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 , 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
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
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...
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
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
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...
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 , 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
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 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....