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Trip Planner Europe  /  Italy  /  Sicily  /  Province of Messina  /  Messina
(3.8/5 based on 2,600+ reviews for top 30 attractions)
Things to do: sightseeing, historic sites, religious sites
Messina is the capital of the Italian province of Messina. It is the 3rd largest city on the island of Sicily, and the 13th largest city in Italy, with a population of more than 252,000 inhabitants in the city proper and about 650,000 in the province. It is located near the northeast corner of Sicily, at the Strait of Messina, opposite Villa San Giovanni on the mainland, and has close ties with Reggio Calabria.The city's main resources are its seaports, cruise tourism, commerce, and agriculture . The city has been a Roman Catholic Archdiocese and Archimandrite seat since 1548 and is home to a locally important international fair. The city has the University of Messina, founded in 1548 by Ignatius of Loyola.HistoryFounded by Greek colonists in the 8th century BC, Messina was originally called Zancle, from the meaning "scythe" because of the shape of its natural harbour (though a legend attributes the name to King Zanclus). A comune of its province, located at the southern entrance of the Strait of Messina, is to this day called 'Scaletta Zanclea'. In the early 5th century BC, Anaxilas of Rhegium renamed it Messene in honour of the Greek city Messene. (See also List of traditional Greek place names.) The city was sacked in 397 BC by the Carthaginians and then reconquered by Dionysius I of Syracuse.
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