Visit Messina in One Day
cosa vedere a messina in un girno

What to See in Messina

A city located at the northeastern tip of Sicily. Even though visiting Messina in one day is not enough to fully discover this beautiful city, we have prepared an itinerary that will allow you to have an unforgettable Messina experience.

If you are in Messina on a cruise or have decided to spend a day in this seaside town in Sicily, you should start with a series of main places to make the most of your one-day visit. Below, we have listed the must-see locations, accompanied by brief descriptions that will provide clarity for your Messina tour.

The Cathedral of Messina

Start your day at the majestic Cathedral of Messina. Admire the world’s largest astronomical clock and the splendid Baroque facade. The bell tower, known as the “Guglia dell’Immacolata,” is an icon of the city.

Useful information for visiting the Cathedral

  • Opening hours: 7:30 AM – 12:30 PM / 4:00 PM – 7:30 PM every day.
  • Weekday masses: 7:30 AM, 6:00 PM.
  • Sunday and holiday masses: 8:30 AM, 10:30 AM, 12:15 PM, 6:00 PM.
  • August 15th masses: 8:30 AM, 11:00 AM, in the evening after the Vara procession.
  • Visitor services: Cathedral audio guide €3.00.
  • Guided tours are available by reservation for groups in Italian, English, French, and Spanish.

Get to the Cathedral: Open map.

Visit Fontana di Orione

Take a stroll to the Fountain of Orion, a Baroque fountain dating back to 1553, located in the city’s Cathedral Square. This artwork offers a unique and refreshing atmosphere for onlookers.

Get to the Fountain: Open map.

Promenade along the Seaside

Messina’s promenade is a picturesque coastal strip, offering a spectacular panoramic view of the Strait of Messina, separating Sicily from Calabria. The promenade is a trendy destination for residents and tourists, offering numerous points of interest and green areas. Some points of interest on the Messina promenade include:

  1. Neptune Fountain: This majestic fountain with a statue of Neptune is located at the beginning of the promenade and is an iconic feature of the landscape.
  2. Villa Mazzini: A public park with well-maintained gardens, ideal for strolls and relaxation.

Get to the Seaside: Open map.

Regional Interdisciplinary Museum

Often abbreviated as the “Museo Regionale di Messina,” it is one of the city’s major cultural institutions. This museum is known for its extensive collection of archaeological artifacts, artworks, and historical objects covering a wide range of disciplines and historical periods.

Useful information for visiting the Museum

  • Opening hours: Every day from 9:00 AM to 7:00 PM.
  • Full price tickets: €8.00 Reduced price: €4.00.
  • Free admission: First Sunday of the month.
  • Visitor services: Disability access, educational activities, a bookshop, exhibitions, guided tours.

Get to the Museum: Open map.

Annunziata dei Catalani Church

The Church of Annunziata dei Catalani has a rich and complex history. It was founded by King Peter of Aragon in 1320 and served as a place of worship for the Catalan community residing in Messina. Over the centuries, the church underwent several renovations and restorations due to damage from earthquakes and fires. Despite these vicissitudes, the church has remained a symbol of religious and cultural importance in the city. Inside the church, you can admire various works of great historical and artistic significance. One of the most famous pieces is the exquisite painting depicting the Annunciation, created by Antonello da Messina. This work is notable for its realism and its influence on Renaissance art.

Useful information for visiting the Church

  • Opening hours: Every day from 8:30 AM to 10:30 AM.
  • Tickets: Free.

Get to the Church: Open map.

Enjoy the local cuisine of Messina

We couldn’t forget a brief culinary tour. Messina’s food is rich in flavors and ancient culture. Enjoy the famous arancini, pasta alla norma, and local granitas. Swordfish “alla ghiotta,” caponata, and brioche with gelato.

Where to eat well in Messina

  • Trattoria Casa & Putia: Via San Camillo, 14 – Tel. 0902402887.
  • Don Minico for street food: C.da Colle San Rizzo – SS 113 – Tel. 0909587030.
  • Griglieria Il Terzo Posto: V.le San Martino, 25 – Tel. 090663095.
  • Rosticceria Fratelli Famulari: Via Cesare Battisti, 143 – Tel. 090771447.
  • La Dolce Pasticceria: Via Cesare Battisti, 55 – Tel. 0909034800.
  • Pasticceria & Gelateria Morabito: Via Marco Polo, 437 – Tel. 090622357.
  • Bar Irrera: Piazza Cairoli, 12 – Tel 090712148.

Visit Taormina from Messina

A nearby alternative if you still have time or if the attractions in Messina don’t satisfy you and you want to explore more Sicilian beauties, Taormina is a must-visit destination. This picturesque town on the Ionian coast is located just a few kilometers from Messina. Taormina is famous for its splendid ancient theater with a sea view, cobblestone streets, elegant boutiques, and breathtaking views.

To visit Taormina on a tour from Messina, you have several options:

Organized tours to Taormina from Messina

One of the most common options to visit Taormina from Messina is to book an organized tour. Day excursions from Messina to Taormina are offered, including bus or minivan transportation, a tour guide, and often entrance tickets to sites like the Greek Theater in Taormina. This is a convenient option as it relieves you of the worry of organizing transportation, tours, and return timing, especially if you are on a cruise and need to adhere to boarding schedules.

Click here to see organized tours to Taormina from Messina.

Public transportation from Messina

If you prefer a more budget-friendly option, you can reach Taormina from Messina using public transportation services. Take a train from Messina to Taormina-Giardini, the nearest train station to Taormina. From Taormina-Giardini station, you can take a bus or a taxi to reach the historic center of Taormina, which is located atop the hill above the station. Make sure to check train and bus schedules in advance.

Car rental in Messina

If you want maximum flexibility in exploring Taormina and its surroundings, you can rent a car in Messina and drive to Taormina. This will allow you to explore the city and surrounding attractions at your own pace.

Once in Taormina, there are many things to do and see. Some of the points of interest include the Greek Theater, Corso Umberto (a bustling street with shops and restaurants), the Public Garden, and the Belvedere of Taormina, from which you can enjoy spectacular views of the sea and Mount Etna.

Before leaving, make sure to check the train or bus schedules for your return to Messina to ensure a smooth journey back. Taormina is one of Sicily’s gems and is definitely worth visiting, so plan your excursion from Messina to fully enjoy this charming city.

Click here to see organized tours to Taormina from Messina.

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