Get Up Close To Messina Cathedral’s Astronomical Clock
It’s hard to miss Messina’s Roman Catholic cathedral, which is a triumph of gothic architecture in the most historic area of the city. Most noteworthy of all is the structure’s bell tower, where you will see the biggest astronomical clock in the world, powered by intricate mechanics. At midday, this system of gears, counterweights and levers brings the facade to life, as gilded statues mark the passing of time.
For a chance to see the inner workings up close, climb the staircase inside the bell tower and see the figures and gears from a different angle. Continue to the top of the tower to get fantastic views of Messina and the strait that separates it from Italy.
Track Down All Five Fountains
A fun activity for families is to go on something akin to a treasure hunt, tracking down all five fountains that were designed by Giovanni Angelo Montorsoli, a disciple of the great Michelangelo. Each one is dominated by a different character, with the likes of Orion, the mythical founder of the city, and Neptune, who rules the seas, two of the most exciting to spot.
Get A Glimpse Of Liberty Style At Villa De Pasquale
At the end of the 19th century, art nouveau took off across the world, but in Italy and Sicily, it has its own form, known as Liberty Style. A number of beautiful properties were built by families in this stunning trend and among them was Villa De Pasquale. It’s located in the village of Contesse, where you can see the grounds Eugenio De Pasquale planted with jasmine and orange.
The villa itself has been fully renovated and is a stunning example of Liberty Style. Step inside to see the grand ballroom and collection of items put together by De Pasquale and his wife over the years. Laboratories within the grounds still make refined essences to this day, which is a wonderful nod to the original owner.
Taste The Local Sweet Treats
No trip to Sicily would be complete without indulging in cannoli. These tube-shaped pastries are typically filled with ricotta and dusted with icing sugar, although there are a number of alternative flavours to try. Head to Pasticceria Irrera 1910 in Piazza Cairoli to try some of the best cannoli on the whole island.
If you’re cruising to Messina during the summer months, then there’s another sweet treat that will hit the mark. Granita is a glass of flavoured crushed ice and is the most refreshing way to cool down on a hot day. Opt for the zesty lemon version or a decadent coffee and cream alternative.