Messina, the town
Although the dynamism, characteristic of a port town, Messina surprises the visitors with its works of art hidden in churches and buildings, with its wonderful panoramic view of the Straits and its traditional religious feasts. It should not be right to consider Messina only as a town rebuilt after the incredible earthquakes and the devastating bombing. Founded by the Greeks with the name of Zancle, that means sickle, beacuse of the special shape of its natural port, Messina were ruled by Romans, Goths, Byzantines, Arabs, Normans. In the history of this town, it is important to underline the strenght of its inhabitants who wanted to rebuild buildings and monuments after the earthquake, trying to respect original structure and aspect. An example of this feature is the fountain of Nettuno, next to the tourist port, just in front of the government building, in fact for the most part the work looks like the original created by Giovanni Montorsoli, pupil of Michelangelo. He wanted to carve the god of sea in the act of calming the waters with his hand and with the monsters of Scilla and Cariddi, imprisoned at his feet. Going on Via Garibaldi, in direction of the Port, it is possible to admire the neoclassic shapes of the Teatro Vittorio Emanuele II and those of the municipal building. Next to it, at Largo Minutoli, there is a nineteenth century statue representing Messina, with its mural crown and the emblems of commerce, turned towards the sea. Survived to the destruction and valuable proof of Byzantine and Arab-Norman domination, the church of Annunziata dei Catalani is characterised by the polychrome weave of its walls and for the fact that is down, at the original level of the town. Going into Via Primo Settembre, you arrive to the Cathedral, with its original Norman architecture that has suffered many restructurings; the clock of the bell tower is a complex mechanical device that every day at noon moves some golden bronze figures connected to the history of Messina. It is a show that you have absolutely to see.