Messina Cruise Port
We docked in Messina Port as part of the Cunard Queen Mary 2 Dubai to Southampton Cruise. This stop was added to the cruise itinerary at the last minute as we had to cancel our visit to Egypt so I hadn’t done any research prior but it was a nice little port to walk around. There are lots of tour touts offering things to do I did the horse and carriage tour and then walked around the city. It is a pretty place to spend some time having a local beer and people watching in the square.
It was May and the weather in Messina was 20° sunny and comfortable to wear a t-shirt although in the shade it was a bit chilly.
The port terminal is small with no shops but due to the port being right in the city you cross the road and are at shops. There is an information desk but no one was there when we left the port but they did have free maps on the counter.
Outside the terminal you can get taxis further afield and just as we left the main gate taxi drivers came up to us saying we can give you special price and this was a tour of a small town called Taormina 2 hours waiting time for €25 each which seemed reasonable but I had never been to Messina so wanted to check out this city.
The map was very informative giving details about the tram lines, and opening times of the major attractions and suggested walking itineraries.
When you come out of the port terminal cross over the 2 roads, then down a left turning which will bring you to the main square Piazza Duomo. It is a couple of minutes’ walk on flat paved pathways.
At the first main road, you will see horse and carriage tours of the city. I did this is was €10 and we had a live guide on our carriage on the other carriage it was recorded commentary. It was a pleasant 40 minutes’ tour of the city and gave us our bearings to then walk around.
Hop on bus in Messina
It is the big red buses by Citysighseeing. It had two routes and was available in 6 languages. As with all Citysightseeing you get 10% off the price if you have used them before you just need to show your receipt. Price was €10 for blue €15 euro for red or €20 euro for both routes. You can find more information here
Capolinea : Piazza Duomo – Chiesa Ringo Museum – Beach – Lakes – Point Scilly – this route takes you out of the main city area to see some surrounding towns including Paradiso, Contemplazione, Pace, Sant’Agata, Ganzirri and Torre Faro.
Capolinea : ViaGabribaldi – Stutua Don Giovanni – Chiesa Dei Catalani – Piazza Duomo – Galleria Vitt. Emanuele – Fontana Nettuno – Cupola di. S. Guiliano – Sacrario Cristo Re Fontana Nettuno – Prefettura – Teatro Vitt. Emanuele
City Train Tour
The toy train is another way of getting a tour of the area it is €10. This was very popular with families and most of the trains I saw were full. Also they had an accessible carriage and assisted a man in a wheelchair to get on board the train.
Things to see in Messina
The Campanile Del Duomo di Messina is a beautiful cathedral. Outside it looks a little understated but once you are inside, look up and the artwork is beautiful on the ceiling. I like to light a candle in church but here they were electric candles and you put the money in a slot and it turned on.
The bell tower has a mechanical clock performance at 12 pm every day. It is the biggest mechanical clock in the world. Don’t expect too much and you won’t be disappointed, it was pleasant to see. But we waited for two hours to see this as we were told it was a not to be missed thing in Messina. At around 11.30 the coaches started arriving so the square got quite busy. The bell tower rings it bell and music is played whilst the statues in the tower move. The lion roars and moves slightly, the metal statues move and its looks like Jesus is raising from the dead although I am not quite sure if that’s what it is supposed to be.
In the square are some souvenir shops, cafes and lots of people coming up to you asking if you want to buy some souvenirs they were slightly annoying.
Food and Drink in Messina
Many the shops were closed the day we visited as it was a national holiday. However, opposite the port terminal is a wine shop called Principi Di Sicilia. A few of the crew were sat outside so we knew they had free Wi-Fi. The wines in the shop started at €13. I purchased a bottle of sparkling for €15 as a treat, the gentleman in the shop explained how the wine was produced by them and was on par with a good champagne or prosecco. They also had red and wine wines produced by them. It was a popular place with all the tables taken inside and people telling us how delicious the wine for more information see their website Principi Di Sicilia
Sicilian Ice cream is supposed to be good but after being on a cruise ship the last thing I was to do when we get into port is eat so I didn’t try any of the local delicacies. Although we were told by a tour guide to try Arancini which is their national dish, a fried rice ball stuffed with beef and pork ragu, peas and caciocavallo cheese or a variety of other fillings. Also, Cannoli is supposed to be good I have had it in other places but not in Sicily which is a shame it is a fried rolled wafer stuffed with sweetened sheep ricotta cheese and candies fruit.
When you go back on board the ship you show your ship card at the gate and then there is no more security, you walk directly onto the ship which was berthed near the terminal. I noticed no toilets in the port terminal.
Mount Etna 90km
Taormina – A charming resort town perched high on a cliff giving excellent views.
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