Messina, Italy cruise holidays
Messina sits on a curved harbour at the northernmost point of Sicily’s Ionian Coast, a few kilometres from mainland Italy. An earthquake in 1908 flattened much of the original town, but the Sicilian cruise port Messina bounced back and it has since enhanced one of its major surviving attractions - the Duomo.
The Duomo, a 12th century Norman church built by the unusually-named Count Roger II - with the installation of an astronomical clock in the bell tower. Made in Strasbourg in 1933, the clock face shows the planetary system representing the days of the week and the age of man. There are more Norman churches, several beautiful medieval fountains and a fascinating museum to see and visit in the town centre before you head for the areas main attractions: Mount Etna or the magnificent hill-top town of Taormina, overlooking the Bay of Giardini, which has one of the largest Greco-Roman theatres in the world and is full of fascinating nooks and crannies, arty stores, and tasty cafes and restaurants.
Sicily is a filmmaker’s dream. Much of Cinema Paradiso was shot in northwestern Sicily, while many scenes from the Godfather trilogy were shot here. Devotees of the film can follow in the Godfathers’ footsteps with an excursion to the pretty hillside villages of Savoca – home of Bar Vitelli – and Forza d'Agro.