Strategic trading point, Messina also becomes a meeting place and exchange not only of products but of artistic trends and ideas, is in an environment rich in stimuli are formed so that people such as Antonello da Messina. In more recent times the city was unfortunately hit by devastating earthquakes, notably that of 1783 and the 1908 when the city was destroyed and more than 90% of 60000 are the victims. During World War II received a severe bombardment.
Museo Regionale.The proposed route follows the alternating periods of art history starting from the Byzantine and Norman. Paintings, reliefs and capitals characterize the first rooms. Emerge a beautiful polychrome wooden crucifix from the first half of the fifteenth century (the third room you enter on the right) and a medallion in glazed terracotta by Della Robbia workshop of a Madonna by the gaze directed towards the baby gently. The next room you highlight the Flemish influence. The realism and attention to detail of the edge of the mantle and the cuffs of the gown dellaMadonna and Child attributed to a follower of Petrus Christus (XV c.) Are found in the beautiful but spoiled composition by Antonello da Messina, S. ilPolittico Gregory (1473). In him the linearity of composition is combined with Flemish minuteness, as evidenced by the creation of the robe of the Madonna. The compositional harmony is emphasized by the choice perspective that uses a single vanishing point and break through the center panel to expand to that side. The base continues to walk because of the two saints combining the three in one place. The bezel on the bottom, center, marks the breakthrough of the plan highlighted by a necklace suspended in a vacuum. In the same room is the beautiful Deposition from the Cross of Colun de Coter in which the drama is emphasized dall'affollarsi the faces of those machines to support the body of Christ crucified and burnt colors and off.The next room is dedicated to Messina Girolamo Alibrandi. Among the paintings stand the great Presentation in the Temple of 1519 (note the sweet and noble features of the woman in the foreground) and St Paul. In the same room you notice a beautiful statue of the Madonna and Child by A. Gagini. The Roman painter Polidoro da Caravaggio and the sculptor and architect from Florence Montorsoli lead to Messina mannerism. They and their followers are dedicated rooms 6 and S. Michelangelo Merisi, called Caravaggio a year remains in Messina, between 1608 and 1609, during which he painted the Adoration of the Shepherds and the Resurrection of Lazarus (Room 10). Just this brief period to influence artists in the city.
The beautiful and sumptuous Berlina Senate (Room 12), in 1742, he finishes and small gilded wood carvings and painted panels of fine workmanship. Upstairs in the museum are artifacts preserved decorative and applied art.
Chiesa di S. Giovanni di Malta -In S. John of Malta. The square building has late-sixteenth century on the west side (Via Placida) a statement punctuated by pillars of white stone, windows and niches, solid or not, further enlivened by a tribune in the upper tier.
Chiesa di S. Francesco d'Assisi o dell'immacolata - In Bottle alley. This monumental church was entirely rebuilt after the earthquake of 1908. Nevertheless retains some original features, including the three simple apses thirteenth stone, broken by narrow arches which open the windows, the two portals with pointed arches of a later period compared to the original church and the beautiful rose window on the facade.
Monte di Pietà - Via XXIV Maggio, corner of Piazza Crisafulli. And 'a palace from the late-Mannerist façade characterized by massive rusticated portal, framed by sturdy pillars, surmounted by a broken arch pediment and a balcony with scrolled brackets. The upper floor was destroyed by the earthquake, it was rebuilt and gives the whole a sense of incompleteness. Today is an auditorium. On the left side of the building a gate gives access to what was once the churchyard of St. Mary of Pity, preceded by a grand staircase with handrails symmetrical. Only the church remains the prospectus.
Duomo - Almost completely rebuilt after the earthquake of 1908 following the original Norman style, has a lofty front with single-lightened and a small rose window. Of the three, the central portal, rebuilt using original elements (fifteenth century.) Is enclosed by columns supported by lions, and is crowned in the lunette, a Virgin and child in the sixteenth century. On the right side, a small building is lit by beautiful light windows in the Catalan Gothic style. Inside, beautiful beamed ceiling painted on the original model was destroyed by the bombardments of the war. The ridge beams are decorated with rosettes carved oriental taste.
Tesoro - Input from 'inside of the Duomo. It brings together a fine collection of furniture and vestments. The most ancient piece of treasure (Middle Ages) is the Pigna, a lamp made of rock crystal. Many silver and usually of Messina including arms-reliquaries (to S. Martian decorated with Islamic motifs and Byzantine), candlesticks, chalices and a bell'ostensorio seventeenth sec.con two angels (and a pelican in the middle) that hold up the rays.
Orologio astronomico - And 'the most interesting element of the tower, 60 m high, which stands on the left of the church. Built in 1933 in Strasbourg, the mechanical clock is built on several levels, each with a picture and a different movement. In the first, a chariot driven by a deity marks the day of the week in the second death that dominates the center úagita warning sign in the sickle, while passing in front of a child. a young man, a soldier and an old man, the four ages of man. Above the Sanctuary of Montalto (copy of what you see from here, looking to the left), shows a group of characters, depending on time of year, the Nativity, Epiphany, Resurrection and Pentecost. In the upper part a scene related to local legend, Our Lady delivered to the ambassadors of Messina with a letter thanking her and grant protection to the inhabitants of the city converted to Christianity by St. Paul the Apostle. And in fact the Madonna of the Letter is the patron of Messina. The two girls who beat the strokes on the bells are two local heroines Dina and Clarenza, lived during the period of resistance against the Angevins (1282). The highest level is occupied by a lion.
The south side of the bell tower has instead (from bottom) perpetual calendar, with the astronomical signs of the zodiac and the moon phases. For the twelve strokes of noon all automata are set in motion with background music: the lion, symbol of the vitality of the city, and the rooster roared three times, the two maidens, sing.
Fontana di Orione -At the center of the Piazza del Duomo, this beautiful and elegant fountain is the work of the Tuscan Montorsoli and commemorates the opening of an aqueduct, in pre-Baroque style (XVI sec.). depicts the four rivers Tiber. Nile. Ebro and Camaro, Messina river whose waters were conveyed precisely in the new aqueduct.
SS. Annunziata dei Catalani - A few steps from the Duomo, the church is situated behind Via Garibaldi, which in this stretch is lined with beautiful buildings. The building, constructed in 1100 during the period of Norman rule and remodeled in the thirteenth century., Named after the Catalan merchants who belonged later. The apse is a fine example of Norman style in which the composite blend romanesque contributions (blind arches resting on slender columns), Arab influences (geometric motifs in polychrome stone) and Byzantine (dome supported by the drum).
S. Maria Alemanna - Unfortunately completely ruined. (unroofed and without facade), the church suggests the original Gothic style, so rare in Sicily, in the pointed arches supported by pillars with beautiful capitals of columns, beams that formed the walls of the aisles.
S.Maria della Valle o Badiazza - Exit from Messina to Palermo route, follow the signs for the SS 113 through the village scale, turn right and go up to 1.5 km the bed of the stream S. Rizzo. The Benedictine Abbey, also known as St. Maria della Scala, was built in the twelfth century. and restored in the fourteenth. From the outside (the church can not be visited, and is surrounded by a high concrete wall that protects it from floods of the river) will appreciate the windows with pointed arches finished in lava and, through them, part of 'internal, with the ribs of the vaulted ceilings and stone two-tone carved capitals of a truncated pyramid.
IL GIRO DI CAPO PELORO
Starting from Messina, a scenic surrounds the head along the beautiful beaches that are followed on the tip and on the Tyrrhenian side.
Ganzirri e Torre Faro - 1.5 km to the north. Ganzirri, lively fishing village, its houses group around two large lagoons of brackish water, used for shellfish. The "lake", dotted with restaurants and pizzerias, is lively on summer evenings. Continuing north along the Strait of Messina, we arrive at Torre Faro, a small fishing village to a vocation in which the incumbent and the gigantic lighthouse tower deIl'elettrodotto across the strait. Moving Beyond the Beaches of Mortelle and continue until Prohibition, then continue inland towards Chalk. Past this village, after about 6 km, a road on the right leads to the top of Antennammare.
Monte Antennammare - It climbs up to the door S. Rizzo, on the right where the road leads to the Sanctuary of Maria SS. Dinnammare of the summit of Mount Antennammare (m 1130). From here the view extends over an extraordinary panorama: Messina with its harbor, Cape Pelorus and Calabria in the east, the Ionian coast with the scythe of the promontory of Milazzo and Rometta, perched on a hill to the west. In return, continue to the junction and then right, along the wooded slopes of the hill S. Rizzo, to the gates of Messina.
IL LITORALE IONICO: DA MESSINA A TAORMINA
40 km approx. The path that follows the coast with brief episodes in the hinterland, can also be done in reverse, starting from Taormina.
Monastero di S. Placido Calonerò - On the way to Pezzolo. The Benedictine monastery, now a school agricultural engineer, has two lovely seventeenth-century cloisters with columns with Ionic capitals and pulvini high; the right atrium, which gave access to the first of the cloisters there is a chapel with a cross vault and beam columns , preceded by a beautiful Gothic type Portalino Durazzo.
Scaletta Zanclea -Superior Ladder (2 km inland) you can admire the castle, originally a military outpost Swabian (XIII c.), And then passed to the Ruffo family that until the seventeenth century. used it as a hunting lodge. The massive fort, graced with elegant mullioned windows on the main floor and mullioned windows on the upper floor houses a Museum that collects antique weapons and documents.
Itàla - At 2.5 km from Itala Marina, inward. Cross in the village stands the church of SS Basilian Peter and Paul, rebuild made by Count Roger in 1093, to celebrate, it would seem, a victory over the Arabs. It 'a building with three naves (the middle one higher than the side), with a dome at the center of the transept, which rests on a square drum. The exterior, with brick on the facade, inserts made of lava stone, is decorated with blind arches lowered and twisted. of oriental taste. Continuing along the coast of Cape Ali meets on which stands a small circular tower, probably of Norman. Cross the beach resorts of Ali Terme, Nizza di Sicilia and Roccalumera.
Sàvoca - About 3 km inland. Medieval village, stretches in a suggestive position on a hill that divides into two ridges and is surrounded by three layers, the districts of St. Rocco, S. John and Pentefur, giving the town a stellar shape. Convent of the Capuchins, which houses a crypt containing the mummified bodies of 32 notables savocesi and friars, who died in the seventeenth and eighteenth century. Some of them, unfortunately smeared with green paint as a result of an act of vandalism, are displayed in niches, some in wooden coffins. From the churchyard there is a fine view of the village, with the ruins of the castle and at the bottom of the Calvary. Going back and take the village and immediately left on Via San Michele, which leads up to the entrance to the historic core of the country, with pointed arches. Just beyond, on the right is the fifteenth-century Church of St. Michael with beautiful Gothic-Renaissance portals and, beside it, the ruins of the home community dell'Archimandrita (the superior of a monastic congregation in the Eastern church). Continue along the same path that offers fine views over the rooftops of the village, the valley below and above the ruins of the Norman castle and the Church of St. Nicholas (or St. Lucia), perched on a rocky outcrop and the singular battlements. You arrive at the Cathedral Church, which has a fine portal surmounted by a finely carved oculus and the coat of arms of Savoca with the elder branch, from which derives the name. You can end the visit by climbing up the Calvary to arrive at the ruins of the Church of St. Mary of the Seven Plagues. Continue along the road that winds its way inland. After about 2 km is the village of imcontra Casalvecchio.
Casalvecchio - The ancient Byzantine Palakorion (old farmhouse) is situated in panoramic position. From the terrace in front of the Cathedral Church of St. Onofrio, you can enjoy a magnificent view stretching from the Ionian Sea to the Cape St. Alessio Forza d'Agro Etna to the south. Inside the church has a beautiful coffered wooden ceiling and a floor with anthropomorphic figures inlaid in black marble and red local Taormina, both of the seventeenth century. Museum is housed in the adjoining parish rectory where they are exposed gears of the peasants, the silver statue of St. Onofrio-size (1745), a painting by S. Nicholas School of Antonelli (1497), furnishings and liturgical vestments. Continue in the direction of Antillo and after about 500 meters take the road bends to the left.
Chiesa dei S.S. Pietro e Paolo d'Agrò -The church, founded by monks, but rebuilt in 1117 and restored in 1172 by master builder Gerardo Franco, as reported by the inscription on the lintel of the entrance, affecting not only the unique color effects created by the combination of bricks, lava rock, limestone and sandstone, but also because it is a wonderful compendium of influences Byzantine, Arab and Norman. The exterior is characterized by its decorative pilasters and arches entwined and sawtooth patterns. The main facade is preceded by a porch, enclosed between two towers. The interior has three naves, separated by Corinthian columns supporting pulvini with high arches, presents at its center a dome larger segments, which rests on a tall drum on pendentives and arches with superimposed. In the chancel a smaller dome rests on an octagonal drum. Back to the coast and continue to Cape St. Alessio.
Capo Sant'Alessio - It 'a wonderful rocky promontory, with its unmistakable silhouette is dominated by a circular fortress on the west and a castle with a polygonal eastern end (neither visitablli). The head to the south of the beautiful beach of Letojanni. In front of the forts, a road right leads you to Forza d'Agro.
Forza d'Agrò - A charming medieval village, nestled in the foothills of the last Peloritani, offers a splendid view over the coast and its inlets, especially from the terrace-viewpoint of the Town Hall Square. Behind it a scilinata leads through a beautiful arch Durazzo, the churchyard dellaChiesa Triad, the set of stairs, with the archway and the facade of the church in the background is of particular interest. Climbing up winding streets towards the castle, you come to the Mother Church, a Baroque makeover century building. The castle, of Norman, are the ruins of the walls that enclose the cemetery, the place, the silence that reigns there, and for the unusual arrangement of graves, some 'bulk, is really lovely.
Separated from the mainland by 5 km of sea, Messina is the natural entry point for those coming from the peninsula. Here is the importance of his sickle-shaped harbor, which in ancient times gave her the name Zancle, a Greek colony founded in the eighth century. B.C. The city's history is so inextricably tied to the sea and the strait that bears his name and that, as telling the sailors, is controlled by two monsters, Scylla and Charybdis. Scylla, daughter of Hecate (goddess of the sea), has six heads and twelve feet and home to a cave under a rock from which it emerges to hunt Calabrian marine animals. And 'she railed against the ship of Ulysses and swallowing by taking six sailors. On the coast of Sicily, under the other rock, Charybdis lives that every day he drinks and spits three times in sea water (Odyssey, Book XII, 234-259).