Norwegian Jade Cruise Photos
Day 13: Messina
Our first stop in downtown Messina was at the square in front of the Duomo, or Cathedral.
The Duomo was consecrated in 1197. It was rebuilt after a devastating earthquake in 1908 and again after being damaged by World War II bombs in 1943. (The interior columns are made of concrete, faced with marble, to make them less vulnerable to future earthquakes.)
The Duomo's mosaics are copies of the orginals, which were destroyed in the 1908 earthquake.
On the campanile or bell tower next to the Duomo is Messina's, which comes to life every day at noon. (You can watch mechanical statues put on a show in the belfry to the accompaniment of church music.)
The clock was built in the early 1930s as a modern
replica of an earlier clock from 1574, and it's said to be one of the largest
and most complex astronomical clocks in the world.
We heard barking as we admired the cathedral's façade. A moment later, a dog walker came around the belfry with half a dozen dogs in tow. He crossed the street to a small park, let the dogs do their business, reattached the dogs' leashes, and disappeared (with the dogs) into the surrounding streets.
Messina wasn't a particularly beautiful city, since many
centuries of architectural history were lost in the 1908 earthquake. Still, we
did find sights to admire, such as this flowering bush that was tucked into the
walls of the Chiesa di Santa Caterina in the Via Garibaldi.
We liked this apartment balcony, with its green shutters and horizontal stripes that made us think of a gelato-based parfait.
Messina's residential architecture is mostly high-density. Even the dogs live in multistory dwellings.
Of course, some dogs live with people, such as this retriever that was taking its human for a walk.
Family businesses are an Italian tradition (though English-language store names are an anomaly).
Seeking shelter from the hot sun, we found our way to thewith its canopy of trees, cafés, and shops.
The Piazza Carioli was also the hub of Messina's tram network, and streetcars glided in and out of the station as we enjoyed the shade.
The Piazza Carioli had a McDonald's, although we suspect that even Ronald McDonald would prefer a duet of Sicilian cannoli to a Big Mac and fries.
Why settle for one bakery's cannoli when you can play the field?
We liked the juxtaposition of old and new in this photo. ("Mirror, mirror on the wall, which is the fairest building of the mall?")
If we had any doubts about what we were, this sign on a local bus put them to rest.
Being fans of Venice, we were intrigued by this sign (which appeared to be written in Sicilian dialect).
When a parking space isn't big enough, think outside the box.
A banner on Messina's City Hall paid homage to Paolo Borsellino, an anti-Mafia magistrate who was assassinated with a car bomb in Palermo, Sicily on July 19, 1992.
As we returned to Norwegian Jade, we passed street vendors near the waterfront.
Such unlicensed peddlers are common in Italy. They sell everything from fake designer handbags to cheap toys and selfie sticks.
Norwegian Jade was moored next to the Ubaldo Diciotti (CP 902), an offshore patrol vessel of the Italian Coast Guard.
On the pier, a member of Norwegian Jade's crew was setting up a "Welcome back" banner near the gangway.
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