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28 April 2017

Messina the Gate of the Sicily

Messina is the first town you enter when you go with a train in Sicily.

Yes, you understood it correctly: you can visit all the towns of Sicily coming from Salerno with a train. You simply arrive with your train in Villa San Giovanni, a port in front of Messina. Your train enters in a special ship and continues it's way after half an hour in Sicily.

You arrive there from Salerno in 5 hours. There are 3 trains a day with the last stop Palermo. So, you can take Intercity Night and arrive in Palermo in the morning.

Messina, Sicily, a train enters in the ferry

Messina, Sicily, train inside a ferry
 The ferry needs about 30 minutes to cross the channel and you have time to go out from your carriage, go up the next to your door staircase and observe the sea or eat something. Turn back when you see the ferry arrives in the port and continue your trip.

The strait you cross could tell you very interesting stories. One of them is Odysseus That Sailes 10 Years Round Sicily

I visited Messina the first time this February. I One of my kittens found it's new dad there, so I took him to his new owner. 
I do not why, but I could not purchase a ticket for the next train back from the site of Trenitalia, so I had about 8 hours to wait for my train that was at the 12 of the night.

As I do always, I take with me or buy a city map when I arrive in a town. I normally trace the itinerary that interest me and - the adventure begins.

With 9 kittens in my house I had not time to study interesting places of Messina, so everything I've seen was a surprize for me.  

This church was the first of surprizes. 
You know that I was a member of the Archeological Group of Salerno of 15 years and we have a very particular building there: a royal palace of Arechi II, the longobard prince of Benevento. Than, there are different places built by Normanns. Very little piece of a wall of where Constance, the wife of Henry VI, was captured, consegned by Salernitans to her enemy, nephew Tankredy.
So, this church has the same architecture!!!
I was really without words and could not close my mouth.
The church was closed, but when I passed nearby once more, some persons come there and opened it. I cried: oh, you came here to open it for me??? -No, signora, it's not for you! 
But I did not want to hear nothing and they could not stop me.

Next interesting church was this cathedral. The bell tower is modern with the spectacular figures of the wall clock, but I did not see the performance and could only enjoy the outside look.

All the churches had interesting lights: they emphasize the most important parts. Here you can see some beautiful examples. First you see only one part of the chapel, than they illuminate all it. If you see it from some meters, you have very hard impression.

This one part of this very big square.

Over the town, there was an other interesting buildng,but the day came to the end and I was not sure if it's secure enough to walk so far from the center here.

So, I turned in the direction of the sea and continued my excursion there. The first I've seen when I passed near a little greenery - it was to little to call it a park, was this sign, written in Russian "Russian Sailors Square".

No, I was simply not ready to see something like this. I did not know that the Russian sailors helped the residents of the city after the earthquacke of 1908. 
The sad fact is that the "old" churches and other buildings are not old really: everything was destroyed in the town.

The night arrives quickly in February, I had still 4 or 5 hours to wait, but did not want to stay in the street. There were some shops open and I found some bars and local fast foods. 
After it I turned back to the sea. 

I don't know if it was a period when there are not many persons in Messina, but in all that hours I was there, I've seen practically empty streets.  

I liked this town, and, if one has more time, than I had, there are places to visit in the town or nearby. But I honestly think, it's not a place to stay more than one day.

We’d love to hear your comments and experiences. Feel free to leave a comment or ask a question, below, in the comment section.

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