Welcome to the Cruise Port Guide – Messina, Italy. Messina is a town at the north east tip of the island of Sicily, just 2 miles from the toe of the Italian mainland. Strategically placed in the middle of the strait of Messina between Italy’s mainland and island. The strait of Messina has been an extremely valuable body of water for millennia because whoever could control it would could control the trading passage. Messina’s port has therefore been shaped and destroyed by kingdoms and empires that would come and go for centuries. Messina is definitely not the most historical part of Sicily. On December 28, 1908 an earthquake destroyed the town. 2/3rd of the cities inhabitants were killed and the city was nothing more than a pile of dust. Though Messina might be one of the “newer” places on the island, there are places close by that stand witness to the great history the island has to offer. Greek, Roman, Norman, French, Spanish and Italian. Sicily has been a melting pot of different civilisations making it much different from the mainland. Find the most unique places of Italy here.
Cruise Port Guide Messina – Italy: docked
Most often cruise ships dock at the Port of Messina just in front of the city centre. From the cruise terminal you cross the street and you are in the centre of town. The city of Messina is easily explored by foot. There are also a couple of other transport options available at the dock. At the dock there is a cruise terminal building where you will find limited facilities. The tourist information will either be at the terminal or at the nearest church in site as you exit the terminal. See map for detailed locations.
Taxis in Messina
There are plenty of taxis that will be waiting for you at the exit of the port. Negotiate a price before stepping in. Taxis are good for sightseeing and come highly recommended when visiting Mt. Etna. Please find an estimation of the taxi prices underneath: 120 euro for 3 hour sightseeing tour by taxi 150 euro for 4 hour sightseeing tour by taxi Please know taxi prices should be posted on a sign a the taxi stand, but hard negotiation is still necessary.
Train to Taormina
Find the train station about 1,5 km away from port. Exit the terminal, go left and keep following the waterline for about 1,5 km to reach the station. See map above for its exact location. You can check the train schedule on the official operators website: http://www.trenitalia.com/tcom-en Tickets cost about 4 euro each and the ride takes between 40 minutes and an hour. When you arrive at the Taormina-Giardini train station you can either choose to walk the 2 km walk uphill or take the public bus to the city centre. Busses go frequently and cost about 1,80 euro.
Public transport to Taormina
You could also opt for a public bus to get to Taormina, but keep in mind the ride will take up to 2 hours one way. This will leave you right in town. However the bus does not go as frequent. Therefore check the schedule on www.interbus.it Find the bus close to the train station (2 km walk from the port).
The coastal tram in Messina
When you exit the cruise terminal you will find tram tracks on the street in front of it. The tram runs all along the coastline and is a great way to visit the Regional Museum of Messina. Buy your tickets at a magazine or tobacco stand and validate the ticket on board of the tram.
Car Rental in Messina
There are 3 car rentals across the streets from the cruise terminal: Hertz, Avis and Sicilcar. Renting a car is a great way to see a part of the island. Traffic can be hectic but the roads are well maintained. Make reservations ahead of time.
Hop on hop off bus
There is a hop on hop off bus available at the cruise terminal. Find representatives of the bus at the terminal. The bus does its loop only in town and because it only has a few stops we don’t feel it will be worth the money.
Distance from port
City Centre Messina – 300 meter to the west of port Messina train station – 1,5 km to the south of port Taormina – 52 km to the south of port Mt. Etna – 100 km to the south of port Catania – 97 km to the south of port
At the entrance of the port of Messina you will see a golden statue of the Virgin Mary. The words “ Vos et ipsa civitatem benedicimus” means “You will bless this city”. You can reach the statue by walking all around the port or take the boat.
This is the largest active volcano of Europe that has gotten quite a reputation. This world miracle and eye catcher of Sicily offert a rare opportunity to visit an active volcano. Drive or walk one of the many road on the volcano. Because of the distance we recommend to go with a taxi or shore excursion.
Taormina might just be the most well know town of Sicily. This renowned village is famous for being a tourist town, historic landmark and for its amazing dramatic scenery. It offers the perfect combination for a day out! Reach Taormina by train, taxi or public bus.
At the 2nd most important church in town you will often find a tourist information centre that provides walking maps. Pick one up to get acquainted with the town of Messina! Find the church of the Catalans at a 2 minute walk from the terminal. See map above for its exact location.
The view from the ship might be the best view there is in town. Make sure to snap some pictures on the outside deck!
The Messina cruise dock is located in front of the city center of Messina. You will find a cruise terminal with plenty facilities at the dock. Read our full Messina cruise port guide here with information about your docking location, transportation options and what to see and do.
You can already spot this beautiful dome from the ship. It sits on a hill overlooking the town of Messina. This structure from 1937 is a burial site for thousands of Italians killed during World War I. Every day at sunset the large bell rings to commemorate the soldier’s sacrifice.
The Messina cathedral is a one of a kind beautiful structure from 1908. It’s beautiful ornate stonework and frescos are a one of a kind. There are often services at the cathedral. Find the cathedral right in the city centre.
Every day at noon the the bell tower of Messina will come alive. This is one of the largest and most complex mechanical clocks in the world. As soon as the clock strikes 12 its lion will start to roar and this will start the 15 minute display depicting the religious history of the city. If you decide to spend your day in town this something you shouldn’t miss.