Messina Car Hire
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Widely known for the Norman Messina Cathedral, which features a Gothic gateway, 15th-century windows, and an astronomical clock on its bell tower, Messina has an extensive and fascinating history. Within walking distance are marble fountains adorned with legendary characters, such as the Fontana di Orione and the Neptune Fountain, each with their own unique carved inscriptions. Today, Messina remains an important port for the economies of Sicily and Italy. This is a great spot to start your Sicilian journey because it has a great temperature year-round and a lot of historical buildings.
Book your Messina car hire in advance with Enjoy Travel for the best deals for an epic adventure! You’ll find prices for car hire in Messina starting from just €27 per day for an economy vehicle like an Opel Corsa or similar.
Guide to Messina
Messina is the third-largest city in Sicily and the thirteenth-largest city in Italy. The Strait of Messina serves as a key access point into the Calabria region from Sicily's northeastern portion.
Climate in Messina
The climate in Messina is characterised by long, hot summers with little day-to-day temperature change and dry weather that lasts throughout the year. Messina also experiences a rainy and warm winter.
Because of its natural harbour's form, Messina was originally known as Zancle, which means "scythe" in Greek. However, a legend assigns the name to King Zanclus, who is said to have founded Messina in the eighth century BC. Anaxilas of Rhegium called it Messene in honour of the Greek city of Messene in the early 5th century BC. In 397 BC, the Carthaginians sacked the city, but Dionysius I of Syracuse was able to retake it.
Things to do in Messina
Admire Messina’s cathedral
Erected by the Normans in the 1100s, Messina's main cathedral has late Gothic carved stone entrances, mediaeval relief carvings on the lower façade, and three original apses on the east side. It's one of Sicily's best churches. The Madonna of the Letter (the Patron Saint of Messina) is venerated at the Cathedral; and according to the eponymous letter, around 42 AD, Saint Paul travelled to Messina to proclaim the gospel of Christianity.
Spend some time at Piazza del Duomo
In Piazza del Duomo, in front of the cathedral, stands the Orion statue, which was designed by Michelangelo's pupil in Florence, Giovanni Angelo Montorsoli. Orion, the city's reputed founder, sits atop the pyramid structure. Sirius, his dog, sits at his feet in this illustration of him. Bernard Berenson, a Renaissance art expert, hailed the fountain as the most beautiful of its kind because of its intricate design, craftsmanship, and exquisite detail work.
Gaze at a unique city clock
Another key attraction in Messina is its astronomical clock, one of the best in the world. Every day at noon, the figures begin to move and depict episodes from Messina's history, such as the handing over of the fabled letter of protection from the Madonna to the city. It starts with a gilded lion roaring and waving a flag before 15 minutes of animated characters appearing from windows. It’s a must-see while enjoying a gelato in the piazza.
Eating out in Messina
Even though Sicilian cuisine shares many similarities with Italian fare, it also draws on flavours from the Mediterranean, including Greek, Spanish, French, and Arab cultures. Here are some of our top restaurant recommendations:
For those who want comfort and sophistication, La Durlindana's location in the lovely Villa Luna is ideal. They focus on fresh seafood and Sicilian wines. Trattoria La Sirena offers a spectacular view of the island while enjoying sea breezes. The cuisine features fresh local fish in delicious Sicilian recipes. Il Tagliere is an Italian restaurant where diners may enjoy a tagliere (Italian for “chopping board”). In Italy, chopping boards are ideal alternatives to plates for serving cold meat, cheese, and other classic Italian finger foods. So anticipate olives, Parma ham, and a variety of cheese, among other delicacies.
It's only a 16-kilometre drive from Reggio Calabria (REG) Airport to Messina.
Public and private transportation systems serve Messina's residents, including hydrofoil and ferry boat fleets, as well as bus, tramway, and train systems. However, many visitors travelling across Italy still opt to hire a car for maximum flexibility, comfort, and convenience.
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