Messina … Shakespeare’s Muse 🎭

Messina is a harbour city and the third largest city in Sicily and the 13th largest city in Italy. It is located on the northeast corner of the island at the Strait of Messina and is an important access point to the region of Calabria on the mainland. The city's main resources are its seaport, cruise ship tourism and agriculture.  Messina was founded by Greek colonists in the 7th century BC who called it "Zancle" from the Greek word meaning "scythe" because of the shape of its natural harbour although a legend attributes the name to the Greek King Zanclus, the first king of Messina. In the early 5th century it was renamed Messene in honour of the Greek city Messene. The city was ransacked by the Carthaginians in 397BC and was then reconquered by Dionysius I of Syracuse. In 264BC Roman troops were deployed to Sicily and Messina became under Roman rule. Thereafter it was ruled by the Goths from 476, the Byzantine Empire in 535, by the Arabs in 842 and 1061 by the

Back to being tourists again …

Twenty years ago in a February issue of a UK glossy magazine I read a travel article about alternative Valentine’s Day destinations away from the popular most obvious ones and that was how I discovered Taormina in Sicily.  With my long standing love of all things Italian and my husband's love of gangster movies it seemed like the perfect destination for us. Me being me I started researching and booked a flight to Catania and a hotel nestled between Giardini Naxos and Taormina. As soon as we saw Mount Etna out of our airplane window and stepped foot on the airport tarmac it was instantly love at first sight and so when we returned back to London we booked another trip and then another trip and then another trip until in 2007 we decided we loved everything about Sicily so much that we wanted to live there and so we bought a house in Giardini Naxos. Having a house in Sicily gives us the best of two worlds, we get to live the Sicilian way of life and still see Sicily with a tourists ey