Messina, Sicily sits under the ever present threat of Mount Etna and volcanic eruption. Messina itself is full of stunning architecture but is not the friendliest place that I have ever visited. The most noticeable thing was the lack of tourist ‘souvenir’ shops, the first sign that foreign visitors are welcome. What we saw was threatening paraphernalia depicting the mafia and even saw birds such as ducks looking helpless in a cage on the street. The atmosphere seemed strange, nobody wanting to talk to anyone almost as though they were in fear of something or someone.
That being said, there is a beauty all of its own in Messina. The imposing vision of Mount Etna is a sight to behold as is the architecture, fountains and statues. It even has a working mechanical clock that depicts people moving and a lion on the top.
There was also plenty of foreign workers trying to make a living for themselves and probably their family back home. Going on past experience, this seems quite common in Italian areas.
I am glad that I have been to Messina and experienced their culture and seen what they have to offer but I don’t think that I will be rushing back.