For information and a map, head to the Azienda Autonoma per L'Incremento Turistico, Via Calabria 301 (tel. 090-674236), near Piazza della Repubblica and Stazione Centrale. It's open Monday to Saturday 9am to 1:30pm.
If you come by hydrofoil or ferry from Reggio di Calabria, you'll arrive 1km (1/2 mile) north of Stazione Centrale on Via Vittorio Emanuele II. Those taking a ferry from Villa San Giovanni reach land 3km (1 3/4 miles) farther on or about 500m (1,640 ft.) north of Fiera, the site of Messina's trade fairs.
Messina grew around its sickle-shaped harbor. The tip of the sickle is marked by a towering statue, Madonna della Lettera, atop one of the tall towers of Forte San Salvatore, built in 1546 by the Spanish viceroys. Via Garibaldi, running parallel to the sea, is the main street. It goes through Piazza del Duomo, the town's major square. South of this square is the second-most important square in Messina, Piazza Carducci, site of the university, founded in 1548 and reconstructed in 1927.
To the east, the port is protected by the lighthouse known as the Lanterna di Raineri, on the peninsula of the same name. Via 1 Settembre leads from the sea to the heart of town. The transportation hub of Messina is Piazza della Repubblica, in front of Stazione Centrale. Most of the major bus lines converge on this square. To reach the heart of Messina from Piazza della Repubblica, head across the busy square and walk directly north along Via 1 Settembre to Piazza del Duomo, a square crowned by Messina's cathedral.