Orions fountain in Sicily (Messina), Italy
Messina's panoramic views and patchwork of architectural styles are an invitation for the creative photographer. The Neptune and Orione fountains created by Michelangelo's collaborator, Montorsoli are renaissance masterpieces.
An ancient eternal calendar
Head to the Astronomical Clock at noon to catch the tower's daily spectacle, starring its bronze statue carousel. The 12th-century Santissima Annunziata Church, Gothic-style Messina Cathedral and the 19th-century Galleria V. Emanuele III span through centuries of architectural diversity.
Once you reach the Sacrario di Cristo Re, you'll discover a panoramic view of the strait and most of Messina. Visit the beautiful temple and the tomb of the unknown soldier during your Sicily cruise. Afterwards, walk back down to Piazza Cairoli to Viale San Martino where you can enjoy a refreshing granita, a sorbet-like Sicilian treat.
The cuisine here is one of the most antique in Sicily, with influences from Greek and Arabic cultures. Try Messina specialty la ghiotta di pesce stocco, filets of cod or swordfish baked in tomato sauce with potatoes, capers and herbs. Sample Sicilian bucatini, which combines pasta with local sardines and North African-inspired flavours like saffron, pine nuts and raisins. Or hit up the street vendors for arancini, the cheesy balls of fried rice that are the ultimate Sicilian comfort food.
Shop in local markets for the typical products, such as cheese, figs and marzipan. Visit the Galleria V. Emanuele – the world's oldest active shopping centre, dating back to the 1800s – for artisanal crafts such as coral jewellery, hand-painted glazed ceramics and fine crocheted items. Stop in the small shops off the main roads to see artisans at work during your Sicily cruise.
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