Discovering Messina, Italy

Tripoto
14th Aug 2012

Cimitero monumentale di Messina

Photo of Discovering Messina, Italy by Aarushi Thakur

Cathedral of Messina

Photo of Discovering Messina, Italy by Aarushi Thakur

Cimitero monumentale di Messina

Photo of Discovering Messina, Italy by Aarushi Thakur

Fontana di Orione

Photo of Discovering Messina, Italy by Aarushi Thakur

La processione di Ferragosto

Photo of Discovering Messina, Italy by Aarushi Thakur

Sacracrio di Cristo Re

Photo of Discovering Messina, Italy by Aarushi Thakur

Basilica-santuario di Sant'Antonio di Padova

Photo of Discovering Messina, Italy by Aarushi Thakur

Basilica-santuario di Sant'Antonio di Padova

Photo of Discovering Messina, Italy by Aarushi Thakur

Ever since I was a kid, I would sit on my father's lap and watch Francis Ford Coppola's masterpiece - The Godfather. And as I would see the Sicilian countryside around Michael Corleone, played so flawlessly by Al Pacino, I would think to myself that this is one place that's definitely going on my bucket list! So when I finally decided to go for the infamous Euro-trip, Italy listed first in it and I couldn't help myself from taking my first steps onto the Sicilian islands.

Welcomed with open arms by the port city of Messina, it was the most picturesque sight that stood before me, of the seven pearls in the sea waters of the Strait of Messina, painted with the background of the gulf sky. The sky was a canvas to changing multi-tones with the rising sun, as I made my entry into Messina. The scenery that lay before my bare eyes wasn't enough that the history reflected in the archaic beauty of the city gave the perfect Italian kiss to the artistic love of its people! 

So without wasting a minute of the day long sightseeing I had decided to do, I hopped onto a hop-on hop-off bus to take a tour of this beautiful city. However, to my surprise, came a sudden halt in the very beginning of the tour, at what seemed like a procession. It was 14th of August, and luckily for me, it was that time of the year when the Sicilians rejoice their mythical origins and mythological history with a grand 2 day parade across the entire city. So just like I had got on, I hopped off the bus, and joined the Ride of the Giants parade, celebrating the day's festivities with the locals.

Soon the procession came to a halt, and to my amazement, so did the faces of the people, who had by now turned to face the Bell Clock Tower at the Piazza Duomo. And what came after this was a moment where time just stood still for us all. And I was jealous that the Sicilians had such a moment in their every day of their lives! Next came a walk through the church doors of the Cathedral of Messina and Fontana di Orione, followed by the Santa Maria de Carmine Cathedral, and the Cimitero monumentale di Messina. 

A day to see this port was just too short for me. The marvels of man's creativity and art from the medieval times reflects in true Italian sense at every corner of Messina. Every step I took around this city left an awe-struck moment in the memories of my Sicilian experience!

This was the terminal point for me where I decided to get off the bus, and wander off into the parade. However, what first caught my attention was what stood right in the middle of this square in Messina- a beautiful and archaic Clock Tower. And what amazed the most was how the entire procession stopped just a few seconds before the clock struck 12, with the afternoon sun shining upon us all. And what followed this proved that this was a true mechanical and astronomical masterpiece as the bell door opened up and Ave Maria played in the background, with Jesus on a cross at the end of those few reveling minutes. For me there couldn't have been a better start to my journey through age old doors of the Cathedral of Messina. As I entered, I was enamored by not just its religious craft but the miracles made by man's creativity and art under the influence of medieval European culture. Whether it was the timber ceiling or the absolutely marvelous paintings, it was truly an awe-struck moment of my trip!
Photo of Cathedral of Messina, Piazza Duomo, Messina, Province of Messina, Italy by Aarushi Thakur
Photo of Cathedral of Messina, Piazza Duomo, Messina, Province of Messina, Italy by Aarushi Thakur
Photo of Cathedral of Messina, Piazza Duomo, Messina, Province of Messina, Italy by Aarushi Thakur
Photo of Cathedral of Messina, Piazza Duomo, Messina, Province of Messina, Italy by Aarushi Thakur
Photo of Cathedral of Messina, Piazza Duomo, Messina, Province of Messina, Italy by Aarushi Thakur
Photo of Cathedral of Messina, Piazza Duomo, Messina, Province of Messina, Italy by Aarushi Thakur
The Carmine Church became the second most favourite spot of archaic religious excellence in my trip to Messina. When I had heard from a local in that bus that it is indeed one of the most favourite places of worship in this city, little did I know what he had meant until I actually saw it from my own eyes. The Greek cross that stood was evoking in itself, while the chapels in the lateral part of the Church just added to its beauty. As per me, the Santa Maria de Carmine was the most elaborately and traditionally decorated parish for the ongoing Parade.
Photo of Chiesa del Carmine, Via A. Martino, 214, Messina, Italy by Aarushi Thakur
While most of those who heard the tales of this travel had a quizzical mark when I mentioned about visiting a cemetery, as the drilled me with questions of some tragic love ballad that was forgotten and repressed or as a historical inquisition for no one understood my reason to visit a cemetery! But this experience is something I can't explain for it were my eyes that guided my feet! It was the sight of some spectacular, even forgotten, not tombs but sculptures from biblical stories over the graves of some great men that led me to discover this architectural marvel. A true spiritual yet artistic experience.
Photo of Cimitero monumentale di Messina by Aarushi Thakur
The Orion Fountain was what completed my trip into a true Italian experience! Fountains, that represented four rivers of the past over which you could wish on, was standing right before me and I couldn't decide which one was my favourite moment, the Bell Tower or this Orion Fountain. Beautiful reliefs and scultptures were carved in true Italian finesse which were a treat to my eyes. Yet the way the fountain was designed, I was too excited to throw my coin and wish on the sparkling waters of Fontana di Orione.
Photo of Fontana di Orione, Piazza Duomo, Messina, Province of Messina, Italy by Aarushi Thakur
Photo of Fontana di Orione, Piazza Duomo, Messina, Province of Messina, Italy by Aarushi Thakur
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