Messina is one of the most beautiful cities in Sicily, and it’s easy to see why. Its medieval center is filled with cobblestone streets and gorgeous churches that date back to the Middle Ages.
But this city has so much more than its rich history: It also boasts a wide array of museums and cultural attractions—including world-renowned artwork at the Museo Regionale Interdisciplinary (MURI), a stunning cathedral that overlooks the harbor…and much more! Here are some of best things to see in Messina Sicily:
1. Duomo di Messina: (Cathedral of Messina):
The Duomo di Messina is the largest church in Sicily and one of the largest churches in Italy. It is also one of the most important examples of Sicilian Baroque architecture, designed by Ignazio Pellegrini between 1718 and 1787. It’s hard to miss—the dome is so high that it looks like a piece from a different planet!
Palazzo Comunale: This building was built as a prison during Spanish rule but then converted into an administrative center after being liberated by Garibaldi’s troops during their campaign against Naples in 1860-61. Today it serves as city hall for Messina’s administration offices located inside its courtyard, which features beautiful greenery due to its status as part of UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1997.”
2. Porta Grazia
The first thing you should do when visiting Messina is to walk through the old city wall. You’ll see many of the sites that make up this UNESCO World Heritage Site, including Porta Grazia (Grazia Gate). It’s an excellent place to start your tour of Messina because it gives you a glimpse into its medieval history and architecture.
Inside this gate are two museums: one dedicated to local artworks and artifacts from the area and another explicitly dedicated to archeology—the latter being divided into sections covering pre-Roman Periods through Medieval times until today.
The first part of this museum contains mosaics found throughout Messina during excavations done by archaeologists between 1968 and 1974; they’re displayed against white walls so they can be seen clearly without interference from other objects nearby (which would ruin their aesthetic appeal).
There’s also a section devoted solely toward artwork created locally during these years; paintings include works by Giovanni Battista Tommasi, who painted murals around churches throughout Sicily before dying at age 60 due to complications related to his tuberculosis infection!
3. Museo Regionale
Museo Regionale is a must-see if you’re in Messina. The museum is located in the Castello di San Michele, built by Frederick II of Sicily (also King of Germany and Holy Roman Emperor) after he defeated the Saracens at the Battle of Tagliacozzo in 1268.
☛ The exhibits here include:
☛ Paintings from all over Sicily, including works by Rafael Zabala and Giuseppe De Nittis.
☛ Sculptures by Francesco De Sanctis.
☛ Ceramics from different periods.
☛ Maps showing ancient settlements.
☛ Weapons have been used during different wars throughout history.
☛ Coins dating back hundreds of years are still being used today (like these ones).
The museum also offers guided family tours for visitors who want to learn more about their region or country through history—and if you don’t have time for that, free self-guided tours are available too! There’s even an audio guide available, so those who aren’t able to read Italian can still enjoy what they see at no extra cost!
4. Piazza del Duomo
Piazza del Duomo is one of the Best Things To See In Messina Sicily, its the main square in Messina. It is home to the Duomo di Messina, a beautiful cathedral built in 1878 and can be seen from many different places around town.
This square also contains other essential buildings such as:
Palazzo Comunale – This building houses several municipal offices for tourism and culture. It was constructed between 1750 and 1800 with an Egyptian-style facade inspired by ancient Egyptian architecture; it has been restored several times since then so that people today may experience its unique beauty!
Torre dell Orologio (Clock Tower) – Built between 1473-1481 by order of King Ferdinand I over his wife’s wishes because she wanted him to replace one made by Michelangelo Buonarroti himself; this tower serves as an example of medieval Sicilian architecture because it has remained unchanged through time while most other structures have undergone extensive renovations during recent centuries due primarily to earthquakes which have cracked walls open at various points throughout history.”
5. The Astronomical Clock
The Astronomical Clock is the oldest clock in Sicily and a symbol of Messina. It was built by the architect and engineer Giambattista Della Porta, who designed it to show the position of the sun, moon, and stars at different times during each day. It has been restored several times since its construction in 1588 but has remained an essential part of Messina’s history.
The clock faces east towards Piazza Matteotti so that people can easily see it from their homes or businesses while enjoying their meals outdoors on warm summer evenings!
6. University of Messina
The University of Messina is located on the outskirts of Messina, Sicily. It’s a public university and offers undergraduate programs ranging from medicine to law. Students can also pursue graduate studies in these fields or opt for master’s degrees offered by other institutions throughout Italy.
The University has several different campuses: one located in the city center, another at Salinas di Piazza Grande (the most popular place for students), and yet another on Via D’Amico, which provides residential housing for faculty members who need it. Admission requirements vary depending on what degree you want; however, most students must take an entrance exam before being accepted into one of its programs!
In addition to offering coursework related directly to your primary area(s) (such as Accounting), this institution provides more than just general education classes like English language proficiency tests, so feel free to check out their website before applying anytime soon!
7. Castello di Calatabiano
Castello di Calatabiano is a medieval fortress built by the Normans in the 11th century. It was later rebuilt by the Aragonese, and it’s now considered a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The castle is one of the most beautiful castles in Sicily, with its white walls and towers that rise up from the waters off Messina’s coast.
8. Sanctuary of Montalto
The Sanctuary of Montalto is a religious building located south of Messina, Sicily. It was built by order of Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor, in 1237 and became an official imperial church in 1528.
The sanctuary has been continuously inhabited since then, with many beautiful frescoes depicting scenes from the life of Saint Theodore Stratelates (in Greek: Τεύτων Στρατολέγκος).
The interior decoration included two altars dedicated to Saints Peter and Paul and was completed by Francesco di Giorgio Martini who also designed another nearby church called Santissima Annunziata Delle Arbite or “Sant’Anastasia.”
9. Faro Punta Pezzo
Located on the northern coast of Sicily, Faro Punta Pezzo is a vital lighthouse built in 1837. It still stands today and is one of the most essential lighthouses in Sicily.
10. Museo Regionale Interdisciplinare
The Museo Regionale Interdisciplinare is a museum in Messina, Sicily. It was opened in 2005 and had an extensive collection of Sicilian art. The museum is located in the Palazzo Della Cultura and is open every day except Mondays and public holidays.
Messina is a delightful Sicilian city to visit with many things to see and do. It’s easy to get around the city, as there are many places to stay. For more information about this beautiful place, check out some of our other articles!
Over to You:
Messina is a great city to visit and explore. There are so many things to do and a lot of beaches in Sicily that you can easily spend your entire vacation here without realizing it! If you’re looking for more ideas of best things to do in Messina Sicily, check out our other articles on the best places around town.