Messina Shore Excursions
Originally dating from the 12th century, Messina Cathedral was destroyed by a great earthquake in 1908. The building was rebuilt in the period 1920 to 1929, and pieces of masonry from the old cathedral were incorporated wherever possible into the new. The magnificent campanile was perhaps even improved by the addition by a superb astronomical clock – every day at noon the figures spring into motion, depicting the history of Messina.
Corso Umberto (Taormina)
Messina is a busy modern city, and many passengers prefer to travel to delightful Taormina 30 miles down the coast. The famous main street of Taormina is Corso Umberto. Wander along this picturesque (pedestrianized) street soaking up the uniquely Sicilian atmosphere and stopping occasionally for a little window-shopping. Transport options for Messina to Taormina include ship's tour, train/bus, bus, or taxi.
Piazza IX Aprile (Taormina)
Half-way along Corso Umberto you’ll find wonderful Piazza IX Aprile, a lovely terrace with panoramic views over the town and Mediterranean to one side, and to the other, two tiny old churches. There are several friendly cafes as well, including the Wunderbar, a favorite haunt of Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor.
Greek Amphitheater (Taormina)
The must-see sight in Taormina is the spectacularly located Greek theater. It was originally built by the Greeks in the 3rd century BC, but was much redeveloped by the Romans in the 3rd century AD. There is a small store for the purchase of souvenirs, and a café for a coffee break. To reach the theater walk down Via Teatro from Corso Umberto.
Isola Bella beach (Taormina)
Nestled under the sea cliffs that sweep down from Taormina is the beautiful (but pebbly) Isola Bella beach. Enjoy a swim in the crystal-clear water, then admire the pretty scenery as you top up your sun tan. Facilities include restrooms, lounger and umbrella hire, and a beach snack bar. To reach the beach from Taormina, take the Taormina - Mazzaro cable car, then walk along the coastal road to your right for about 200m and then down the stairs to the beach. If the cable car is not running, resort to the frequent bus service.
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