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If travelling down from Italy, Messina will be your gateway to Sicily. In fact the channel separating Calabria from the island is called the 'Straits of Messina' and there are frequent ferries connecting the two. According to Greek mythology the two sea monsters Scylla and Charybdis lived on either side of the Straits of Messina posing a constant threat to passing sailors.The region is filled with enchanting clifftop towns such as Forza d'Agro and Savoca where 'The Godfather' movie was filmed and the breathtakingly beautiful town of Taormina. There are also numerous beach resorts - one of the most popular being the bay of Giardini Naxos.

The main city of Messina is the third largest city on the island of Sicily and has a very large and busy port which is overlooked and protected by the statue of the 'Madonnina del Porto'. In 1908 the city was hit by an earthquake which killed almost 60,000 people and destroyed much of the ancient architecture. The city was then rebuilt to more modern plan. In the centre of the city lies the Piazza Duomo which is home to the city's cathedral, the second largest in Sicily after Palermo.

 

San Domenico Palace - Taormina