Messina is the third largest city on the island of Sicily, Italy and the capital of the province which bears its name. Messina has a population of 260,000.
Founded by Greek colonists in the 8th century BC, Messina was originally called Zancle (scythe) because of the shape of its natural harbour. Of that name there still remains the 'Scalinata Zanclea' stairs.
The city was sacked in 396 BC by the Carthaginians.
Messina was almost entirely destroyed by an earthquake and associated tsunami on the morning of December 28, 1908, killing over 75,000 people. In June 1955, Messina was the location of the conference of western European foreign ministers which led to the creation of the European Economic Community.
Other cities and places of interest in the province include Barcellona Pozzo di Gotto, Milazzo, the Aeolian Islands (Lipari), Tindari, Taormina and Capo d'Orlando. The province of Messina contains 108 communes.
Antonello da Messina, Italian painter and genius of the Renaissance, was born in Messina in 1430. Filippo Juvara (Juvarra), Italian architect highest exponent of Baroque, was born in Messina in 1678
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