Messina is the third largest city on the island of Sicily, Italy and the capital of the province of Messina. Messina has a population of 260,000. It is located at the North-East corner of Sicily, next to the Strait of Messina.
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 'Scaletta Zanclea' stairs. The Latin name of the city is Messana.
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.
Antonello da Messina, Italian painter and genius of the Renaissance, was born in Messina in 1430. Filippo Juvara also spelled Filippo Juvarra, Italian architect highest exponent of Baroque, was born in Messina in 1678.
In 1957 a 220kV-overhead powerline was built across the strait of Messina. At the time of its construction, its pylons were the highest in the world. This powerline has since been replaced by an underwater cable, but the pylons still remain, protected as historical monuments. (See Pylons of Messina.)