Cruising to Messina Strait, Italy


Messina Strait tourist information.

Messina Strait, ItalyMessina is the capital of the Italian province of Messina. It is the 3rd largest city on the island of Sicily, and the 13th largest city in Italy, with a population of more than 252,000 inhabitants. It is located near the northeast corner of Sicily, at the Strait of Messina, opposite Villa San Giovanni on the mainland, and has close ties with Reggio Calabria.

The Strait of Messina is the narrow passage between the eastern tip of Sicily and the western tip of Calabria in the south of Italy. It connects the Tyrrhenian Sea to the north with the Ionian Sea to the south, within the central Mediterranean. At its narrowest point, it measures 3.1 km in width, though near the town of Messina the width is some 5.1 km and maximum depth is 250 m.

The strait is characterized by strong tidal currents, that established a unique marine ecosystem. A natural whirlpool in the northern portion of the strait has been linked to the Greek legend of Scylla and Charybdis. In some circumstances, the mirage of Fata Morgana can be observed when looking at Sicily from Calabria. With its bottleneck shape, it is also a compulsory point of transit of the migration of many bird species.

Strait of Messina Bridge

For decades, the possibility of building a bridge across the Messina Strait has been under discussion. In 2006, under Prime Minister Romano Prodi the project was cancelled.[2] On 6 March 2009, however, as part of a massive new public works program, Silvio Berlusconi’s government announced that plans to construct the Messina Bridge had been fully revived, pledging €1.3 billion as a contribution to its estimated cost of €6.1 billion[3] Some 3.3 km long and 60 m wide, the bridge would be supported by two 382 m pillars, each higher than the Empire State Building, and accommodate six freeway lanes, a railway (for up to 200 trains a day), and two walkways.