Things to do in
Messina

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Our most recommended things to do in Messina

Taormina: Skip-the-Line Entry Ticket to the Ancient Theater

1. Taormina: Skip-the-Line Entry Ticket to the Ancient Theater

Pre-book your entry ticket to the Ancient Theater of Taormina and enjoy the added perk of skip-the-line entry privileges. Take a stirring journey through the archaeological ruins and enjoy the freedom to explore at your own pace. After the one of Syracusa, the Ancient Theater of Taormina is the largest building for shows in the Italian Peninsula. The archaeological site offers the opportunity to step back into the past as well as enjoy the views of the surrounding landscapes. The Greek building, built in a dominant position, dates back, by layout, to the III-II century B.C., but the monument you can admire today appears in the forms acquired in the roman imperial age under the emperor Trajan or Hadrian. It becomes an amphitheater under the emperor Caracalla and, in the same period, the orchestra was converted into an arena to host gladiator fights. After centuries of neglect, in 1465, part of the monument was used as a palace of residence of the Zumbo family.

Taormina: Roundtrip Transfer from Messina

2. Taormina: Roundtrip Transfer from Messina

Take advantage of an afternoon cruise stop in Messina and travel along the beautiful Sicilian coast to enjoy 3 hours exploring Taormina at your own leisure. Perfect for those who want the convenience of a round-trip transfer with the independence to explore the city at their own pace, this service provides pickup near the marina on Via Battisti and takes guests on a 1 hour and 15 minute journey to Taormina.

3-Hour Messina Segway PT Authorized Tour

3. 3-Hour Messina Segway PT Authorized Tour

On this fun, informative Segway tour, discover the city of Messina, which was entirely rebuilt after the terrible earthquake destroyed it in 1908. Starting from Via Castellammare, near Via Garibaldi, next to the Catalani Church, you will go to the city's commercial center - Piazza Cairoli - and on to Piazza Pugliatti where there the Court of Justice and university are located. Next, move on to Piazza Duomo to admire the fountain of Orion and the Cathedral with its bell tower, famous for its astronomical clock unveiled in 1933 when the reconstruction of the Christian temple was finished. You will see the church S.S. Annunziata dei Catalani, with its beautiful baroque fountains in front. Nearby in Via Lepanto, see the monument dedicated to Don Juan of Austria before proceeding to Piazza Antonello, enclosed by neoclassical palaces. On the way to the medieval church San Francesco d’Assisi, admire the baroque palace Monte di Pietà. Continue through the public gardens to reach Piazza Unità d'Italia, where you will see the Palace of the Government and the fountain of Neptune by Montorsoli. From here, you will ride back to Piazza Municipio, observing the statue of Ferdinand de Bourbon and the Teatro Vittorio Emanuele along the way. Tour itinerary can be modified on-site with your guide to include, for example, shopping at Viale San Martino; a panoramic view from Montalto Church, or the North Coast Museum.

Sicily: The Godfather Filming Locations Tour

4. Sicily: The Godfather Filming Locations Tour

On this informative tour, follow in the footsteps of Michael Corleone in The Godfather. Discover the beautiful medieval villages of Savoca and Forza d’Agrò nestled on 2 beautiful hills where Francis Ford Coppola shot the famous movies. Explore the splendid hidden corners of Sicily as you go off the beaten path. Visit St. Lucy Church where Michael married Apollonia and the Cathedral of Forza d'Agrò where another wedding scene was shot. Enjoy a drink or lemon granita at Bar Vitelli where Michael Corleone asked Mr. Vitelli if he could marry his daughter. Then, explore the beautiful Castello Degli Schiavi.

Messina: Guided City Highlights Walking Tour

5. Messina: Guided City Highlights Walking Tour

Explore Messina on a guided walking tour. Stroll through magnificent buildings and landscapes. Hear about the history and aesthetics of this facinating city. Learn about how the citizens rebuilt after a devastating earthquake in 1908. Meet your guide and pass by the neoclassical city council building of Palazzo Zanca. Find out the legend behind the Sanctuary of Madonna di Montalto and take in views of Messina from its elevated vantage point. Continuing to the second largest cathedral in Sicily to see the marble façade, mosaics, and painted ceilings. Admire the Bell Tower, which contains the largest and most complex mechanical and astronomical clock in the world. View a stunning mix of Sicilian and Norman architecture at the 12th century Church of S.S. Annunziata dei Catalani. Finish your tour with taste of something sweet at a local pastry shop.

From Tropea: Full-Day Tour to Taormina in Sicily

6. From Tropea: Full-Day Tour to Taormina in Sicily

Travel from Tropea to Taormina in Sicily and explore the beautiful town on a day trip. The journey alone will enchant you as you pass by the Tyrrhenian cliffs overlooking the Aeolian Islands to reach the port of Villa San Giovanni. Continue on by ferry across the Strada di Messine. During the crossing you can enjoy an espresso on the deck and the panoramic views of Mount Etna and Messina. Taormina is known for its mild climate, lush vegetation, magnificent palaces, dreamy streets, elegant squares, and panoramic views at 200 meters above sea level at the foot of the Monte Tauro Mountains. You will be accompanied to Porta di Taormina, the entrance to the city, from where you can explore on your own. Stroll past chic boutiques and visit the Greco-Roman amphitheater, where you'll have a fantastic view of Mount Etna. Try Sicilian specialties, such as fresh arancini (rice balls filled with vegetables and ground meat) or granita (a sorbet-like desert). Let yourself be tempted to a shopping spree or just relax at the Piazza.

From Taormina: The Godfather Movie Tour of Sicily Villages

7. From Taormina: The Godfather Movie Tour of Sicily Villages

Depart from Taormina to visit the Sicilian hill towns of Savoca and Forza D’Agrò. Explore the sets of the popular movie The Godfather. See the famous Bar Vitelli and wedding venue, among other places you’ll recognize from the films. Hear stories about the movies and Sicily from a local guide. Enjoy a scenic drive through the countryside. Take a pleasant stroll in the villages. Easily find filming locations of the movie. Visit the Trimarchi building, the venue for the famous Bar Vitelli. Then, see the location of the wedding shoot, the Church of Santa Lucia. Learn about tales behind the great film, and the equally captivating history of the island that inspired this masterpiece by Francis Ford Coppola. Many scenes of village life were filmed on the cobblestone streets and traditional houses of Forzà d'Agrò. Explore SS. Annunziata Square, Church of SS. Annunziata, and the birthplace of Vito Corleone. Admire the charm of the Sicilian countryside in this amazing place, nestled between the provinces of Messina and Catania.

Private Tour of Alcantara Gorges. Including Food and Wine

8. Private Tour of Alcantara Gorges. Including Food and Wine

During this private tour by comfortable air-conditioned car, you will visit a Sicilian natural phenomenon - Alcantara Gorges National Reserve. This tour is private - only for your party, nobody else, to ensure the highest standards for clients, and includes pickup and drop-off at your accommodation or the port in Taormina, Catania, or Messina. Several thousand years ago, the river Alcantara's bed was blocked by a lava flow from Mount Etna. As the lava was cooled much more quickly by the water than it would have done otherwise, it crystallized in the form of columns. Over the next millennia, the river naturally eroded a channel through these columns, resulting in impressive gorges and ravines. During this private tour to Gole Alcantara, you will visit the Alcantara park relaxation area. Your friendly private English-speaking guide will explain to you about the origins of this natural phenomenon, about Etna, and Sicily itself. After this refreshing experience, your guide will chauffeur you to the charming seaside town of Giardini Naxos - the first Greek colony in Sicily. You will visit one of the best wine bars and have a delicious and hearty food and wine tasting. You will taste different types of Sicilian Etna DOC red and white wines with locally produced organic food - cheeses, salami, prosciutto, bresaola, olives, mushrooms, extra virgin olive oil, and fresh bread.

Messina: Off-the-Beaten Track Private Tour w/ a Guide

9. Messina: Off-the-Beaten Track Private Tour w/ a Guide

Join this private walking tour led by a local guide to discover the beautiful city of Messina off-the-beaten-track. Just a few kilometers from the Italian mainland, Messina sits on a curved harbor at the northernmost point of Sicily's Ionian Coast. During this 2.5-hour guided tour, you will have the chance to see some of the most beautiful and important - although still partially hidden - spots in the city, such as Teatro Vittorio Emanuele (theater) and the pretty Villa Mazzini (home to an amazing and huge aquarium). You will spot the Regional Museum and walk up to discover the Sacrario di Cristo Re, that was built on a small hill on the ruins of the Castle Matagrifone. From the beautiful lookout in front you, enjoy an incomparable view of the strait and the city, that is always becoming more and more a desired as a beautiful holiday destination by tourists. Just one tip: don't forget to bring your camera along.

Messina Shore Excursion: Private Trip to Taormina & Etna

10. Messina Shore Excursion: Private Trip to Taormina & Etna

Experience an unforgettable day climbing one of the most active volcanoes in Europe. Visit one of the pearls of the Mediterranean, Taormina. Disembark at the port of Messina to meet your driver. Begin your private excursion by climbing Mount Etna. It is the highest volcano in Europe and one of the most active in the world. It has also been a UNESCO World Heritage site since 2013. Be driven up to 1800 meters. From there, explore the Silvestri Craters and its lava-covered slopes. Continue onward to Taormina, perched on a terrace overlooking the sea. Considered the "Lady of the Ionic Coast", it has historically been a destination for celebrities. From this hilltop town, enjoy a splendid landscape, dotted with colorful coves interspersed with Mediterranean scrub and sea. Visit the ancient theatre in Taormina, one of the greatest of the Greek-Roman era, and afterward immerse yourself in the city. Return to the parking area in Taormina to head back to the port of Messina with your driver.

Other Sightseeing Options in Messina

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What people are saying about Messina

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 137 reviews

Alessio was the perfect guide for this trip and he turned an interesting tour into an unforgettable experience. It was a real thrill seeing the local locations for all three of the Godfather films and it was topped of beautifully by a visit to the stunning Castello Degli Schiavi (this was an optional extra). Our host there was the amazing Baron who really brought everything to life with his stories and hospitality. What an delightful character and a true gentleman. During the trip we stopped off for various refreshments which made the trip a superbly relaxed and informative day out. Thank you Alessio for some great memories.

Very nice tour from Rosario, a local guide from Taormina. He shared so much with us, not only about The Godfather filming locations (which were awesome!), but also about Sicily’s culture. He also shared some great restaurant recommendations in Taormina with us which were spot on! Lastly, he was very friendly and thoughtful about our needs. Excellent tour and fantastic guide!

We thoroughly enjoyed our Godfather tour with our friendly and knowledgeable guide. It was fantastic to see exactly where scenes were filmed and much of it unchanged today. Stunning views and scenery in the two villages, and we enjoyed learning about the history of Sicily on the way too. Would highly recommend.

It was a beautiful trip to Alcantara. Our guide, Nino was terrific. We also very much enjoyed the wine tasting and antipasti platter. The Sommalier, Antonia was so friendly, knowledgeable and made the visit a lot of fun! Beautiful restaurant.

Alessio is an excellent tour guide who has an encyclopedic knowledge which he tailors to the group. I loved the Hollywood background stories and relationships.