Notice I wrote Messina, Sicily and not Messina, Italy. The Sicilians are very proud of their heritage and consider themselves Sicilians not Italians.
This was our first day without a shore excursion and I was really happy about it. We’ve been on the go non stop since we left Ireland and it was nice not to have to get up at 6am. Messina is a cute little town that’s very easy to walk around.
We went into a few souvenir shops, I bought a book about Sicily, the girls each picked out a slingshot. Yes, you heard that correctly. Out of all of the fun and cute little things available, horse and carts decorated in traditional colors, marionettes, kids books, etc. they picked out wooden slingshots. They were given a formal warning not to ping anyone on the ship, to which they agreed. So after shopping we went back to the town center to watch the famous astronomical clock which chimes at 11:55am. I suggest to look it up on Youtube and watch one of the many videos, it’s very impressive.
After we watched the clock, which was very interesting with lots of animatronics, we went to the cafe next door to get, yes, pizza. The menu was all in Italian and the waitress only spoke Italian, that was interesting. We worked it out though and soon we were nomming away on pizza and french fries. Not far into our meal a very determined pigeon arrived and it was obvious he wanted fries. We tried to ignore him as best we could. In the end, we gave him one fry. I mean he really tried so hard to be stealthy, we didn’t want him to think it hadn’t been impressive.
After lunch, the clouds started to darken and we thought it best to return to the ship. We took a more scenic route back and got some gelato on the way.