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Messina and its Virgin Mary Route.
Cost: € 780.00
9 days/ 8 nights


Day 1: Messina

Arrival of the participants in the agreed site and meeting with our tour leader who will accompany the participants to the hotel in Messina Accommodation at the reserved hotel rooms, dinner and overnight stay.


Day 2: Cathedral  - The Treasure of the Cathedral of Messina - Bell Tower.

After the breakfast, we will reach the Cathedral of Messina dedicated to Our Lady of the Assumption. Inside it, we will admire the XV century mosaics, some funerary monuments and some Saint’s statutes, including Saint John the Baptist of Antonello Gagini dating back to the 1525.

The church also contains a big organ, made by the Tamburini firm. With its 16.000 pipes, it is the second in Italy, after the one in Milano and one of the biggest in Europe.At twelve noon, we will admire the movement of the mechanism of the bell tower. All the gilded bronze statues move thanks to a complex system of counterweight, levers and gears, telling us the civil and religious history of Messina.

The lion, holding the city banner, symbolises its strength and roars three times. The cock, a symbol of the reawakening of consciences, crows three times, moving the head and opening the wings. Dina and Clarenza, heroines of the city, ring the bells. The Ave Maria of Schubert accompanies the movements.

We will continue with the visit to the “Treasure of the Cathedral”, created for the 2000 Jubilee, containing about four hundreds works dating back from the X century to the XX century, mostly the work of Messina’s goldsmiths and silversmiths. The absolute masterpiece kept in this museum is “The Madonna of the Letter’s Gold Mantle”, made in 1668 by the goldsmith Innocenzo Mangani, it is chiselled gold, covered with precious jewels.

Tasting of typical local in the Old Zanca Palace and visit of the “Antiquarium”.

Visit to the bell tower of the Cathedral to see at a short distance the complex mechanism of the clock and enjoy an amazing view of the city.

Walk in the streets of the city, return to the hotel, dinner and overnight stay


Day 3: Basilica Shriny of Saint Anthony -Basilica of Saint Antonio and Annibale Maria di Francia – Church of St. John Church  of Malta and  Saint Placido

After breakfast, visit to the  Saint Anthony Shriny situated in the old neighbourhood called Avignone where Saint Annibale, devoted to Saint Anthony, in 1878 started his missionary world towards the humble and poor people.

The Shriny houses a museum dedicated to “Annibale di Francia” where it is possible to look at a small-scale reproduction of the ancient Avignone neighborhood.

There will a tasting of local products and then we wil follow “the footsteps of Saint Placido”, the first Saint Benedict’s disciple. He was sent to Messina to build the first Benedictine monastery in Sicily but there he was martyrized in 541 A.C. The itinerary will bring us to some places where the presence of Saint Placido is still strong and felt, such as the place of his martyrdom. Return to hotel,dinner and overnight stay.


Day 4 : Santa Lucia del Mela – Monforte San Giorgio – Castroreale                

Breakfast at the hotel and departure by private bus to Santa Lucia del Mela, perched on Makkarruna hilltop from where an Arab castle towers all over.  Frederik II, the Swabian emperor, rebuilt and expanded it, choosing this lovely inland hilltop little town as a place for his leisure time.He proclaimed the local diocese “PRELATURA NULLIUS”, meaning that the territory fell directly under the jurisdiction of the Pope. In the territory there are 20 churches  being the most important of all isthe Shriny of theVirgin of the Snow

Our visit will start with this Shriny, born on a pre-existing defensive walls of a XVI century castle, transformed into a religious place, where is kept a precious marble statue representing the Virgin of the Snow and attributed to Antonello Gagini. We will also visit the Church of Our Lady of the Assumption, dating to the XV century and characterized by a crenellated tower, the church and the convent of Saint Francis and the Bishop Palace. Lunch in a restaurant

In the afternoon, we will go to Castroreale, typical medieval place, rich in history, cultures and beautiful landscapes, as the view on Milazzo Cape and the Aeolian islands, seen from the so called “Eagle square”. Nearby there is the Duomo. Inside it we can admire a loto of valuable art works such as the elegant marble statue of Saint Catherine (1534) by Antonello Gagini.

Other important churches in the area are the Church of Saint Mary, in a local Romanesque style with baroque decorations and the Church of Saint Agatha where is stored the simulacra of the Holy Sacred Crucified, realized in paper-maché and locally known as “ U Signuri longu” . Castroreale is also popular for the presence of the Tower of Frederick II of Aragona, what remains of an ancient castle he had built in the area.

We will also visit the Church of our Lady of the Carmelo. Local population celebrate the Virgin of the Carmelo every July, carrying along the street a statue representing the Virgin. On the way back to the hotel, we will make a stop at Monforte San Giorgio for a nice walk along its village streets. We will visit the Chiesa Madre (Main church), dedicated to Saint George -  local patron Saint -  and the Church of Jesus and Mary.

 We will reach the Church of the Virgin of Crispino (XVI century) and the annexed monastery. This Shriny, famous throughout the province, houses the “Virgin with the Baby”, one of the best work from the sculptor Antonello Gagini (1507).  In the church also can be admired inside a glassshowcase, according to the tradition, keeps a “Hair of the Virgin Mary”.

Return to the hotel. Dinner and overnight


Day 5 – Messina and its panoramic sacred place                                                       

After the breakfast, departure for visiting Montalto Church situated on Caperrina Hill. It was the first religious building of Messina rebuilt after earthquake of 1908. According to the legend, it has been founded thanks to the Virgin Mary’s will: she appeared in the form of a White Lady who arrived to defend the Messina inhabitants besieged by French Army during the Vespro war of 1294.

After that, we wil go to the memorial monument called Christ the King characterized by the third largest bell of Italy, that sounds, every day at the sunset, in memory of soldiers died during World War I. Panoramic view of the Strait of Messina. Lunch in a typical restaurant.

The itinerary runs on with the Church of Our Lady of Pompeii, on its external façade there is the mosaic representing the Virgin of the Rosary of Pompeii with angels. The Church of Our Lady of Lourdes, one of the newest churches of the town. The Carmine Church rebuilt in XVIII century architectural style after earthquake of 1908 and the Church of Our Lady of Graces where we can see a XVIII century painting representing the patron saint of the town of Messina, Our Lady of the Letter.

We will finish our tour at the Madonna of Dinnammare sanctuary, which rises on top of a mountain 1130 meters high, and called Dinnammare as well.

Return to the hotel, dinner and overnight stay.


Day 6: Taormina - Shrine Our Lady of the Rock - Castelmola. 

Breakfast at hotel.Departure for Taormina. After having admired the “Pearl of the Ionian Sea” walking on its narrow streets, we continue up to the top of the mount to reach the so-called Church of Our Lady of the Rock. Its name is due to the solid rock on which the church was built; moreover, its origin refers to a legend. In the church square, there is a big cross of reinforced concrete that overlooks the town Taormina.Lunch at restaurant with typical dishes.

In the afternoon visit to the medieval village of Castelmola: the historical centre, the Castle and its characteristic churches, such as the Mother Church of St. Nicholas, with some prestigious paintings inside. From the square, it is possible to admire an amazing view. 

Return to the hotel, dinner and overnight.                           

Day 7: Aeolian Islands with the sanctuaries of Our Lady of Terzito (Leni Village- Salina Island) and Our Lady of Catena (Quattropani village – Lipari Island)

After the breakfast at hotel, we reach the harbour of Milazzo. We will board  for Lipari Island, the biggest of the Aeolian Archipelago. After the visit of the most important items of its historic centre, we will  reach Quattropani, a little village and visit the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Catena (chain). It is an ancient church, soaked with spirituality, which offers the pleasure of silence and meditation. Its crypt was the cemetery of the borough in the past. After a typical lunch, we sail to Salina Island.

We will reach Valdichiesa borough of Leni village, where, on top of a little hill, there is the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Terzito, one of the most ancient spot of the Aeolian Virgin cult.

Its construction is connected to the legend of a little shepherd. One day, in following the wavy sound of a little bell, he discovered the ruins of an old building where there was an ancient wooden picture of the Virgin Mary.

All over the Island visible are some votive niches showing some images or statuettes with the virgin and the hand bell.Return to the hotel, dinner and overnight.

Day 8:  Casalvecchio Siculo -  Mongiuffi Melia – Roccafiorita - Antillo

Breakfast at the hotel and departure to the Agrò Valley. We will reach Casalvecchio Siculo to admire the Basilica of St. Peter and St. Paul, a jewel of the byzantine architecture and the most important monument of the whole valley. Continuation to Mongiuffi Melia, site of the Shriny of Our Lady of the Chain, dating back to the beginning of the XV century and of the Shriny dedicated to Madonna della Libera, ended in 1999. Lunch with a tasting of local products, at Roccafiorita, the smallest municipality in Sicily, where we will visit the Shriny of Madonna dell’Aiuto and the Pilgrim House, a true oasis of peace and authentic faith, at 1000 meters of height, where the cult and devotion towards the Virgin Mary reach the maximum expression.

We will continue on to Antillo, the ideal place to refresh the spirit by visiting the Mother Church dedicated to the Protector Our Lady of Providence, the Garden of Redemption, important centre of prayer and solidarity and by admiring the Bell for Peace, dedicated to the missing people of all the wars. Return to the hotel, dinner and overnight.


dAY 9: Departure

After the breakfast ,there will be checkout operations, End of our services.





The Price includes

Welcome of our courier at airport

Displacement by Private Luxury Coach/Minivan airport – hotel - airport

Guided tours

8 overnight stays in affiliated hotels, b&B, guest houses (Religious Guest House on request)

Welcome Cocktail

Full board service

Lunches in restaurants

Tasting of typical products

Travel, medical and baggage insurance

The Price doesn’t include:

Flights (available on request for formed groups)

City Tax

Entrance tickets

Porterage service

All not specifically mentioned under “price includes”


Contacts: Tel+39.095.7150493  Mobile +39.339.2713799


                                                                                                            by Jenia Viagg

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