimandrite
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Messina-Lipari-Santa Lucia del Mela
The Archdiocese of Messina was originally founded as the Diocese of Messina but was raised to the level of an archdiocese on September 30, 1986 with the merging with the former Diocese of Lipari and Prelatura of Santa Lucia del Mela , and as suffragans the Diocese of Patti and Diocese of Nicosia...

 seat since 1548 and is home to a locally important international fair.

Founded by Greek
Greece
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

 colonists in the 8th century BC, Messina was originally called Zancle, from the meaning "scythe
Scythe
A scythe is an agricultural hand tool for mowing grass, or reaping crops. It was largely replaced by horse-drawn and then tractor machinery, but is still used in some areas of Europe and Asia. The Grim Reaper is often depicted carrying or wielding a scythe...

" because of the shape of its natural harbour (though a legend attributes the name to King Zanclus
Zanclus
Zanclus is the legendary first king of the Sicilian city of Messina. He is mentioned in an etiological passage by Diodorus of Sicily, and has become a symbol of Messina. In modern Italian, the form is given as Zanclo....

).
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Encyclopedia
Messina is the third largest city on the island of Sicily
Sicily
Sicily is a region of Italy, and is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. Along with the surrounding minor islands, it constitutes an autonomous region of Italy, the Regione Autonoma Siciliana Sicily has a rich and unique culture, especially with regard to the arts, music, literature,...

, Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

 and the capital of the province of Messina
Province of Messina
Messina is a province in the autonomous island region of Sicily in Italy. Its capital is the city of Messina.-Geography and demography :...

. It has a population of about 250,000 inhabitants in the city proper and about 650,000 in the province. It is located near the northeast corner of Sicily, at the Strait of Messina
Strait of Messina
The Strait of Messina is the narrow passage between the eastern tip of Sicily and the southern tip of Calabria in the south of Italy. It connects the Tyrrhenian Sea with the Ionian Sea, within the central Mediterranean...

, just opposite Villa San Giovanni
Villa San Giovanni
Villa San Giovanni is a town and comune in the province of Reggio Calabria, Calabria, southern Italy. As of 2010 its population was of 13,747.-Geography:...

 on the mainland.

The main economical resources of the city are: the port
Port
A port is a location on a coast or shore containing one or more harbors where ships can dock and transfer people or cargo to or from land....

 (commercial and military), provided with several shipyards; agriculture (including wine production and the cultivation of lemon
Lemon
The lemon is both a small evergreen tree native to Asia, and the tree's ellipsoidal yellow fruit. The fruit is used for culinary and non-culinary purposes throughout the world – primarily for its juice, though the pulp and rind are also used, mainly in cooking and baking...

s, orange
Orange (fruit)
An orange—specifically, the sweet orange—is the citrus Citrus × sinensis and its fruit. It is the most commonly grown tree fruit in the world....

s, mandarin orange
Mandarin orange
The orange, also known as the ' or mandarine , is a small citrus tree with fruit resembling other oranges. Mandarin oranges are usually eaten plain or in fruit salads...

s and olive
Olive
The olive , Olea europaea), is a species of a small tree in the family Oleaceae, native to the coastal areas of the eastern Mediterranean Basin as well as northern Iran at the south end of the Caspian Sea.Its fruit, also called the olive, is of major agricultural importance in the...

s); tourism.

The city has been a Roman Catholic Archdiocese and Archimandrite
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Messina-Lipari-Santa Lucia del Mela
The Archdiocese of Messina was originally founded as the Diocese of Messina but was raised to the level of an archdiocese on September 30, 1986 with the merging with the former Diocese of Lipari and Prelatura of Santa Lucia del Mela , and as suffragans the Diocese of Patti and Diocese of Nicosia...

 seat since 1548 and is home to a locally important international fair.

History


Founded by Greek
Greece
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

 colonists in the 8th century BC, Messina was originally called Zancle, from the meaning "scythe
Scythe
A scythe is an agricultural hand tool for mowing grass, or reaping crops. It was largely replaced by horse-drawn and then tractor machinery, but is still used in some areas of Europe and Asia. The Grim Reaper is often depicted carrying or wielding a scythe...

" because of the shape of its natural harbour (though a legend attributes the name to King Zanclus
Zanclus
Zanclus is the legendary first king of the Sicilian city of Messina. He is mentioned in an etiological passage by Diodorus of Sicily, and has become a symbol of Messina. In modern Italian, the form is given as Zanclo....

). A comune
Comune
In Italy, the comune is the basic administrative division, and may be properly approximated in casual speech by the English word township or municipality.-Importance and function:...

of its province, located at the southern entrance of the Strait of Messina
Strait of Messina
The Strait of Messina is the narrow passage between the eastern tip of Sicily and the southern tip of Calabria in the south of Italy. It connects the Tyrrhenian Sea with the Ionian Sea, within the central Mediterranean...

, is to this day called 'Scaletta Zanclea'. In the early 5th century BC, Anaxilas of Rhegium
Anaxilas of Rhegium
Anaxilas was tyrant of Rhegium, in the southwestern tip of Italy, from 474 BC - 476 BC. He seized Zancle after Hippocrates' death and renamed it to Messana. After allying with Carthage he made peace with Gelon and his daughter married Hieron I....

 renamed it Messene in honour of the Greek city Messene
Messene
Messene , officially Ancient Messene, is a Local Community of the Municipal Unit , Ithomi, of the municipality of Messini within the Regional Unit of Messenia in the Region of Peloponnēsos, one of 7 Regions into which the Hellenic Republic has been divided by the Kallikratis...

 . (See also List of traditional Greek place names.) The city was sacked in 397 BC
Battle of Messene
The Battle of Messene took place in 397 BC in Sicily. Carthage, in retaliation for the attack on Motya by Dionysius, had sent an army under Himilco, to Sicily to regain lost territory. Himilco sailed to Panormus, and from there again sailed and marched along the northern coast of Sicily to Cape...

 by the Carthaginians
Carthage
Carthage , implying it was a 'new Tyre') is a major urban centre that has existed for nearly 3,000 years on the Gulf of Tunis, developing from a Phoenician colony of the 1st millennium BC...

 and then reconquered by Dionysius I of Syracuse
Dionysius I of Syracuse
Dionysius I or Dionysius the Elder was a Greek tyrant of Syracuse, in what is now Sicily, southern Italy. He conquered several cities in Sicily and southern Italy, opposed Carthage's influence in Sicily and made Syracuse the most powerful of the Western Greek colonies...

.

In 288 BC the Mamertines
Mamertines
The Mamertines were mercenaries of Italian origin who had been hired from their home in Campania by Agathocles, the king of Syracuse. After Syracuse lost the Third Sicilian War, the city of Messana was ceded to Carthage in 307 BC. When Agathocles died in 289 BC he left many of his mercenaries idle...

 seized the city by treachery, killing all the men and taking the women as their wives. The city became a base from which they ravaged the countryside, leading to a conflict with the expanding regional empire of Syracuse. Hiero II, tyrant of Syracuse, defeated the Mamertines near Mylae on the Longanus River
Longanus River
The Longanus was a river in north-eastern Sicily on the Mylaean plain and was, as recorded by Polybius, the location at which the Mamertines were drastically defeated by Hiero II of Syracuse in around 269 BC. The small settlement of Longane was positioned near it....

 and besieged Messina. Carthage
Carthage
Carthage , implying it was a 'new Tyre') is a major urban centre that has existed for nearly 3,000 years on the Gulf of Tunis, developing from a Phoenician colony of the 1st millennium BC...

 assisted the Mamertines because of a long-standing conflict with Syracuse over dominance in Sicily. When Hiero attacked a second time in 264 BC, the Mamertines petitioned the Roman Republic
Roman Republic
The Roman Republic was the period of the ancient Roman civilization where the government operated as a republic. It began with the overthrow of the Roman monarchy, traditionally dated around 508 BC, and its replacement by a government headed by two consuls, elected annually by the citizens and...

 for an alliance, hoping for more reliable protection. Although initially reluctant to assist lest it encourage other mercenary groups to mutiny, Rome was unwilling to see Carthaginian power spread further over Sicily and encroach on Italy. Rome therefore entered into an alliance with the Mamertines. In 264 BC, Roman troops were deployed to Sicily, the first time a Roman army acted outside the Italian Peninsula
Italian Peninsula
The Italian Peninsula or Apennine Peninsula is one of the three large peninsulas of Southern Europe , spanning from the Po Valley in the north to the central Mediterranean Sea in the south. The peninsula's shape gives it the nickname Lo Stivale...

.

At the end of the First Punic War
First Punic War
The First Punic War was the first of three wars fought between Ancient Carthage and the Roman Republic. For 23 years, the two powers struggled for supremacy in the western Mediterranean Sea, primarily on the Mediterranean island of Sicily and its surrounding waters but also to a lesser extent in...

 it was a free city allied with Rome. In Roman times Messina, then known as Messana, had an important pharos
History of lighthouses
Ancient Roman lighthouses are among the best preserved, and best known examples of lighthouses from Ancient History. A famous example is the Tower of Hercules in A Coruña, Spain, and there is another at Dover, England which still stands to about half its original height...

 (lighthouse). Messana was the base of Sextus Pompeius
Sextus Pompeius
Sextus Pompeius Magnus Pius, in English Sextus Pompey , was a Roman general from the late Republic . He was the last focus of opposition to the Second Triumvirate...

, during his war against Octavian.

After the fall of the Roman Empire
Roman Empire
The Roman Empire was the post-Republican period of the ancient Roman civilization, characterised by an autocratic form of government and large territorial holdings in Europe and around the Mediterranean....

, the city was successively ruled by [Goths]] from 476, then by the Byzantine Empire
Byzantine Empire
The Byzantine Empire was the Eastern Roman Empire during the periods of Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, centred on the capital of Constantinople. Known simply as the Roman Empire or Romania to its inhabitants and neighbours, the Empire was the direct continuation of the Ancient Roman State...

 in 535, by the Arabs in 842, and in 1061 by the Norman
Normans
The Normans were the people who gave their name to Normandy, a region in northern France. They were descended from Norse Viking conquerors of the territory and the native population of Frankish and Gallo-Roman stock...

 brothers Robert Guiscard
Robert Guiscard
Robert d'Hauteville, known as Guiscard, Duke of Apulia and Calabria, from Latin Viscardus and Old French Viscart, often rendered the Resourceful, the Cunning, the Wily, the Fox, or the Weasel was a Norman adventurer conspicuous in the conquest of southern Italy and Sicily...

 and Roger Guiscard
Roger I of Sicily
Roger I , called Bosso and the Great Count, was the Norman Count of Sicily from 1071 to 1101. He was the last great leader of the Norman conquest of southern Italy.-Conquest of Calabria and Sicily:...

 (later count Roger I of Sicily). In 1189 the English King Richard I, ("The Lionheart")
Richard I of England
Richard I was King of England from 6 July 1189 until his death. He also ruled as Duke of Normandy, Duke of Aquitaine, Duke of Gascony, Lord of Cyprus, Count of Anjou, Count of Maine, Count of Nantes, and Overlord of Brittany at various times during the same period...

 stopped at Messina en route to the Holy Land
Holy Land
The Holy Land is a term which in Judaism refers to the Kingdom of Israel as defined in the Tanakh. For Jews, the Land's identifiction of being Holy is defined in Judaism by its differentiation from other lands by virtue of the practice of Judaism often possible only in the Land of Israel...

 and briefly occupied the city after a dispute over the dowry of his sister, who had been married to William the Good, King of Sicily

Messina was most likely the harbour at which the Black Death
Black Death
The Black Death was one of the most devastating pandemics in human history, peaking in Europe between 1348 and 1350. Of several competing theories, the dominant explanation for the Black Death is the plague theory, which attributes the outbreak to the bacterium Yersinia pestis. Thought to have...

 entered Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

: the plague was brought by Genoese
Genoa
Genoa |Ligurian]] Zena ; Latin and, archaically, English Genua) is a city and an important seaport in northern Italy, the capital of the Province of Genoa and of the region of Liguria....

 ships coming from Caffa in the Crimea
Crimea
Crimea , or the Autonomous Republic of Crimea , is a sub-national unit, an autonomous republic, of Ukraine. It is located on the northern coast of the Black Sea, occupying a peninsula of the same name...

. In 1548 St. Ignatius
Ignatius of Loyola
Ignatius of Loyola was a Spanish knight from a Basque noble family, hermit, priest since 1537, and theologian, who founded the Society of Jesus and was its first Superior General. Ignatius emerged as a religious leader during the Counter-Reformation...

 founded there the first Jesuit college
College
A college is an educational institution or a constituent part of an educational institution. Usage varies in English-speaking nations...

 of the world, which later gave birth to the Studium Generale (the current University of Messina
University of Messina
The University of Messina is a public university located in Messina, Italy, and founded in 1548. The university is organized in 11 Faculties.-History:...

).
The Christian ships that won the Battle of Lepanto (1571)
Battle of Lepanto (1571)
The Battle of Lepanto took place on 7 October 1571 when a fleet of the Holy League, a coalition of Catholic maritime states, decisively defeated the main fleet of the Ottoman Empire in five hours of fighting on the northern edge of the Gulf of Patras, off western Greece...

 left from Messina: the Spanish
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

 author Miguel de Cervantes
Miguel de Cervantes
Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra was a Spanish novelist, poet, and playwright. His magnum opus, Don Quixote, considered the first modern novel, is a classic of Western literature, and is regarded amongst the best works of fiction ever written...

, who took part in the battle, recovered for some time in the Grand Hospital. The city reached the peak of its splendour in the early 17th century, under Spanish domination: at the time it was one of the ten greatest cities in Europe. In 1674 the city rebelled against the foreign garrison. It managed to remain independent for some time, thanks to the help of the French king Louis XIV
Louis XIV of France
Louis XIV , known as Louis the Great or the Sun King , was a Bourbon monarch who ruled as King of France and Navarre. His reign, from 1643 to his death in 1715, began at the age of four and lasted seventy-two years, three months, and eighteen days...

, but in 1678, with the Peace of Nijmegen, it was reconquered by the Spaniards and sacked: the university, the senate and all the privileges of autonomy it had enjoyed since the Roman times were abolished. A massive fortress was built by the occupants and Messina decayed steadily. In 1743, 48,000 died of plague in Messina. In 1783, an earthquake
1783 Calabrian earthquakes
The 1783 Calabrian earthquakes were a sequence of five strong earthquakes that hit the region of Calabria in southern Italy , the first two of which produced significant tsunamis. The epicenters form a clear alignment extending nearly 100 km from the Straits of Messina to about 18 km SSW...

 devastated much of the city, and it took decades to rebuild and rekindle the cultural life of Messina.

In 1847 it was one of the first cities in Italy where Risorgimento riots broke out. In 1848 it rebelled openly against the reigning Bourbons
House of Bourbon
The House of Bourbon is a European royal house, a branch of the Capetian dynasty . Bourbon kings first ruled Navarre and France in the 16th century. By the 18th century, members of the Bourbon dynasty also held thrones in Spain, Naples, Sicily, and Parma...

, but was heavily suppressed again. Only in 1860, after the Battle of Milazzo
Battle of Milazzo (1860)
The Battle of Milazzo was fought on 17–24 July 1860 between Giuseppe Garibaldi's volunteers with Hungarian veterans and the troops of the Kingdom of Two Sicilies at Milazzo, Sicily, then part of the Kingdom of Two Sicilies....

, the Garibaldine troops occupied the city. One of the main figures of the unification of Italy, Giuseppe Mazzini
Giuseppe Mazzini
Giuseppe Mazzini , nicknamed Soul of Italy, was an Italian politician, journalist and activist for the unification of Italy. His efforts helped bring about the independent and unified Italy in place of the several separate states, many dominated by foreign powers, that existed until the 19th century...

, was elected deputy
Italian Chamber of Deputies
The Italian Chamber of Deputies is the lower house of the Parliament of Italy. It has 630 seats, a plurality of which is controlled presently by liberal-conservative party People of Freedom. Twelve deputies represent Italian citizens outside of Italy. Deputies meet in the Palazzo Montecitorio. A...

 at Messina in the general elections of 1866.

Another earthquake of less intensity damaged the city on November 16, 1894.

The city was almost entirely destroyed by an earthquake
1908 Messina earthquake
The 1908 Messina earthquake and tsunami took some 100,000–200,000 lives on December 28, 1908 in Sicily and Calabria, southern Italy.-Quake:On December 28, 1908 from about 05:20 to 05:21 an earthquake of 7.2 on the moment magnitude scale occurred centered on the of city Messina, in Sicily. Reggio...

 and associated tsunami
Tsunami
A tsunami is a series of water waves caused by the displacement of a large volume of a body of water, typically an ocean or a large lake...

 on the morning of December 28, 1908, killing about 60,000 people and destroying most of the ancient architecture. The city was largely rebuilt in the following year, according to a more modern and rational plan. It incurred further damage from the massive Allied air bombardments of 1943, which caused thousands of deaths. Later, the city gained a Gold Medal for Military Valour and one for Civil Valour in memory of the event and the subsequent effort of reconstruction.

In June 1955, Messina was the location of the Messina Conference
Messina Conference
The Messina Conference was held from 1 to 3 June 1955 at the Italian city of Messina, Sicily. The conference of the Foreign Ministers of the six Member States of the European Coal and Steel Community would lead to the creation of the European Economic Community in 1958...

 of Western Europe
Western Europe
Western Europe is a loose term for the collection of countries in the western most region of the European continents, though this definition is context-dependent and carries cultural and political connotations. One definition describes Western Europe as a geographic entity—the region lying in the...

an foreign minister
Foreign minister
A Minister of Foreign Affairs, or foreign minister, is a cabinet minister who helps form the foreign policy of a sovereign state. The foreign minister is often regarded as the most senior ministerial position below that of the head of government . It is often granted to the deputy prime minister in...

s which led to the creation of the European Economic Community
European Economic Community
The European Economic Community The European Economic Community (EEC) The European Economic Community (EEC) (also known as the Common Market in the English-speaking world, renamed the European Community (EC) in 1993The information in this article primarily covers the EEC's time as an independent...

.

Messina has a light rail system that was opened on April 3, 2003. This line is 7.7 kilometres (4.8 mi) and links the city's central railway station with the city centre and harbour. Low floor double-ended trams built by Alston Ferroviaria.

Main sights


Churches and sanctuaries

  • The Cathedral (12th century), containing the remains of king Conrad
    Conrad IV of Germany
    Conrad IV was king of Jerusalem , of Germany , and of Sicily .-Biography:...

    , ruler of Germany
    Germany
    Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

     and Sicily in the 13th century. The building had to be almost entirely rebuilt in 1919-1920, following the devastating 1908 earthquake
    1908 Messina earthquake
    The 1908 Messina earthquake and tsunami took some 100,000–200,000 lives on December 28, 1908 in Sicily and Calabria, southern Italy.-Quake:On December 28, 1908 from about 05:20 to 05:21 an earthquake of 7.2 on the moment magnitude scale occurred centered on the of city Messina, in Sicily. Reggio...

    , and again in 1943, after a fire triggered by Allied bombings. The original Norman
    Norman architecture
    About|Romanesque architecture, primarily English|other buildings in Normandy|Architecture of Normandy.File:Durham Cathedral. Nave by James Valentine c.1890.jpg|thumb|200px|The nave of Durham Cathedral demonstrates the characteristic round arched style, though use of shallow pointed arches above the...

     structure can be recognised in the apsidal area. The façade has three late Gothic
    Gothic architecture
    Gothic architecture is a style of architecture that flourished during the high and late medieval period. It evolved from Romanesque architecture and was succeeded by Renaissance architecture....

     portals, the central of which probably dates back to the early 15th century. The architrave is decorated with a sculpture of Christ Among the Evangelists and various representations of men, animals and plants. The tympanum
    Tympanum (architecture)
    In architecture, a tympanum is the semi-circular or triangular decorative wall surface over an entrance, bounded by a lintel and arch. It often contains sculpture or other imagery or ornaments. Most architectural styles include this element....

     dates back to 1468. The interior is organised in a nave and two equally long aisles divided by files of 28 columns. Some decorative elements belong the original building, whereas the mosaics in the apse
    Apse
    In architecture, the apse is a semicircular recess covered with a hemispherical vault or semi-dome...

     are reconstructions. Tombs of illustrious men besides Conrad IV, include those of Archbishops Palmer (died in 1195), Guidotto de Abbiate (14th century) and Antonio La Legname (16th century). Special interest is held by the Chapel of the Sacrament (late 16th century), with scenic decorations and 14th century mosaics. The bell tower
    Bell tower
    A bell tower is a tower which contains one or more bells, or which is designed to hold bells, even if it has none. In the European tradition, such a tower most commonly serves as part of a church and contains church bells. When attached to a city hall or other civic building, especially in...

     holds one of the largest astronomical clock
    Astronomical clock
    An astronomical clock is a clock with special mechanisms and dials to display astronomical information, such as the relative positions of the sun, moon, zodiacal constellations, and sometimes major planets.-Definition:...

    s in the world, built in 1933 by the Ungerer Company of Strasbourg
    Strasbourg
    Strasbourg is the capital and principal city of the Alsace region in eastern France and is the official seat of the European Parliament. Located close to the border with Germany, it is the capital of the Bas-Rhin département. The city and the region of Alsace are historically German-speaking,...

    . The belfry mechanically animated statues, which illustrate events from the civil and religious history of the city every day at noon, are a popular touristic attraction.
  • Annunziata dei Catalani (late 12th-13th century). Dating from the late Norman period, it was transformed in the 13th century when the nave was shortened and the façade added. It has a cylindrical apse and a high dome emerging from a high tambour
    Tambour
    In classical architecture, a tambour is the inverted bell of the Corinthian capital around which are carved acanthus leaves for decoration....

    . Noteworthy is the external decoration of the transept
    Transept
    For the periodical go to The Transept.A transept is a transverse section, of any building, which lies across the main body of the building. In Christian churches, a transept is an area set crosswise to the nave in a cruciform building in Romanesque and Gothic Christian church architecture...

     and the dome area, with a series of blind arches separated by small columns. It clearly reflects Arabic architectural influences.
  • Santa Maria degli Alemanni (early 13th century), which was formerly a chapel of Teutonic Knights
    Teutonic Knights
    The Order of Brothers of the German House of Saint Mary in Jerusalem , commonly the Teutonic Order , is a German medieval military order, in modern times a purely religious Catholic order...

    . It is a rare example of pure Gothic architecture in Sicily, as is witnessed by the arched windows and shapely buttress
    Buttress
    A buttress is an architectural structure built against or projecting from a wall which serves to support or reinforce the wall...

    es.
  • Sanctuary of Santa Maria del Carmelo (near the Courthouse) built in 1931, which contains a 17th-century statue of the Virgin Mary.
  • Sanctuary of Montevergine, where the incorrupt
    Incorruptibility
    Incorruptibility is a Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox belief that supernatural intervention allows some human bodies to avoid the normal process of decomposition after death as a sign of their holiness...

     body of Saint
    Saint
    A saint is a holy person. In various religions, saints are people who are believed to have exceptional holiness.In Christian usage, "saint" refers to any believer who is "in Christ", and in whom Christ dwells, whether in heaven or in earth...

     Eustochia Smeralda Calafato
    Eustochia Smeralda Calafato
    Eustochia Smeralda Calafato is a Franciscan Italian Saint belonging to the Order of the Poor Clares. She is co-patroness of Messina, which is also the centre of her cultus.-Biography:...

     is preserved.

Fountains


  • The Fountain of Orion, located next to the Cathedral, built by Giovanni Angelo Montorsoli
    Giovanni Angelo Montorsoli
    Giovanni Antonio Montorsoli , also known as Fra Montorsoli, as Michele Agnolo and as Angelo di Michele d' Angelo da Poggibonsi, was an Italian sculptor.-Biography:...

     in 1547.
  • The Fountain of Neptune, looking towards the harbour, built by Montorsoli in 1557.
  • The Senatory Fountain (1619)
  • Quattro Fontane (The Four Fountains), though only two elements of the four-cornered complex survive today.

Other landmarks

  • The San Ranieri lighthouse (1555).
  • The Botanical Garden "Pietro Castelli" of the University of Messina
    University of Messina
    The University of Messina is a public university located in Messina, Italy, and founded in 1548. The university is organized in 11 Faculties.-History:...

    .
  • Palazzo Calapaj, an example of 18th century Messinese architecture which survived to the 1908 earthquake.
  • Porta Grazia, 16th century gate of "real cittadella di Messina", a still existing fortress in the harbour
  • The Pylon
    Pylons of Messina
    The Pylons of Messina were once used to carry a 220 kilovolt powerline across the Strait of Messina, between the Rizziconi substation in Calabria on the Italian mainland and the Sorgente substation in Sicily.-Design:...

    , built in 1957 together with a twin located across the Strait of Messina, to carry a 220kV-overhead powerline
    Overhead powerline
    An overhead power line is an electric power transmission line suspended by towers or utility poles. Since most of the insulation is provided by air, overhead power lines are generally the lowest-cost method of transmission for large quantities of electric energy...

     bringing electric power to the island. At the time of their construction, the two electric pylons
    Transmission tower
    A transmission tower is a tall structure, usually a steel lattice tower, used to support an overhead power line. They are used in high-voltage AC and DC systems, and come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes...

     were the highest in the world. The powerline has later been replaced by an underwater cable, but the pylon still stands as a freely accessible tourist attraction.

Museums

  • The Regional Museum, hosting notable paintings by Caravaggio
    Caravaggio
    Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio was an Italian artist active in Rome, Naples, Malta, and Sicily between 1593 and 1610. His paintings, which combine a realistic observation of the human state, both physical and emotional, with a dramatic use of lighting, had a formative influence on the Baroque...

      and Antonello da Messina
    Antonello da Messina
    Antonello da Messina, properly Antonello di Giovanni di Antonio was an Italian painter from Messina, Sicily, active during the Italian Renaissance...

    .
  • Museum of popular culture and music (Museo di cultura e musica popolare dei Peloritani), devoted to the local ethnomusicological tradition.

Notable people

  • Antonello da Messina
    Antonello da Messina
    Antonello da Messina, properly Antonello di Giovanni di Antonio was an Italian painter from Messina, Sicily, active during the Italian Renaissance...

    , painter of the Renaissance, born in Messina in 1430.
  • Dicaearchus
    Dicaearchus
    Dicaearchus of Messana was a Greek philosopher, cartographer, geographer, mathematician and author. Dicaearchus was Aristotle's student in the Lyceum. Very little of his work remains extant. He wrote on the history and geography of Greece, of which his most important work was his Life of Greece...

    , Greek philosopher and mathematician, born in Messina in 350 BC.
  • Eustochia Smeralda Calafato
    Eustochia Smeralda Calafato
    Eustochia Smeralda Calafato is a Franciscan Italian Saint belonging to the Order of the Poor Clares. She is co-patroness of Messina, which is also the centre of her cultus.-Biography:...

    , saint, born in Messina in 1434.
  • Francesco Maurolico
    Francesco Maurolico
    Francesco Maurolico was a Greek mathematician and astronomer of Sicily. Throughout his lifetime, he made contributions to the fields of geometry, optics, conics, mechanics, music, and astronomy...

    , astronomer and mathematician, of Greek origin, born in Messina in 1494.
  • Bernardo Storace
    Bernardo Storace
    Bernardo Storace was an Italian composer. Almost nothing is known about his life; his only surviving collection of music contains numerous variation sets and represents a transitory stage between the time of Girolamo Frescobaldi and that of Bernardo Pasquini.-Life:Very little is known about his...

    , composer, worked in Messina in 1664.
  • Filippo Juvarra
    Filippo Juvarra
    Filippo Juvarra was an Italian architect and stage set designer.-Biography:Filippo Juvarra was an Italian Baroque architect working in the early part of the eighteenth century. He was born in Messina, Sicily, to a family of goldsmiths and engravers...

    , architect and highest exponent of the Baroque, born in Messina in 1678.
  • Annibale Maria Di Francia
    Hannibal Mary Di Francia
    Annibale Maria di Francia is a saint venerated by the Roman Catholic Church. His father Francis was a Knight of the Marquises of St. Catherine of Jonio, Papal Vice-Consul and Honorary Captain of the Navy. His mother, Anna Toscano, belonged to the noble family of the Marquises of Montanaro...

    , saint, born in Messina in 1851.
  • Giuseppe Sergi
    Giuseppè Sergi
    Giuseppe Sergi was an influential Italian anthropologist of the early twentieth century, best known for his opposition to Nordicism in his books on the racial identity of ancient Mediterranean peoples...

    , anthropologist, born in Messina in 1841.
  • Luigi Rizzo
    Luigi Rizzo
    Luigi Rizzo, Conte di Grado e di Premuda was an Italian naval officer. He is famous for sinking the Austro-Hungarian battleship SMS Szent István in June 1918.-Biography:...

    , naval officer and First World War hero, born in Messina in 1887.
  • Maria Grazia Cucinotta
    Maria Grazia Cucinotta
    Maria Grazia Cucinotta is an Siciian/Italian actress who has featured in many films and television series since 1990, she has also worked as a producer, screenwriter and model....

    , actress, born in Messina in 1968.
  • Vincenzo Nibali
    Vincenzo Nibali
    Vincenzo Nibali is an Italian professional road bicycle racer who rides UCI ProTeam . Born near the Strait of Messina, Nibali's nickname is the "shark of the strait" or simply "the shark." His first major win came at the 2006 GP Ouest-France, where he beat an impressive field on a tough course...

    , cyclist
    Road bicycle racing
    Road bicycle racing is a bicycle racing sport held on roads, using racing bicycles. The term "road racing" is usually applied to events where competing riders start simultaneously with the winner being the first to the line at the end of the course .Historically, the most...

    , born in Messina in 1984.
  • Vincenzo Tripodo, photographer, opera director, and filmmaker.

Literary references


Numerous writers set their works in Messina, including:
  • Plutarch
    Plutarch
    Plutarch then named, on his becoming a Roman citizen, Lucius Mestrius Plutarchus , c. 46 – 120 AD, was a Greek historian, biographer, essayist, and Middle Platonist known primarily for his Parallel Lives and Moralia...

     - The Life of Pompey (40 BC?)
  • Giovanni Boccaccio
    Giovanni Boccaccio
    Giovanni Boccaccio was an Italian author and poet, a friend, student, and correspondent of Petrarch, an important Renaissance humanist and the author of a number of notable works including the Decameron, On Famous Women, and his poetry in the Italian vernacular...

     - Decameron IV day V novel, Lisabetta da Messina - IV day IV Novel, Gerbino ed Elissa (1351)
  • Matteo Bandello
    Matteo Bandello
    -Biography:Matteo Bandello was born at Castelnuovo Scrivia, near Tortona , c. 1480 or 1485. He received a good education, and entered the church, but does not seem to have been very interested in theology. For many years he lived at Mantua, and superintended the education of the celebrated Lucrezia...

     - Novelliere First Part, novel XXII (1554)
  • William Shakespeare
    William Shakespeare
    William Shakespeare was an English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon"...

     - Much Ado about Nothing
    Much Ado About Nothing
    Much Ado About Nothing is a comedy written by William Shakespeare about two pairs of lovers, Benedick and Beatrice, and Claudio and Hero....

    (1598) and Antony and Cleopatra
    Antony and Cleopatra
    Antony and Cleopatra is a tragedy by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written sometime between 1603 and 1607. It was first printed in the First Folio of 1623. The plot is based on Thomas North's translation of Plutarch's Lives and follows the relationship between Cleopatra and Mark Antony...

     (1607)
  • Molière
    Molière
    Jean-Baptiste Poquelin, known by his stage name Molière, was a French playwright and actor who is considered to be one of the greatest masters of comedy in Western literature...

     - L'Etourdi ou Les Contre-temps (1654)
  • Friedrich Schiller
    Friedrich Schiller
    Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller was a German poet, philosopher, historian, and playwright. During the last seventeen years of his life , Schiller struck up a productive, if complicated, friendship with already famous and influential Johann Wolfgang von Goethe...

     - Die Braut von Messina (The Bride of Messina, 1803)
  • Silvio Pellico
    Silvio Pellico
    Silvio Pellico was an Italian writer, poet, dramatist and patriot.-Biography:Silvio Pellico was born at Saluzzo . He spent the earlier portion of his life at Pinerolo and Turin, under the tuition of a priest named Manavella. At the age of ten he composed a tragedy inspired by a translation of the...

     - Eufemio da Messina (1818)
  • Friedrich Nietzsche
    Friedrich Nietzsche
    Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche was a 19th-century German philosopher, poet, composer and classical philologist...

     - Idyllen aus Messina (Idylls from Messina, 1882)
  • Giovanni Pascoli
    Giovanni Pascoli
    Giovanni Placido Agostino Pascoli was an Italian poet and classical scholar.- Biography :Giovanni Pascoli was born at San Mauro di Romagna , into a well-to-do family. He was the fourth of ten children of Ruggero Pascoli and Caterina Vincenzi Alloccatelli...

     - poem L'Aquilone (1904)
  • Elio Vittorini
    Elio Vittorini
    Elio Vittorini was an Italian writer and novelist. He was a contemporary of Cesare Pavese and an influential voice in the modernist school of novel writing. His best-known work is the anti-fascist novel Conversations in Sicily, for which he was jailed when it was published in 1941. The first U.S...

     - Le donne di Messina (Women of Messina, 1949) and Conversazione in Sicilia (Conversations in Sicily, 1941)
  • Stefano D'Arrigo
    Stefano D'Arrigo
    Stefano D'Arrigo was an Italian writer. He published three books, the collection of poetry Codice Siciliano , the epic Horcynus Orca and the novel Cima delle Nobildonne.-Biography:D'Arrigo was born in Alì, in the province of Messina...

     - Horcynus Orca (1975)
  • Julien Green
    Julien Green
    Julien Green , was an American writer, who authored several novels, including Léviathan and Each in His Own Darkness...

     - Demain n'existe pas (1985)

See also

  • A.C.R. Messina
  • Messina Centrale railway station
    Messina Centrale railway station
    Messina Centrale is the main railway station of the Italian city of Messina, in Sicily. As Palermo Centrale, Catania Centrale and Syracuse it is one of the most important stations of its region...

  • Messina Grand Prix
    Messina Grand Prix
    The Messina Grand Prix was a Formula Junior motor race held at Ganzirri Lake circuit in Messina, Italy.The race formed part of the Italian Formula Junior Championship.- Winners :-External links:* * *...

  • International Rally of Messina
    International Rally of Messina
    International Rally of Messina was a former rally competition that was held in Messina, Italy.-History:...


External links