The province of Messina shows all its splendor and beauty to visitors. Here you will find the mountains that are crossed by rivers and surrounded by fortifications, blue sea and precious works of art, which are expressed in churches and palaces.

Messina

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TOUR FROM MESSINA

A bridge toward the mainland

Messina has a strait that separates the province from the mainland, but at the same time it is also a connection. A visit to Messina must be connected with the visit of the artistic and cultural surrounding heritage. The province includes 108 communities- among these, there are especially historic sites, which have fascinated landscape, such as Taormina, Milazzo, the nature reserve Nebrodi, the north slope of Mount Etna and the Aeolian Islands.

 

Place in the Tyrrhenian coast

A travel to the picturesque towns along the Tyrrhenian coast is worthwhile in any case. Capo d'Orlando, for example, is a fascinating city, located at the foot of the promontory. Here there is the Sanctuary of Maria SS. Capo d'Orlando, which was built on the ruins of an ancient castle of the 14th century. Inside the beautiful Nebrodi mountains and surrounded by lush Mediterranean vegetation, there is the place of Frazzanò. An interesting architectural demonstration is the church of Maria SS. Annunziata, the church of San Lorenzo and San Filippo of Fragalà Basilianerabtei. It is also recommended a visit to the town of Patti, where the ruins of a magnificent Roman Villa have got African mosaics. Near these ruins there is  another important archaeological site. Tindari, located on the plateau of a cape,  offers a beautiful view of the Gulf of Patti. There are a lot of historical proofs, dating from the time of the Carthaginians, Romans and Arabs. Montalbano Elicona, an enchanting place in the area of ​​Nebrodi, the major tourist destination, offer history, art and tradition. The castle of Federico II D'Aragona looks above the old village.

 

The Alcantara Gorges

The Alcantara Gorges are a unique and magnificent show of nature. These canyons are formed thousands of years ago, due to an eruption of Mount Moio- a small volcano in the north of Etna. The lava flows filled the whole valley of Alcantara. The lava reached a thickness of 70 meters. However, the water could pave the way and the magma cooled formed high walls of basalt. The gorges can be reached through a higher climbing, or comfortably with a lift. The natural spectacle evokes incredible emotions. You can admire the magnificent waterfalls that were formed by erosion.

 

Seaside locations

In Messina there are golden beaches and picturesque fishing villages. The charming touristic location of Saracen Coast, which includes the coastal area that stretches from the promontory of Capo Calavà to the bay of St. George, is characterized by idyllic landscapes that have significant historical, artistic and cultural hinterland. Another touristic and cultural seaside location is Taormina. This place not only impresses for its beautiful sea, but also for interesting archaeological sites. Not far from Taormina there is the famous village of Giardini Naxos, which is on the Ionian coast. Here you will be impressed not only for the blue sea, but also for historical significant artifacts. Milazzo also is a place with special charm. Milazzo was one of the first Greek colonies in Sicily and it is famous for the beautiful Nebrodi. The scenic beauty of the place led to call Milazzo "Queen of seas." Visitors will enjoy the magnificent beach sections interspersed with mysterious caves. Starting from Milazzo to one of the Aeolian Islands the most famous archipelago includes the islands of Sicily: Vulcano, Lipari, Alicudi, Filicudi, Panarea and Stromboli. All the islands are of volcanic origin. Vulcano is particularly evident. Craters billow up sulphurous smoke. The Aeolian Islands have got unique beaches and magnificent water depths that invite you to do an impressive dip. The islands offer also archaeological ruins. 

 

Messina cooking

Cooking is mainly characterized by fish. It is particularly delightful swordfish, which is prepared in many different ways. Typical dishes are Spaghetti with seafood and cheeses baked pastry. Concerning the pastry Messina is a province focused about the traditional rollers stuffed with ricotta cream (produced from whey, cream cheese-like) and ricotta, candied fruit and chocolate, typical sweets of "Pignolata" and "pistacchiata".

Distances from Messina

 

Caltanissetta      205 Km

Catania                 95 Km

Enna                     182 Km

Palermo               225 Km

Agrigento            255 Km

Ragusa               200 Km

Syrakus               162 Km

Trapani                365 Km

Taormina

Not far from the Strait, which separates Sicily from the Italian peninsula, is situated on a natural terrace, overlooking the Ionian Sea, the enchanting city of Taormina, the ancient Taurmenion. With the medieval town structure, the strong ancient Greek soul and the colors and scents of the medieval vegetation, Taormina is without a doubt a place to be seen in life. The Sicilian climate also makes it possible to visit this pearl throughout the year, which is steep at 250 meters above sea level and can be reached by cable car. The symbol It is almost impossible to remain unimpressed by the beauty of Taormina. During his trip to Italy, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe came here and remained speechless at the sight of the Greek theater (3rd century BC), symbol of the city. Surrounded by cypresses and prickly pears, with the auditorium dug in the rock, the Greek Theater, later the Roman Arena, offers breathtaking views of the blue sea, the coasts of Calabria and Sicily and the smoking summit of Mount Etna.

 

History and art enthusiasts will certainly get their money's worth in Taormina and can fully enjoy their passion. What you should see The main gate Porta Messina leads to the medieval center of Taormina. Not far from the gate we find the Palazzo Corvaia and the 18th century church of San Pancrazio, built on the remains of a Greek temple. Also worth a visit is the Cavea of ​​Ancient Odeon and the nearby church of Santa Caterina d'Allessandrio. Further ahead, the street opens up to Piazza IX Aprile, a terrace from which you can enjoy a wide view. From Porta di Mezzo, near the clock tower from the 17th century, there is another medieval quarter of Taormina, with typical buildings rich in Roman and Gothic decorations and elements. Further we find in the city the massive defense palace Duca di Santo Stefano, from Norman time and rich in Gothic, Arab and Norman elements and the Palazzo Badia Vecchia. Not only history will charm you here, but also the lush nature of the city, such as those in the public gardens of Villa Comunale. What you should do A walk along Corso Umberto I is a must on every visit to Taormina. Here you can benefit from the numerous craft shops and buy unique souvenirs such as ceramics, jewelry or clothing. To enjoy the city a little more quietly, you can take the small streets and discover hidden courtyards and the oldest part of Taormina.

 

Taormina is undoubtedly the sea and the beach, and during the warm season, many of those who enjoy the blue waters of Isola Bella beach in the Bay of Taormina. This is known for the island, which is connected to the beach via a sandbank. The island is a protected natural oasis that makes this landscape unique. Behind the beach of Isola Bella you will also find the beaches of Mazzarò and Lido Spisone, where in the evenings a club invites you to dance. Other beaches are those of Giardini di Naxos, near Taormina and popular seaside resort among Italian and international tourists. In the neighborhood As one of the most beautiful seaside resorts of the Sicilian east coast, Giardini Naxos is also a popular holiday destination because of its proximity to Taormina. The coast here alternates equipped beaches with open spaces and is rich in hotels, restaurants, pizzerias and nightclubs. In Giardini- Naxos there is also a harbor where large boats can dock. In the hinterland is worth a trip to the medieval village of Castelmola, which is located on the Monte Tauro, higher than Taormina. What you should not miss A performance at the Teatro Greco. From June to August, the Taormina Arte Festival hosts a diverse program of theater and dance performances and music concerts.

 

Next in June will be the Taormina Film Festival, one of the most important film competitions in Italy, with numerous international guests. What you should try A good meal with fish dishes, preferably outdoors under citrus trees, prepared with the natural olive oil extra of the region and accompanied with a good, local wine. If you do not have much time, you can also quickly enjoy a lemon granite (ice-cream with fresh lemon juice) in a hot croissant or a typical Cassata Siciliana at a café along Corso Umberto.

Lipari islands

The Aeolian Islands are among the 53 Italian sites of the World Heritage List as a natural world heritage.
The archipelago of the Aeolian Islands consists of seven splendid islands of Sicily - Lipari, Panarea, Vulcano, Stromboli, Salina, Alicudi and Filicudi - and of some even smaller ones, as well as rocks rising out of the blue and clear sea. The archipelago is characterized by a wild and unspoiled nature as well as by the two active volcanoes, Stromboli and Vulcano. All this attracts thousands of tourists each year, while the main habitat of the archipelago is the municipality of Lipari. All islands belong to the province of Messina.


Lipari
This is the largest island and their community also includes all other islands except Salina.
You should definitely visit the archaeological museum, in the Castello di Lipari, which rises on a promontory between the bays of Marina Lunga and Marina Corta, which are still considered the best berths today. Also very impressive are the ancient Greek Akropoli and the Norman cathedral. Finally, why not enjoy a boat cruise, where you can visit breathtaking coves such as the Fico and the beaches of Vinci, Valle Muria, Punta della Castagna and Capo Rosso.
Panarea
This is the smallest and lowest located (its highest point is at 421 m altitude, the Timpone del Corvo), but also the oldest of the Aeolian Islands. Its pristine beaches, underwater eruptions and nightlife attract numerous tourists from all over the world each year.
With the surrounding islets of Basiluzzo, Spinazzola, Lisca Bianca, Dattilo, Bottaro, Lisca Nera (which is only partially present) and the rocks of the Panarelli and Formiche Panarea forms a small private archipelago. The main tourist town of the island is Sant Pietro, with its characteristic houses, shops and workshops
Volcano
Here, according to the Greek mythology, once the forge of Hephaestus should be, God of fire and blacksmiths. On Vulcano you can find various natural phenomena of volcanic nature, such as fumaroles and solfatars, whose therapeutic effect is highly appreciated, as well as steam ejections both above and below the water surface.
Stromboli
The site of the most active volcano in Europe, you can see spectacular eruptions from the military navy observatory at Punta Labronzo.
If you are lucky, you can admire the so-called Sciara del Fuoco, the lava flow that reaches to the sea.
A visit is also worth the harbor village of San Vincenzo, due to its characteristic white houses, the isolated Ginostra, located on a rock and accessible only by land and the rock of Strombolicchio, on which stands a large lighthouse and its emergence by one of the oldest volcanic eruptions the Aeolian Islands was caused.
Salina
This is the second largest of the archipelago and also has the largest increases in the archipelago.
In Salina we find the beautiful fern forest (Fossa the Felci), which plunges vertically on breathtaking beaches, such as those of Pollara. One should not miss a visit in the house by the film "The Postman" was shot with Massimo Troisi to finally taste one of the famous local granitas.
Alicudi e Filicudi
The westernmost islands, Alicudi and Filicudi, are entirely characterized by volcanic craters, as well as breathtaking wildlife and sprawling seabeds.
In Filicudi you should definitely the cliff La Canna (about 85 m high), the rock Della Fortuna (lucky rock) and the impressive Grotta del Bue.

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