Messina is the third largest city on the island Sicily, Italy, and the capital of the Messina province. It's located near the northeastern corner of Sicily, at the Strait of Messina.
Also founded by Greeks in the 8th century BC, Messina was originally called Zancle. After the fall of the Roman Empire, the city was successively conquered by the Goths, then by the Byzantine Empire in 535, by the Arabs in 842, and in 1061 by the Norman brothers Robert Guiscard and Roger Guiscard (later count Roger I of Sicily). In 1189 the English King Richard I stopped at Messina in his travel to the Holy Land and briefly occupied the city.
The city was almost entirely destroyed by an earthquake and a tsunami on the morning of December 28, 1908. The city was largely rebuilt in the following year, according to a more modern and rational plan. Further damage was added in the second World War by the Allied air bombardments from 1943.
Messina is a place for some of the best beach vacations in Italy, but it offer also other interesting tourist attractions such as: the 12th century Cathedral, which contains the remains of Conrad, king of Germany and Sicily in the 13th century, the church Annunziata dei Catalani, dating from the late Norman period, and the church Santa Maria degli Alemanni (from the 13th century), which belonged to the Knights of Malta; other places worth to a visit are Palazzo Calapaj, the Fountain of Orion and the Fountain of Neptune, and the San Ranieri lighthouse.
Messina has some of the best beaches from Sicily, Italy, so no wonder that many vacationers choose it as their travel destination. Beaches from Capo D'Orlando are considered to be the best. The coast from Messina is characterized by the reef of Saint Gregorio, with view of the Aeolian Islands, and Tindari.
Being a big city, finding accommodations in the beach resorts of Messina usually is not a problem. Still, in the peek season most of the rooms are occupied and especially the hotels and villas from the beach are crowded. So, if you intend to spend beach vacations in Messina or just to stop along your tour of Sicily it's advisable to book your room well in advance.