Things to do in Messina

Our most recommended things to do in Messina

Sicily: Godfather Private Tour with Optional Food and Wine

1. Sicily: Godfather Private Tour with Optional Food and Wine

Enjoy the sights and tastes of Italy à la The Godfather in the company of a knowledgeable, English-speaking tour guide.  Your guide will pick you up at your hotel or port at a time suitable to you before beginning your tour in Savoca, a medieval hilltop town where the fictitious Michael Corleone hid out during the "Going to the Mattresses" scene.  In Savoca, stop at Bar Vitelli, which looks exactly as it did in the movie. At Bar Vitelli, you will be invited to take pictures with an authentic Sicilian shotgun, see pictures from The Godfather movie, enjoy the view from the square where the wedding scene was filmed, and purchase souvenirs.  The highlight, however, will be an optional tasting of Sicilian cannoli and lemon granita. Your next stop will be the church of Santa Lucia, where Michael and Apollonia got married. You will follow in the footsteps of the newlyweds down the hill into the town. Once in the town, visit another ancient church, dating back to the 13th century.  Your guide will tell you about the filming processes involved in shooting The Godfather and some fun trivia about the movie, the director, and the actors. Discover the history of the real Sicilian mafia from your guide. Hear how the mafia rose to power, its structure, and about the "Law of Silence", "Men of Respect" and the "Boss of the Bosses". After all this walking and learning, you will be taken to visit one of the best wine bars in Savoca where you can try excellent Sicilian wines and locally produced, traditional food including cheeses, salami, prosciutto, olives, and homemade bread.  During the tour in Savoca, you will also see the mirror monument dedicated to Coppola, on the panoramic terrace overlooking the Ionian coast, the site of Michael Corleone's wedding scene. Your tour will continue to Forza D'Agro, another stunning hilltop town. Your guide will lead you along abandoned streets towards the historic square where you will visit the churches Santissima Trinita and Santissima Annunziata. In Forza D'Agro, you will see the piazza where young Vita Andolini escaped from Don Ciccio's men and you will walk up to the remains of a 12th-century Norman Castle to admire the panoramic view of the Ionian coastline.

Taormina: Ancient Theater Entry Ticket and Guided Tour

2. Taormina: Ancient Theater Entry Ticket and Guided Tour

Visit the Ancient Theater of Taormina with this guided tour and enjoy the added perk of skip-the-line entry privileges. Take a journey through the archaeological ruins and learn the history. Step back into the past with a visit to the Ancient Theater of Taormina. After the one of Syracusa, the Ancient Theater of Taormina is the largest building for shows in the Italian Peninsula. Learn about the Greek building that dates back to the 3rd-2nd century BCE. See how the Romans under Emperor Trajan and Hadrian changed the monument/ Discover the amphitheatre and orchestra, converted under Emperor Caracalla and hear tales of gladiator fights during this period.

Sicily: The Godfather Filming Locations Tour

3. Sicily: The Godfather Filming Locations Tour

On this informative tour, follow in the footsteps of Michael Corleone in The Godfather. Discover the beautiful medieval villages of Savoca and Forza d’Agrò nestled on 2 beautiful hills where Francis Ford Coppola shot the famous movies. Explore the splendid hidden corners of Sicily as you go off the beaten path. Visit St. Lucy Church where Michael married Apollonia and the Cathedral of Forza d'Agrò where another wedding scene was shot. Enjoy a drink or lemon granita at Bar Vitelli where Michael Corleone asked Mr. Vitelli if he could marry his daughter. Then, explore the beautiful Castello Degli Schiavi.

Taormina: Skip-the-Line Entry Ticket to the Ancient Theater

4. Taormina: Skip-the-Line Entry Ticket to the Ancient Theater

Pre-book your entry ticket to the Ancient Theater of Taormina and enjoy the added perk of skip-the-line entry privileges. Take a stirring journey through the archaeological ruins and enjoy the freedom to explore at your own pace. After the one of Syracusa, the Ancient Theater of Taormina is the largest building for shows in the Italian Peninsula. The archaeological site offers the opportunity to step back into the past as well as enjoy the views of the surrounding landscapes. The Greek building, built in a dominant position, dates back, by layout, to the III-II century B.C., but the monument you can admire today appears in the forms acquired in the roman imperial age under the emperor Trajan or Hadrian. It becomes an amphitheater under the emperor Caracalla and, in the same period, the orchestra was converted into an arena to host gladiator fights. After centuries of neglect, in 1465, part of the monument was used as a palace of residence of the Zumbo family.

Messina: Guided City Highlights Walking Tour

5. Messina: Guided City Highlights Walking Tour

Explore Messina on a guided walking tour. Stroll through magnificent buildings and landscapes. Hear about the history and aesthetics of this facinating city. Learn about how the citizens rebuilt after a devastating earthquake in 1908. Meet your guide and pass by the neoclassical city council building of Palazzo Zanca. Find out the legend behind the Sanctuary of Madonna di Montalto and take in views of Messina from its elevated vantage point. Continuing to the second largest cathedral in Sicily to see the marble façade, mosaics, and painted ceilings. Admire the Bell Tower, which contains the largest and most complex mechanical and astronomical clock in the world. View a stunning mix of Sicilian and Norman architecture at the 12th century Church of S.S. Annunziata dei Catalani. Finish your tour with taste of something sweet at a local pastry shop.

Taormina: Roundtrip Transfer from Messina

6. Taormina: Roundtrip Transfer from Messina

Take advantage of an afternoon cruise stop in Messina and travel along the beautiful Sicilian coast to enjoy 3 hours exploring Taormina at your own leisure. Perfect for those who want the convenience of a round-trip transfer with the independence to explore the city at their own pace, this service provides pickup near the marina on Via Battisti and takes guests on a 1 hour and 15 minute journey to Taormina.

From Taormina: The Godfather Movie Tour of Sicily Villages

7. From Taormina: The Godfather Movie Tour of Sicily Villages

Depart from Taormina to visit the Sicilian hill towns of Savoca and Forza D’Agrò. Explore the sets of the popular movie The Godfather. See the famous Bar Vitelli and wedding venue, among other places you’ll recognize from the films. Hear stories about the movies and Sicily from a local guide. Enjoy a scenic drive through the countryside. Take a pleasant stroll in the villages. Easily find filming locations of the movie. Visit the Trimarchi building, the venue for the famous Bar Vitelli. Then, see the location of the wedding shoot, the Church of Santa Lucia. Learn about tales behind the great film, and the equally captivating history of the island that inspired this masterpiece by Francis Ford Coppola. Many scenes of village life were filmed on the cobblestone streets and traditional houses of Forzà d'Agrò. Explore SS. Annunziata Square, Church of SS. Annunziata, and the birthplace of Vito Corleone. Admire the charm of the Sicilian countryside in this amazing place, nestled between the provinces of Messina and Catania.

From Tropea: Stromboli, Panarea, Lipari Guided Day Tour

8. From Tropea: Stromboli, Panarea, Lipari Guided Day Tour

The Aeolian Islands are natural wonders to be discovered and the best way to do it is undoubtedly by boat. Take part in a mini-cruise to the Aeolian Islands to get an overview of these splendid islands, each one different from the others, and in just one day, you will be able to grasp the peculiarities of each island. Wind and sun have forged the character and identity of the islanders. A sea still full of fish and clean, caves and very high cliffs, stacks, and beaches with fine black sand, solfataras and mountains of white pumice, and all the charm of the island's environments. Despite the vicissitudes of history and the changes imposed by the modern world, this identity has survived with its customs and traditions. The archipelago of the Aeolian Islands, north of the Sicilian coast, in the province of Messina, was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2000. Seven islands of volcanic origin some of which there is still a fair amount of volcanic activity. The largest island is Lipari, followed by Salina. The smallest, Panarea, is also the most exclusive island, preferred by VIPs. Stromboli, thanks to the intense volcanic activity of "Iddu" has seen a strong increase in tourism in recent years. Vulcano remains a very popular island both for the spa and for the tourist attractions. Finally, Filicudi and Alicudi, west of the archipelago and close to Palermo, are the islands for lovers of nature and tranquility. Alicudi does not circulate vehicles and is characterized by a wild and uncontaminated territory, ideal for a perfect Sicilian mix of beach holidays and trekking.

Messina: 2-Hour Walking Tour with a Private Guide

9. Messina: 2-Hour Walking Tour with a Private Guide

Your tour starts from Piazza del Duomo, where you can admire the Fountain of Orion which was built in 1500 by a disciple and collaborator of Michelangelo Buonarroti. Represented within it are the four rivers, and the upper basin is decorated with verses in Latin. Afterwards, you will visit the magnificent cathedral dedicated to Santa Maria Assunta. Built in the Byzantine era and expanded at the time of Swabians, it was destroyed in 1254 during the funeral of King Corrado IV (son of Frederick II Hohenstaufen), before being later rebuilt in 1908. You will encounter Renaissance decorations, Baroque decorations, and finally those of the 1900s. You will also view various statues, marbles and mosaics, copies of the original versions which are now lost. The façade is decorated with multi-colored bands and embellished with marble and 14th century reliefs. The outside of the 90-meter-high and 10-meter-wide bell tower has the largest and most complex mechanical and astronomical clock in the world. Everyday at noon, the various statues move to the sound of the Hail Mary of Schubert. The figures of the bell tower recall the War of the Vespers of 1282, in which the Sicilians stood victorious over Charles of Anjou. Your tour will continue with a view of the port, the largest in Sicily and one of the largest in Italy, before ending with views of the Belvedere skyline.

Private Tour of Alcantara Gorges. Including Food and Wine

10. Private Tour of Alcantara Gorges. Including Food and Wine

During this private tour by comfortable air-conditioned car, you will visit a Sicilian natural phenomenon - Alcantara Gorges National Reserve. This tour is private - only for your party, nobody else, to ensure the highest standards for clients, and includes pickup and drop-off at your accommodation or the port in Taormina, Catania, or Messina. Several thousand years ago, the river Alcantara's bed was blocked by a lava flow from Mount Etna. As the lava was cooled much more quickly by the water than it would have done otherwise, it crystallized in the form of columns. Over the next millennia, the river naturally eroded a channel through these columns, resulting in impressive gorges and ravines. During this private tour to Gole Alcantara, you will visit the Alcantara park relaxation area. Your friendly private English-speaking guide will explain to you about the origins of this natural phenomenon, about Etna, and Sicily itself. After this refreshing experience, your guide will chauffeur you to the charming seaside town of Giardini Naxos - the first Greek colony in Sicily. You will visit one of the best wine bars and have a delicious and hearty food and wine tasting. You will taste different types of Sicilian Etna DOC red and white wines with locally produced organic food - cheeses, salami, prosciutto, bresaola, olives, mushrooms, extra virgin olive oil, and fresh bread.

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What people are saying about Messina

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 363 reviews

Marco was our guide and I cannot say enough good things about him. Very friendly and knowledgeable. We enjoyed our day very much and he made sure we had a wonderful time. I highly recommend this tour and if Marco is your guide, you will learn a lot about his beautiful country. Just ask.

Maria was excellent! Her personality was engaging and warm. Her home was beautiful and welcoming. We enjoyed the market tour and the food she made was delicious! We were so full but a nice walk back to the cruise ship was perfect! Thank you Maria!!

This trip was well worth every penny and such a beautiful place to visit…but a little scary as the driver drove quite fast, but still other cars were passing the driver up. I guess this is normal driving in Sicily

Best tour guide ever! Don’t miss this extraordinary experience with Alessio - was the best tour we have ever been on . Alessio is extremely knowledgeable and fun to tour with! Don’t miss this one!

The tour was amazing, Alessio is such a passionate and great guide ! Do not hesitate to book this activity, it’s really worth it. Thanks to Isabella also who is a really kind person :)