We’ve seen Messina

The downside of organised tours in general is that there’s no guarantee that you will actually get what you (believe) you’ve paid for, and I’ve found that tour guides get on their soapbox a little too much for my liking. (Facts and figures are fine, but in-depth political comment? No thank you.)

So when our Mediterranean cruise ship pulled into the port of Messina, a province of Italy, situated on the island of Sicily…

we were happy to wander around on our own, map in hand, enjoying the thrill of discovery (and the occasional frustration of getting a little lost, but, hey, that’s par for the course for us!)

My only knowledge of Sicily was the silly ditty from old school days: “and Italy kicked Sicily right into the Mediterranean Sea” and so, owing to a severe case of lack-of-preparation, (even that ditty gave me a false impression because Sicily sits a mere 5km off the Italian coast) we relied on what we had seen from our vantage point on board the ship as we ate our breakfast, plotting our course from one point of interest to the next.

We did see some interesting sights, including lots of domed buildings…

and an archaeological site you can wander around for free…

Stopped to sample some enticing local fare…

on the way up to the church that dominates Messina’s modest skyline…

the Votive Temple of Christ the King…

and enjoyed the harbour views from there.

Just before noon, we saw a crowd had gathered in the square in front of the Cathedral of Messina…

looking up expectantly at the adjacent clock tower. But protesters atop the tower must have interfered with the works because the normally impressive display (or so we’ve since heard) never eventuated and the disappointed crowd quickly dispersed.

Our general impression was that Messina, with a little TLC, could be a really lovely city. Much like the once beautiful, but now almost abandoned building, which looked like it used to be a thriving shopping mall…

Perhaps there’s some interesting story attached? But then, I guess that’s the sort of information you might be able to get from a tour guide!

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About frenchfry36

South African by birth, British by right, Australian by oath, French by choice.
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