view of Messina straight
photo by David Evers

Messina is in the northeast of Sicily, Italy. It is only 5 km across the Straits of Messina to the region of Calabria on the mainland.

Getting there

By Boat

There are at least hourly ferries to Villa San Giovanni on the mainland and also several hydrofoils each day to Reggio di Calabria.

Some days, visitors arrive by cruise ships...most frequently in the summer season. Ships often berth right downtown, within an easy walk to a popular piazza, dominated by the clock tower (pictured), and which is served by many tour buses and a hop-on/hop-off double-decked bus offering a modest overview of the waterfront portion of the city.

By Train

Messina is Sicily's link to the main Italian train network. Long distance trains from Rome and Naples cross the Straits of Messina by ferry and continue on to Palermo and Catania. Regular regional trains also run to Milazzo, Cefalu, Taormina and Syracuse.

By Bus

Long-distance buses stop in Messina, linking Rome and Naples to Catania and Palermo. Regular buses also run to Taormina and Milazzo (for the Aeolian Islands).


The best pizza in town is Pizza Capitano just off Piazza Cairoli. The owner is a little gruff however the wood oven gives an authentic Sicilian flavor. Its also excellent value and is always busy especially during Series A football matches when the atmosphere reaches fever pitch.

  • Al Gattopardo, +39 090 673076, Via Santa Cecilia, 184 - Messina (ME)

  • Bacco, +39 0090 771420, Via Cernaia, 15 - Messina (ME)

For visitors there for just a day, look for family pastry store that offer canoli...a genuine Sicilian treat.


For a taste of Irish authenticity drop into Dockers near the cruise mooring area.



  • La Residenze hotel Residence, charming elegant four stars hotel in the center of Messina.

  • Hotel il Mulino, Via A. Doria, 46, Capo D'Orlando - Messina, Ph. +39.0941.902431 Fax +39.0941.911614 . Among the hotels in Capo d'Orlando, the Hotel Il Mulino boasts a privileged position: overlooking the sea on the beautiful sandy beach in the center of Capo d’Orlando. The hotel is about 200 meters from the pedestrian area and about 300 meters from the train station.

  • Liberty Hotel, Via I Settembre, 15, 98123, Tel.: + 39 090 6409436, Fax: + 39 090 6409340 . Situated in the heart of Messina, NH Liberty, built in 1930, and newly renovated in a major refurbishment. It's position makes it ideal for business stays as well as holidays. There is another NH if this one is full.

  • Il Parco degli Ulivi , +39 090.3379529, +39 090.3379529, Contrada Romeo, 98049 Villafranca Tirrena (ME)

  • Tourist Village Capo Calavà, C.da Capo Calavà, Gioiosa Marea - Messina, Ph. +39.0941.302501 Fax +39.0941.301188. Tourist Village Capo Calavà of Gioiosa Marea, directly on the beach and in the heart of a verdant park in Sicily with a piano bar, discotheque, miniclub, restaurant, wellness center, business center, and 280 comfortable rooms. Prices start from 420€ per week.


  • Hilton Hotel Portarosa Messina – Complesso Turistico Portorosa – Cap: 98054 Furnari (ME) - Sicily. . Telephone +39 0941 802 500 • Fax +39 0941 802 555. The Hilton Hotel Portorosa is a luxury four star hotel located outside the city of Messina with private beach, spa centre, and windsurfing and sailing class, plus a Congress Centre for the ideal business meeting just a two steps away from the Sicilian Sea.

  • Hotel Royal Palace In the heart of the commercial centre of Messina, 200 meters far from the station, this Hotel constitutes the reference point on the market of the hotel offered in the city of the Strait. The restaurant "Lo Scrigno" offers to its customers a refined service and the best dishes of the cuisine of Messina and Sicily and selected specialties of the National cuisine as well.

  • Grand Avalon Sikani Resort & Residence Sicily , +39 0941 301100, Contrada Licari, Goioiosa Marea (ME) 98063, Features 119 guest and family rooms wit sea view of the Aeolian Islands. Private beach. Located in the Northern Coast of Sicily (Goioiosa Marea)very near Messina. Facilities: A/C, Infinity swimming pool, sea-view solarium, running center, Spa & Wellnes center, banquet facilities, conference centre

Contact & location

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The photos displayed on this page are the property of one of the following authors:

David Evers, Al Ianni, Vito Manzari, Marcello Mento, marsem

Some photos courtesy of: , . The photos provided by Flickr, Panoramio are under the copyright of their owners.

This travel guide also includes text from Wikitravel articles, all available at WikitravelView full credits

Matias, Stacy Hall, Max, Daniel Cowan and Niels Elgaard Larsen, Tatatabot, Rodericoco, Morph, Travelbubble and Episteme

This travel guide also includes text from Wikipedia articles, all available at WikipediaView full credits

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