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Messina was founded in the 8th century BC by Cumani and Calcidesi settlers. They decided to build a city in this sickle-shaped part of Sicily. Throughout its history, Messina has experienced phases of both decline and prosperity, mainly based on trade. In 1908, one of the most devastating earthquakes in the history of Italy razed the city and all its main buildings to the ground. The two World Wars then completed the job. Many of Messina’s churches and palaces are reconstructions, including the city’s most important landmark, the Cathedral with its Astronomical Bell Tower. Fortunately, not all the artistic heritage has been lost. Art lovers will not be disappointed in Messina. In fact, the Regional Museum boasts two paintings by Caravaggio and two by the Messina artist known throughout the world as Antonello da Messina. But that’s not all. The Teatro Vittorio Emanuele’s vaulted ceiling is entirely covered by a fresco depicting the myth of Colapesce, painted by Renato Guttuso. Another painting by the Bagheria painter can be found in the “Lucio Barbera” Gallery of Modern and Contemporary Art. Here, too, you can find other pieces belonging to different artistic movements such as Arte Povera, Pop Art and Abstractism. Moving to the north of the city, there is the Horcynus Horca Literary Park with its museum, MACHO. Inside, more than 100 pieces make up its permanent collection, including The Pianos by Emilio Isgrò. This is also the point on the coast that is closest to Calabria and where the Torre Faro Beach, one of the most popular, and the Ganzirri lakes are located.


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