THE WONDERS OF MESSINA AND THE REGIONAL MUSEUM
Beautiful public buildings and places of worship, the panorama of the Strait of Messina, the bell tower and the splendid Regional Museum: Messina is brimming with a wealth of treasures ready to be discovered.
What we will see
- Regional Museum: Polyptych of St Gregory, the Adoration of the Shepherds and the Raising of Lazarus
- City centre Via Garibaldi, Vittorio Emanuele Opera House, City Hall, Church of the Annunciation of the Catalans and Church of Christ the King
- Piazza Duomo and the Norman Cathedral
- The Bell Tower
What we will do
- We set of by coach from the port, accompanied by a local guide.
- We make our way to the Regional Museum, which features works of art from the collections of the Peloritano Civic Museum, and other public buildings and places of worship destroyed in the devastating earthquake of 1908. Among the major works on display we find Antonello da Messinas Polyptych of St Gregory and two masterpieces by Caravaggio, the Adoration of the Shepherds and the Raising of Lazarus.
- After our visit to the museum, we take a panoramic tour of the historic city centre. We drive along the via Garibaldi, and then we stop to admire the Vittorio Emanuele Opera House, built in the impressive Neo-classical style at the behest of Bourbon King Ferdinand II. It was inaugurated in 1852 but had to be almost entirely rebuilt after the earthquake in 1908.
- Not to be missed are the classical style City Hall, and the Church of the Annunciation of the Catalans, which was built between the 12th and 13th centuries on what is thought to be the site of an earlier, pagan temple. We make our way past the Law Courts and the University to the Church of Christ the King which we view from the outside. Designed by Giovan Battista Milani in 1937, this domed shrine dominates the city skyline, while the adjacent belvedere offers a breathtaking view of the Strait of Messina.
- Next, we head to Piazza Duomo and pay a visit to the splendid Normal Cathedral that dates back to the 12th century. The three Gothic portals in the imposing façade give an early clue to the three aisles of the bright, spacious interior, where we find statues of the twelve apostles.
- In Piazza Duomo we can also watch the marvellous astronomical clock of the cathedrals bell tower with scenes and figures animated by complex mechanisms. Built by Ungerer in 1933 the clock has 33,000 gears!