Easy Excursions to the Beach

If the streets look a little deserted in July or August, it's because the Messinese are hanging out at Mortelle, the beach resort 12km (7 1/2 miles) north of Messina, at the northeastern tip of the island. The beachfront is a narrow strip of pebble-strewn sand known as the Lido del Tirreno (tel. 090-321001). Thanks to large numbers of parasols and chaises longues, as well as easy access to beachfront restaurants, it's the best-accessorized beach in and around Messina. Entrance costs 4€ per person; parking is free. A day's rental of a cabine goes for 20€ to 25€, while a chaise longue and parasol cost 10€.

From Messina, Mortelle is an easy ride on bus no. 79 or 81; cost 1.20€ one way, 1.70€ return. Even when the sun goes down, Mortelle continues to stay busy until late at night; be careful not to get run down by cycles and scooters. The area is filled with pizzerias and bars, and in July and August, open-air films are screened at Arena Green Sky, opposite Duc Palme pizzeria.

If you find Mortelle too crowded, continue to the west, where you'll encounter more sandy beaches and little seaside resorts, the best of which is Acqualadrone.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.