Messina was originally called Zancle by the Greeks, because of the shape of its natural harbour. A comune of its Metropolitan City was located at the southern entrance of the Strait of Messina, today called ‘Scaletta Zanclea’. In the early 5th century BC, Anaxilas of Rhegium renamed it Messene in honour of the Greek city Messene. In 1783, an earthquake devastated much of the city, and it took decades to rebuild and rekindle the cultural life of Messina. One of the main figures of the unification of Italy, Giuseppe Mazzini, was elected deputy at Messina in the general elections of 1866. The city was almost entirely destroyed by an earthquake and associated tsunami on the morning of 28 December 1908, killing about 100,000 people and destroying most of the ancient architecture. The city was largely rebuilt in the following year. In June 1955, Messina was the location of the Messina Conference of Western European foreign ministers which led to the creation of the European Economic Community. Messina has a subtropical mediterranean climate with long, hot summers with low diurnal temperature variation with consistent dry weather. In winter, Messina is rather wet and mild.
Today Messina is the third largest city in Sicily, it is really important for the tourism of the island and represents the “bridge” with the Italian peninsula.
As the whole Sicily it represents a well mix of all the countries and cultures that occupied the island as Greeks, Goths, Arabs, Normans and Spanish.