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How to Spend 3 Days in Messina

How to Spend 3 Days in Messina

Messina has long been the gateway to Sicily, and with three days you can both pause at the threshold to discover the city’s treasures and pass through to explore the island’s most important sights. You’ll even have time to experience Sicily as it’s depicted on the silver screen. Here are your options for three days in Messina.

Day 1: Messina’s Culture and Cuisine

Dedicate your first day to the culture and cuisine of the island’s largest port city. Though a disastrous 1908 earthquake and intensive World War II bombing destroyed much of Messina, a clutch of historic headliners remain. Take a walking or Segway tour through the old town to admire highlights such as the cathedral and the Norman Church of the Santissima Annunziata dei Catalani. Afterwards, pop in to see the Renaissance and baroque masterpieces in the Regional Museum, pausing before works by Antonello da Messina and Caravaggio. Finish your day by diving into the city’s culinary heart with a street-food tour or an in-home cooking lesson followed by a lively family-style meal.

Day 2: The Heights of Taormina and Mt. Etna

Set off south along the Ionian coast to one of the most beautiful towns in Sicily: Taormina. Perched on a hilltop above the coastline, the old town is home to the magnificent 2nd-century Greek Theater and 13th-century cathedral, as well as the bustling Corso Umberto I thoroughfare and Piazza IX Aprile, with its scenic terrace overlooking the countryside to the sea. From Taormina, make a quick stop either above or below town in the charming hilltop village of Castelmola or coastal outcrop of Isola Bella. Finally, take a guided walk on Mt. Etna, Europe’s largest active volcano, then stop at one of the mountainside wineries on the way back down for a tasting.

Day 3: Sicily on the Silver Screen

Sicily is the setting for much of The Godfather, and fans of Francis Ford Coppola’s iconic franchise can join themed tours that trace the series’ most important locations. Godfather completists will enjoy visiting the village of Savoca, backdrop to the wedding between Michael Corleone and Apollonia Vitelli in the church of Santa Lucia. Most tours also stop in Forza D’agrò, where Santa Annunziata Cathedral stood in for the main square of Corleone, as well as at the villa where Michael was ultimately betrayed and Apollonia killed. Also learn about the history of Sicily’s mafia, its clan wars, and its spread to the New World from your guide before returning to Messina.

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3 Tours and Activities

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2-Hour Messina Walking Tour

2-Hour Messina Walking Tour

star-4.5
72
Explore the historic city of Messina on a walking tour with a local guide that’s a great overview and orientation for first-time visitors. Learn about Sicily’s Arab-Norman heritage as you make your way from Cathedral Square to a series of churches, landmarks, and artwork, and hear stories from Messina’s fascinating past. Multiple departures are available throughout the day.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$30.28
From
$30.28
Taking safety measures

Private Tour to Taormina and Castelmola from Messina

Private Tour to Taormina and Castelmola from Messina

star-5
8
Explore the beautiful seaside resort towns of Taormina and Castelmola with a private tour from Messina. See Taormina's ancient Greek Theater overlooking the beach. Gaze at the gorgeous Giardini Naxos Bay to understand why this area has been a popular resort for a very long time. Continue to nearby Castelmola to browse its small boutiques before returning back to Messina.
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  • 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$199.79
From
$199.79

Private cooking class at a Cesarina's home with tasting in Messina

Private cooking class at a Cesarina's home with tasting in Messina

star-5
2
Learn the secrets of Sicilian cuisine—and cook with a Messina local in their own home—when you sign up for this immersive, private cooking class. Pick between morning and afternoon class times to best suit your schedule. You’ll be cooking alongside a Cesarina; a local ambassador of Italian cuisine that has been carefully vetted and is part of a national network. Enjoy an authentic experience, prepare several gourmet dishes, and sit down to enjoy your meal (with local wine on the side).
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$171.18
From
$171.18