Italy
Province of Messina

Here you’ll find travel reports about Province of Messina. Discover travel destinations in Italy of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

76 travelers at this place:

  • Day375

    Day 376: Visiting the Islands

    February 25 in Italy

    Woke up early and decided to give the islands another shot. The weather was pretty miserable - overcast and raining, but we hurried down to the dock around 8am and lucky for us, the boat was running! Grabbed our tickets and boarded, then waited out the 20 minutes or so across to Vulcano.

    To our surprise only a couple of people got off, though this isn't actually the main island (Lipari is home to the largest settlement). The town was quite small and obviously a holiday spot - lots of closed ice-cream stores and boat rental places fronting a beach. It would be quite nice, but it was raining steadily and not super warm either. But we were here, and committed.

    Had a quick coffee at literally the only place in town, then walked about 20 minutes along a road to where the crater rim hike starts. It's normally not too arduous, but carrying a dog and an umbrella each certainly upped the difficulty! After about an hour of climbing we made it to the crater rim.

    Sulfur clouds and rain clouds drifted past fairly constantly, meaning that we only had intermittent views down into the crater and back across the islands. The town was well below us, but still quite close by. I guess farming the fertile volcanic soil must be worth the risk of living on an active volcano!

    Fairly quick trip back down as it's obviously much easier going, and by 11:30 we were already back in town and waiting for the boat. Still raining! Thankfully we'd managed to line up our return with a hydrofoil, so we weren't waiting more than about 15 minutes, and then with the 20 minute trip back it wasn't long after 12pm and we were back on Sicily proper.

    Not feeling inclined to find another restaurant or cafe and just wanting to get out of the rain and somewhere warm, we walked back to the car and drove out of town. Lunch was at McDonalds which is honestly just the easiest option sometimes. Italian food culture is great, but a quick lunch on the road isn't a strong point!

    Spent the next couple of hours driving around the north-eastern coast to the town of Taormina, one of the more famous tourist spots on Sicily. Parked in a garage and took a shuttle bus up to the old town, where a famous landmark stands - the Greek Theatre. Dating in large part from the Greek period on Sicily, ie ~500 BC, and it's mostly still there. It's also in a super dramatic spot, perched on cliffs high about the ocean and the rest of the town - very impressive. To the Greeks, the panorama behind the stage was almost as important as the stage action itself.

    It had stopped raining as well by now, though still quite cloudy, and we didn't hang around for long in Taormina once we'd had a good look around. Back to the car where we continued southwards to the town of Trecastagni on the south-eastern slopes of Mount Etna. Found our Airbnb with no problems, a lovely rooftop loft. Everything was newly renovated, the heating worked, we had a nice balcony with views of the ocean in one direction and Etna in the other direction. The host was very nice, and had left us a bunch of supplies for the next two nights, including fruits, sweets, pasta and local pistachio pesto.

    It had been a very long day, so we stayed in and chilled out - had the pistachio pesto for dinner!
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  • Day374

    The main reason we'd come to Milazzo is because just off the coast here is an archipelago of seven volcanic islands, including two active volcanoes: Stromboli and Vulcano. They've been continually erupting for basically all of recorded history, and are both quite important to the development of the science of volcanology. We were both pretty excited about it, and the weather was looking perfect.

    Since the boats only leave at irregular intervals, we got down to the port with plenty of time to spare - around 8:45 for the 9:30 boat. Problem: despite the nice weather and calm appearance, the seas in the strait were very rough and no boats were running. They weren't sure whether the next boat at 12:30 would proceed either!

    Disappointed, we returned home and waited around for a couple of hours before returning to the dock. Nope - the 12:30 boat isn't going either. We consoled ourselves with a long lunch before returning home and then driving out to the headland where we could see the seas definitely were rough despite the lovely weather on land.

    So we returned home. Decided that although we had to leave tomorrow, visit the vet, Taormina, and then drive to Mount Etna, we'd try and still fit in a visit to the Islands. Called the vet and after some confused chat in broken English and more broken Italian, moved tomorrow's appointment to this afternoon at 5pm. Relaxed at home until then and drove over, where we got Schnitzel's medication done and passport checks filled out.

    Back home again where we stayed in for the evening. Fingers crossed the boats are running again tomorrow!
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  • Day11

    Taormina

    April 24 in Italy

    The next couple of entries will be rather brief because we have been to them both on a previous cruise so we didn't do any special activities in Taormina. Last time we docked in Messina and were driven to Taormina which is just a touristy village set up high with fantastic views. This time we anchored at Taormina and used tender boats to port. The town is nestled at the foothills of Mt Etna which, as you can see from the photo, is smoking. I guess it is only a matter of time before Taormina goes the way of Pompeii, buried under a volcanic eruption. Brad and I just walked along the seafront which really wasn't the touristy area and stopped at a cafe to buy a gelati and use their WiFi (where I sent the last post from). Had a very short walk on their horrible pebbly beach but that was even worse than walking on very soft sand. After that we caught the tender boats back to the ship so it was a pretty uneventful day for us. Some people did the Godfather tour (afterall, this is Sicily) and said it was really enjoyable .Read more

  • Day5

    Vulcano

    March 29, 2005 in Italy

    Vulcano - Die Heiße:

    Brodelnder Schlamm, kochendes Meer, Schwefeldampf auf dem Vulkan.

    Der Vulkan gilt als der gefährlichste der Inselgruppe. Er ruht nur und kann jederzeit wieder ausbrechen. Der letzte Ausbruch liegt zwar schon über ein Jahrhundert zurück, mancher Vulkanologe erwartet aber gerade deshalb bald einen neuen und dann sicher verheerenden…

    Aber auch was „die Heiße“ heutzutage so zu bieten hat, ist sehenswert...Read more

  • Day2

    Panarea

    March 26, 2005 in Italy

    Die älteste, kleinste und auch exklusivste Insel des Archipels, ein Traum aus schneeweißen Würfelhäusern, schmalen Gässchen und herrlichem Blumenschmuck. Und damit man nicht vergisst, dass auch sie natürlich vulkanischen Ursprungs ist, steigen um die vorgelagerten Inselchen heiße Gasblasen aus der Tiefe des Meeres auf…

  • Day9

    Stromboli

    April 2, 2005 in Italy

    Stromboli - die Explosive:

    Nächtlicher Feuerzauber am Vulkan, Strände aus pechschwarzem Sand.

    Stromboli ist ein Reiseziel der ganz besonderen Art. Mehrmals stündlich liefert der Vulkan ein Schauspiel, das sicher zu den faszinierendsten Erlebnissen gehört, die auf Reisen innerhalb Europas möglich sind.

  • Day6

    Salina

    March 30, 2005 in Italy

    Salina - die Grüne:

    Ein Paradies für Wanderer, Naturfreunde und Entdecker.

    Mit 26,8 Quadratkilometern und etwa 2300 Einwohnern ist Salina die zweitgrößte Insel des Archipels. Die höchste Erhebung, der monte Fossa delle Felci, ist mit 962 m noch vor dem Stromboli der höchste Berg der Inselkette. Hier gibt es noch viel ursprüngliches Leben ...

  • Day240

    Taormina

    February 21, 2017 in Italy

    As a day trip from Giardini Naxos, we took the bus to the beautiful hillside town of Taormina. The journey was an experience all in itself, with the coach driver gesticulating wildly with one hand as he held a high volume animated conversation with a passenger. He rattled through narrow spaces we'd have been nervous driving the van through and swung round switchback bends with sheer drops to the side. It was when he placed his i pad on the steering wheel and started typing away with his other hand that we really began to feel nervous!

    As we climbed we were treated to incredible views of snowtopped Mount Etna rising up from the vast blue sea below. After 20 minutes we pulled into the small bus station, checked the return times and set off up the hill to the old town. Passing by the two armed miltary personel and under the archway, we progressed up the cobbled streets towards Teatro Greco, a 1800 year old Greek Ampitheatre at the top of the hill.

    We bought our €10 entry tickets and started up the stone steps as green speckled lizards scuttled accross our path and up the walls. The teatro itself was pretty cool with staging, stone pillars and tunnels, but the view of Mount Etna just 20miles away and the coastline below was jaw dropping. We were incredibly lucky to visit on such a clear day and feel we got the best out of the site.

    After perusing the display of ancient stone tablets and a small sarcophagus, we went in search of food in town. We didn't want much, so we decided on a place called Piliere that was giving out flyers in the street and whose prices seemed reasonable. In short, we wish we hadn't! Climbing up to the 2nd floor we chose to sit on the balcony, only to be covered with flaking plaster and paint from the wall that acted as a backrest. Vicky had a salad but the Iceberg lettuce lived up to its name a little too much with the ice crystals it had on it. The upside to the experience was meeting a Canadian couple who were on an 8 month tour. We chatted away and each told of our favourite places in the world and our plans for future travel.
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  • Day238

    Giardini Naxos, Sicily

    February 19, 2017 in Italy

    We were so excited; today was the day we were going to Sicily! However the mood was somewhat dampened by a super stressful drive, where we initially found ourselves trapped on the seaward side of the railtracks by low bridges, then found ourselves holding our breath as we squeezed past lines of parked cars with oncoming traffic giving us only inches to spare. One car was even driving with their wing mirror already tucked in!

    Arriving at the ferry port, the system was very relaxed. We chose a line to park up in and eventually found the small sign telling us which building was the ticket office. There were no advertised departure times but when asked, the attendant said it would be 'about an hour'.

    The ferry itself was the most juddery we'd been on, but the Straights of Messina were quite a challenging course to sail. Homer's Odesey describes Odyseus' journey between the rock of Scylla and the Charybdis whirlpool. Vicky had her eyes peeled for the whirlpool but it was nowhere to be seen.

    Arriving on the island south of Messina, we exited the port via a road that appeared to have been designed like a whirlpool. It was disappointing to see there was just as much litter here as on the mainland. We crossed large stony river beds where rubbish had been strewn. Stopping at traffic lights, we saw a beggar making his way between the cars with a sign around his neck saying he and his 3 children were hungry. Taking the coast road south, the area was urban. The buildings that weren't for tourists were dirty and run down with flaking paint, plaster and rusted iron railings around their small balconies. After a while, the filth and squalor wears you down and it was beginning to get that way with us. Goodness knows what the people living day in, day out in these conditions must feel like.

    On the up side, there were verdant green hills rising steeply, inland of the developed strip and dark shingle beaches to the seaward side. Wooden fishing boats sat without trailers in car parking spaces and on the pavement. As we passd through tourist areas, the roads were cleaner and the bins were emptied regularly. It was nicer to look at but the inequality was stark.

    In Giardini Naxos there were several campsites very close together. We chose Lagani, the one in the middle. Upon pulling in we immediately got a strong community feel. The place offered discounts on stays over a month and there were several long timers. The site manager wasn't around but a camper encouraged us to explore while he phoned him. The place was immaculate and interestingly we saw two vans with GB plates; the first we'd seen since November. We decided to stay three nights and took a wander down the hill to the beach. It was built up and had a lot of tourist restaurants and attractions, including a gelateria, where we had our first ice creams in Italy.

    The next day Vicky logged on to Facebook and checked the posts of the Grey Gappers, David and Karen, who were blogging about touring in their van. They'd recently been on Sicily and Vicky wanted to check out their experiences. About an hour later, Will got chatting with both couples from the GB vans and returned with the Grey Gappers' card- they were two vans up! We returned together and introductions were made between ourselves, the Grey Gappers and David and Tosca, who had two beautiful dogs, Lexi the Rottweiler and Wiley the Doberman.

    Over the next 2 days we got to know each other, shared travelling experiences and our favourite stopovers. Vicky got to do yoga in the garden shaded with palm trees, we bought oranges from the orange delivery van and Will picked prickly pears when taking the riverside route to the beach. He brought them back to the van and much to our dismay we discovered why they were called 'prickly'! Once processed, the juice was nice enough to drink but Vicky banned any more foraging.

    We discovered on the second day that we could see the snow topped Mount Etna over the river behind the site - how exciting! We watched the steam and smoke rising above it and were at just the right position to witness the sun set into its crater, something which made us feel very privileged.

    Time seemed to fly by but on the last night we arranged a GB get together which was really enjoyable even though Will over did the vino. We were all different people from different walks of life, but the way of life we had in common meant we had plenty to chat about.
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  • Day262

    Tonnarella campsite, Funari

    March 15, 2017 in Italy

    Leaving Caronia, we kept to the coast and travelled east. As we drew nearer the large port of Messina, the towns became increasingly commercialised, having not only the shops of need like the bakery, grocer and hardware stores, but shops for wants like home decoration, presents, clothes and nik naks. The journey was going alright until the coast road ahead was closed. Unlike in Germany, where diversions are signed, Italian road closures just leave you to get on with it. Unfortunately in this case, the alternate route we found took us up into mountains that flanked the sea. We climbed 500m over a distance of 5km and after taking in some stunning views from the ridge, started a descent which was to prove the most difficult hill drive we've encountered. The road had reduced to a single track and when we came to some of the hairpin bends there wasn't enough space to turn the 7m long van. Will needed to do a three point turn on a steeply cambered road with a gradient of about 15% in order to continue down hill. On three consecutive bends!

    Breathing a sigh of relief upon rejoining the coast road, we eventually came to Tonnarella campsite. Through a tight front entrance there was a large area of gravel looking out on to the sea with a cement slick path leading down to the small grey sand beach. Huge concrete blocks deposited in such a way that they formed groynes, separated the beach and made it so the section in front of the site was quite private.

    Nobody was to be seen when we arrived, so we parked up and the owner came by in his car after a few hours. He told us it was €15 a night and showed us round. We had been looking for wool for quite some time so when he told us there was a pizzarria and gelaterria down the road, Vicky asked if there was a wool shop nearby. He had a think and told us there were two in the town about 4km away. He thought again, then said that as he was going in this evening, would Vicky like to accompany him in his car? A bit taken aback, Vicky accepted and was picked up just before 7pm. Cadmael as he was called, chatted all the way in to town and it was great for Vicky to be able to chat back (all in Italian). She didn't understand everything but he was patient in finding different ways of saying things and Vicky managed to make herself understood. Cadmael delivered her to the wool shop and stood outside talking with a friend he had met while she went in and explained what she needed. The assistant was very helpful and keen to talk about how, in times gone by everyone knitted, but that the young were only interested in computer games now. After waiting in the car (with the keys in the ignition) while Cadmael visited a few of his friends, Vicky was dropped off back at the van with the two balls of wool she had been looking for.

    It was an incredible feeling to have been able to hold such long conversations with two different people in Italian. Knowing a little of the language has definitely enhanced our experience!

    Wifi was included in the price of our stay and we were able to rig up our Motorhome Wifi Booster and catch up with family via video chat. We really enjoyed being able to see people, albeit on a computer screen.

    The next morning, Vicky thanked Cadmael once again for his help and he brushed it off, saying with pride that he was Sicilian, part of a community and that is how things are done, if someone needs help, they help. It was so nice to see nationalist pride in this positive light!
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Messina, Provinz Messina, Province of Messina, Provincia de Mecina, مقاطعة مسينة, Provincia de Messina, Месина, མེ་སི་ན།, Proviñs Messina, Província de Messina, Provincie Messina, Μεσσίνα, Provinco de Mesino, Provincia de Mesina, Messina provints, Messinako probintzia, استان مسینا, Messinan maakunta, Messine, מסינה, Messina megye, Provinsi Messina, メッシーナ県, მესინის პროვინცია, 메시나 현, Provincia Messanensis, Provinsia de Mesina, Pruvincia de Messina, Mesinos provincija, Mesīnas province, Wilayah Messina, Messina Séng, Provinsen Messina, Prowincja Mesyna, Provincia ëd Messin-a, ضلع مسینا, Provincia Messina, Мессина, Provìntzia de Messina, Pruvincia di Missina, Province o Messina, Messina ili, Мессіна, صوبہ میسینا, 墨西拿省

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