Messina (/mɛˈsiːnə/, also US: /mɪˈ-/, Italian: [mesˈsiːna] (listen); Sicilian: Missina [mɪsˈsiːna]; Latin: Messana; Ancient Greek: Μεσσήνη) is the capital of the Italian Metropolitan City of Messina. It is the third largest city on the island of Sicily, and the 13th largest city in Italy, with a population of more than 238,000 inhabitants in the city proper and about 650,000 in the Metropolitan City. 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. According to Eurostat the FUA of the metropolitan area of Messina has, in 2014, 277,584 inhabitants.
The city's main resources are its seaports (commercial and military shipyards), cruise tourism, commerce, and agriculture (wine production and cultivating lemons, oranges, mandarin oranges, and olives). 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.
Messina has a light rail system, Tranvia di Messina, opened on 3 April 2003. This line is 7.7 kilometres (4.8 mi) and links the city's central railway station with the city centre and harbour.
|Metropolitan City of Messina|
Coat of arms
Position of the commune in the Metropolitan City
Location of Messina
Location of Messina in Italy
|Metropolitan city||Messina (ME)|
|• Mayor||Cateno De Luca|
|• Total||213.75 km2 (82.53 sq mi)|
|Elevation||3 m (10 ft)|
|• Density||1,100/km2 (2,800/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+1 (CET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+2 (CEST)|
|Patron saint||Madonna of the Letter|
|Saint day||June 3|
Founded by Greek colonists in the 8th century BC, Messina was originally called Zancle (Greek: Ζάγκλη), from the Greek ζάγκλον meaning "scythe" because of the shape of its natural harbour (though a legend attributes the name to King Zanclus). A comune of its Metropolitan City, 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 (Μεσσήνη) in honour of the Greek city Messene (See also List of traditional Greek place names). Later, Micythus was the ruler of Rhegium and Zancle, and he also founded the city of Pyxus. The city was sacked in 397 BC by the Carthaginians and then reconquered by Dionysius I of Syracuse.
In 288 BC the Mamertines seized the city by treachery, killing all the men and taking the women as their wives. The city became a base from which they ravaged the countryside, leading to a conflict with the expanding regional empire of Syracuse. Hiero II, tyrant of Syracuse, defeated the Mamertines near Mylae on the Longanus River and besieged Messina. Carthage assisted the Mamertines because of a long-standing conflict with Syracuse over dominance in Sicily. When Hiero attacked a second time in 264 BC, the Mamertines petitioned the Roman Republic for an alliance, hoping for more reliable protection. Although initially reluctant to assist lest it encourage other mercenary groups to mutiny, Rome was unwilling to see Carthaginian power spread further over Sicily and encroach on Italy. Rome therefore entered into an alliance with the Mamertines. In 264 BC, Roman troops were deployed to Sicily, the first time a Roman army acted outside the Italian Peninsula. At the end of the First Punic War it was a free city allied with Rome. In Roman times Messina, then known as Messana, had an important pharos (lighthouse). Messana was the base of Sextus Pompeius, during his war against Octavian.
After the fall of the Western Roman Empire, the city was successively ruled by Goths from 476, then by the Byzantine Empire in 535, by the Arabs in 842, and in 1061 by the Norman brothers Robert Guiscard and Roger Guiscard (later count Roger I of Sicily). In 1189 the English King Richard I ("The Lionheart") stopped at Messina en route to the Holy Land for the Third Crusade and briefly occupied the city after a dispute over the dowry of his sister, who had been married to William the Good, King of Sicily.
Messina may have been the harbour at which the Black Death entered Europe: the plague was brought by Genoese ships coming from Caffa in the Crimea. In 1548 St. Ignatius founded there the first Jesuit college in the world, which later gave birth to the Studium Generale (the current University of Messina).
The Christian ships that won the Battle of Lepanto (1571) left from Messina: the Spanish author Miguel de Cervantes, who took part in the battle, recovered for some time in the Grand Hospital. The city reached the peak of its splendour in the early 17th century, under Spanish domination: at the time it was one of the ten greatest cities in Europe. In 1674 the city rebelled against the foreign garrison. It managed to remain independent for some time, thanks to the help of the French king Louis XIV, but in 1678, with the Peace of Nijmegen, it was reconquered by the Spaniards and sacked: the university, the senate and all the privileges of autonomy it had enjoyed since the Roman times were abolished. A massive fortress was built by the occupants and Messina decayed steadily. In 1743, 48,000 died of plague in the city.
In 1783, an earthquake devastated much of the city, and it took decades to rebuild and rekindle the cultural life of Messina. In 1847 it was one of the first cities in Italy where Risorgimento riots broke out. In 1848 it rebelled openly against the reigning Bourbons, but was heavily suppressed again. Only in 1860, after the Battle of Milazzo, the Garibaldine troops occupied the city. One of the main figures of the unification of Italy, Giuseppe Mazzini, was elected deputy at Messina in the general elections of 1866. Another earthquake of less intensity damaged the city on 16 November 1894. The city was almost entirely destroyed by an earthquake and associated tsunami on the morning of 28 December 1908, killing about 100,000 people and destroying most of the ancient architecture. The city was largely rebuilt in the following year. It incurred further damage from the massive Allied air bombardments of 1943. The city was awarded a Gold Medal for Military Valour and one for Civil Valour in memory of the event and the subsequent effort of reconstruction.
Messina has a subtropical mediterranean climate with long, hot summers with low diurnal temperature variation with consistent dry weather. In winter, Messina is rather wet and mild. Diurnals remain low and remain averaging above 10 °C (50 °F) lows even during winter. It is rather rainier than Reggio Calabria on the other side of the Messina Strait, a remarkable climatic difference for such a small distance.
Numerous writers set their works in Messina, including:
The 1908 Messina earthquake (also known as the 1908 Messina and Reggio earthquake) occurred on 28 December in Sicily and Calabria, southern Italy with a moment magnitude of 7.1 and a maximum Mercalli intensity of XI (Extreme). The cities of Messina and Reggio Calabria were almost completely destroyed and between 75,000 and 82,000 lives were lost.A.C.R. Messina
Associazioni Calcio Riunite Messina S.S.D. a r.l. is an Italian football club based in Messina, Sicily. It currently plays in Serie D.Antonello da Messina
Antonello da Messina, properly Antonello di Giovanni di Antonio, but also called Antonello degli Antoni and Anglicized as Anthony of Messina (c. 1430 – February 1479), was an Italian painter from Messina, Sicily, active during the Early Italian Renaissance. His work shows strong influences from Early Netherlandish painting although there is no documentary evidence that he ever travelled beyond Italy. Giorgio Vasari credited him with the introduction of oil painting into Italy. Unusually for a south Italian artist of the Renaissance, his work proved influential on painters in northern Italy, especially in Venice.Chris Messina
Christopher Messina (born August 11, 1974) is an American actor and film director. He has appeared in supporting roles in films such as Vicky Cristina Barcelona, Argo, Julie & Julia, Ruby Sparks, Celeste and Jesse Forever, and You've Got Mail. He starred in the film The Giant Mechanical Man. On television, he appeared in roles as Chris Sanchez in Damages, Reese Lansing in The Newsroom and as Danny Castellano in The Mindy Project. The latter for which he was twice nominated for the Critics' Choice Television Award for Best Actor in a Comedy Series.Ettore Messina
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Ettore Messina (born 30 September 1959) is an Italian professional basketball coach who is the head coach of Olimpia Milano of the Italian Lega Basket Serie A (LBA). He has won four EuroLeague championships as a head coach. Messina is regarded as one of the best European basketball coaches of all time, having been named one of the 50 Greatest EuroLeague Contributors in 2008.
He was named the Italian League's Best Coach three times, in the years 1998, 2001, and 2005. Furthermore, he has been named EuroLeague Coach of the Year twice, in 2006 and 2008. He was inducted into the Italian Basketball Hall of Fame in 2008, and into the Russian VTB United League Hall of Fame, in 2019. Messina also previously worked with the San Antonio Spurs as an assistant coach for Gregg Popovich from 2014 to 2019.Jim Messina (musician)
James Melvin Messina (born December 5, 1947) is an American musician, songwriter, singer, guitarist, recording engineer and record producer. He was a member of the folk rock group Buffalo Springfield, a founding member of the country rock pioneer Poco, and half of the soft rock duo Loggins and Messina with Kenny Loggins.Jo Dee Messina
Jo Dee Marie Messina (born August 25, 1970) is an American country music artist. She has charted six number one singles on the Billboard country music charts. She has been honored by the Country Music Association, the Academy of Country Music and has been nominated for two Grammy Awards. She was the first female country artist to score three multiple-week Number One songs from the same album. To date, she has two Platinum and three Gold-certified albums by the RIAA.
Messina debuted in 1996 with the single Heads Carolina, Tails California. Her album was certified Gold by the RIAA. Her second album, I'm Alright, produced five Top 10 Country hits between 1998 and 1999, and sold over a million copies in America. Since her debut, six of her singles have peaked at No. 1 on the Billboard Country singles chart and five of her albums have received a certification by the RIAA or the CRIA. She has sold over 5 million records worldwide.Kenny Loggins
Kenneth Clark Loggins (born January 7, 1948) is an American singer-songwriter and guitarist. His early songs were recorded with the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band in 1970, which led to seven albums recorded as Loggins and Messina from 1972 to 1977. As a solo artist, Loggins experienced a string of soundtrack successes, including an Academy Award nomination for "Footloose" in 1984. His early soundtrack contributions date back to A Star Is Born in 1976, and for much of the 1980s and 1990s he was known as the Soundtrack King. Finally Home was released in 2013, shortly after Loggins formed the group Blue Sky Riders with Gary Burr and Georgia Middleman.List of railway stations in Sicily
This is the list of the railway stations in Sicily owned by Rete Ferroviaria Italiana, a branch of the Italian state company Ferrovie dello Stato.Loggins and Messina
Loggins and Messina is an American rock-pop duo consisting of Kenny Loggins and Jim Messina, who achieved their success in the early to mid-1970s. Among their well-known songs are "Danny's Song", "House at Pooh Corner", and "Your Mama Don't Dance". After selling more than 16 million records and becoming one of the leading musical duos of the 1970s, Loggins and Messina broke up in 1976. Although Messina would find only limited popularity following the breakup, Loggins went on to be a 1980s hitmaker. In 2005 and again in 2009, Loggins and Messina have rejoined for tours in the United States.Messina Airfield
Messina Airfield is an abandoned World War II military airfield in Italy, which was located just to the west of Messina in Sicily. It was a temporary field built by the Army Corps of Engineers used as part of the Allied invasion of Italy.
The airfield was primarily used by the United States Army Air Force Twelfth Air Force 57th Fighter Group during 15–16 September 1943, flying combat operations with P-40 Warhawks.
When the 57th moved out to Reggio on the Itralian mainland the airfield was closed and dismantled. Today, there are no traces of the airfield remaining on the landscape visible from aerial photography, as the area has been developed as part of the urban area over the past 60 years.Metropolitan City of Messina
The Metropolitan City of Messina (Italian: Città metropolitana di Messina) is a metropolitan city in Sicily, Italy. Its capital is the city of Messina. It replaced the Province of Messina and comprises the city of Messina and other 107 municipalities (comuni). According to Eurostat the FUA of the metropolitan area of Messina had in 2014 277,584 inhabitants.Poco
Poco is an American country rock band originally formed by Richie Furay, Jim Messina and Rusty Young. Formed following the demise of Buffalo Springfield in 1968, Poco was part of the first wave of the West Coast country rock genre. The title of their first album, Pickin' Up the Pieces, is a reference to the break-up of Buffalo Springfield. Throughout the years Poco has performed in various groupings, and is still active.Province of Messina
Messina (Italian: Provincia di Messina; Sicilian: Pruvincia di Missina) was a province in the autonomous island region of Sicily in Italy. Its capital was the city of Messina. It was replaced by the Metropolitan City of Messina.S.S.D. Città di Messina
Società Sportiva Dilettantistica Città di Messina S.r.l. is an Italian football club based in Messina, Sicily. It currently plays in Serie D.Sicily
Sicily (Italian: Sicilia [siˈtʃiːlja]; Sicilian: Sicilia [sɪˈʃiːlja]) is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea and one of the 20 regions of Italy. It is one of the five Italian autonomous regions, in Southern Italy along with surrounding minor islands, officially referred to as Regione Siciliana.
Sicily is located in the central Mediterranean Sea, south of the Italian Peninsula, from which it is separated by the narrow Strait of Messina. Its most prominent landmark is Mount Etna, the tallest active volcano in Europe, and one of the most active in the world, currently 3,329 m (10,922 ft) high. The island has a typical Mediterranean climate.
The earliest archaeological evidence of human activity on the island dates from as early as 12,000 BC. By around 750 BC, Sicily had three Phoenician and a dozen Greek colonies and it was later the site of the Sicilian Wars and the Punic Wars. After the fall of the Roman Empire in the 5th century AD, Sicily was ruled during the Early Middle Ages by the Vandals, the Ostrogoths, the Byzantine Empire, and the Emirate of Sicily. The Norman conquest of southern Italy led to the creation of the Kingdom of Sicily, which was subsequently ruled by the Hohenstaufen, the Capetian House of Anjou, Spain, and the House of Habsburg. It was unified under the House of Bourbon with the Kingdom of Naples as the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies. It became part of Italy in 1860 following the Expedition of the Thousand, a revolt led by Giuseppe Garibaldi during the Italian unification, and a plebiscite. Sicily was given special status as an autonomous region on 15th May 1946, 18 days before the Italian constitutional referendum of 1946. However, much of the autonomy still remains unapplied, especially financial autonomy, because the autonomy-activating laws have been deferred to be approved by the joint committee (50% Italian State, 50% Regione Siciliana), since 1946.
Sicily has a rich and unique culture, especially with regard to the arts, music, literature, cuisine, and architecture. It is also home to important archaeological and ancient sites, such as the Necropolis of Pantalica, the Valley of the Temples, Erice and Selinunte.Strait of Messina
The Strait of Messina (Italian: Stretto di Messina), is a narrow strait between the eastern tip of Sicily (Punta del Faro) and the western tip of Calabria (Punta Pezzo) in the south of Italy. It connects the Tyrrhenian Sea to the north with the Ionian Sea to the south, within the central Mediterranean. At its narrowest point, between Torre Faro and Villa San Giovanni, it is 3.1 km (1.9 mi) wide. At the town of Messina it is 5.1 km (3.2 mi) wide. The strait's maximum depth is about 250 m (820 ft).
The strait has strong tidal currents that create a unique marine ecosystem. A natural whirlpool in the northern portion of the strait has been linked to the Greek legend of Scylla and Charybdis. In some circumstances, the mirage of Fata Morgana can be observed when looking at Sicily from Calabria. With its bottleneck shape, it is also a compulsory point of transit of the migration of many bird species.
In 1957, a 220 kV overhead power line was built across the Strait of Messina. Its pylons are among the highest in the world. This power line has since been replaced by a submarine power cable, but the pylons remain and are protected as historical monuments (see Pylons of Messina).Taormina
Taormina (Sicilian: Taurmina; Latin: Tauromenium; Greek: Ταυρομένιον, Tauromenion) is a comune (municipality) in the Metropolitan City of Messina, on the east coast of the island of Sicily, Italy. Taormina has been a tourist destination since the 19th century. Its beaches on the Ionian sea, including that of Isola Bella, are accessible via an aerial tramway built in 1992, and via highways from Messina in the north and Catania in the south. On May 26–27, 2017 Taormina hosted the 43rd G7 summit.University of Messina
The University of Messina (Italian: Università degli Studi di Messina, UNIME) is a public university located in Messina, Italy. Founded in 1548 by Ignatius of Loyola, it became the model for hundreds of Jesuit colleges. The university is organized in 11 Faculties.
|Climate data for Messina|
|Record high °C (°F)||24.6
|Average high °C (°F)||14.4
|Daily mean °C (°F)||12.3
|Average low °C (°F)||10.1
|Record low °C (°F)||0.2
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||102.9
|Average precipitation days (≥ 1.0 mm)||10.6||9.8||8.6||8.5||3.9||1.9||2.0||2.5||5.6||8.5||11.0||10.9||83.8|
|Average relative humidity (%)||73||71||69||69||67||64||63||66||68||70||73||74||69|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||114.7||130.0||170.5||207.0||257.3||294.0||331.7||306.9||240.0||189.1||138.0||111.6||2,490.8|
|Source #1: Servizio Meteorologico (temperature and precipitation data 1971–2000); Clima en Messina desde 1957 hasta 2013|
|Source #2: Messina Osservatorio Meteorologico (temperature records since 1909); Servizio Meteorologico (relative humidity and sun data 1961–1990)|
Cities in Italy by population