Messina, five beautiful sites for the FAI days on Saturday and Sunday. Here are the ones


By John

The FAI Autumn Days are the main event of the major national awareness campaign promoted by the Foundation to support the cultural and environmental heritage of our country. Messina and Messina return on Saturday 14 and Sunday 15 October 2023 for the twelfth edition will be able to benefit from the opening of five sites, three in the city and two in the province.

In the city center it will be possible to visit two structures, normally open, which bear witness to the great work carried out by Sant’Annibale Maria di Francia: the Basilica Sanctuary of Sant’Antonio da Padova, together with the Avignone museum, with the ex-voto rooms and the findings of S. Annibale including the Crucifix of Saint Anthony, recently relocated after a restoration carried out by the Superintendency of Cultural Heritage of the city of Messina, which allowed to return to public use a work of great devotional value and at the same time unique in the context of Sicilian Renaissance sculpture. And again the Church of the Holy Spirit, with its marble and its sparkling colours, rare testimony of the Messina baroque, and the Cloister, which in 1998 was, after careful research, brought to light by the ancient stone walls of the monastery, together with two other rooms defined as chambers. Moving away from the center, in Minissale, it will be possible to discover a place with a long history, a noria, symbol of the peasant tradition and important architectural and ethno-anthropological testimony, which even today allows the water supply of the Villaré agricultural company.

In the province, there are two places to discover; in Santo Stefano di Camastra it will be possible to visit the Old Cemetery, ranked first in Sicily in the latest edition of the FAI Heart Places, a place of the soul enriched by the artistic value of the ceramics that blend with the landscape creating a unicum among the cemeteries. TO Finally, in Taormina, it will be possible to visit the Victoria Gardens, accompanied by the owner and creator of the project Donna Vittoria Alliata dei Principi di Villafranca. In direct contact with nature, the visit will allow the discovery of Mediterranean botanical species and the bio-lake fed by the waters of Alcantara, a unique environment for the growth of aquatic plants and a paradise for dragonflies and damselflies, as well as carob, citrus and olive trees , to frame a magical place. The FAI’s openings aim to ignite curiosity towards forgotten or little-known places and at the same time aim to raise awareness of the different cultural contexts, the link with traditions, the value of some religious realities and above all the landscape assets that allow us always to discover a new face of our city and our territory.

Please remember that during the FAI Autumn Days you will be able to benefit from a discount of 10 euros less on each type of membership fee. The event is organized thanks to the availability and collaboration of the Antoniano Institute of Messina, of the Daughters of the Divine Zeal of Messina, of Angelo and Marzia Villari, of the Municipality of S. Stefano di Camastra, of the “united for the Old Cemetery” Committee and by Vittoria Alliata of the Princes of Villafranca.

We thank the following for their collaboration: the Municipality of Messina, the subsidiaries AMAM, ATM, Messina Social City, Messinaservizi Bene Comune and the second district. Thanks to the collaboration with the Regional School Office, the availability of the managers and above all the commitment of the teachers of the schools mentioned below, there will be around 400 apprentice guides, trained for the occasion, who will take care of the visits: IC “Mazzini”, IIS “Maurolico”, lower secondary school “G. Martino” of the IC Tremestieri of Messina and IIS “Caminiti – Trimarchi” of S. Teresa di Riva (ME)

Openings and times of the five sites

The Noria of Minissale
Saturday 10/13 and 14/17
Sunday 10/13 and 14/17

Basilica Sanctuary of St. Anthony
Saturday 4.30pm / 6.00pm
Sunday 9.30/12.30 and 16.30/18.00

Institute and Church of the Holy Spirit
Saturday 10/13
Sunday 10/13

The old cemetery of Santo Stefano di Camastra
Saturday 10/12 and 15/17
Sunday 10/12 and 15/17

Victoria Gardens Taormina
Saturday 10/12 and 16/18
Sunday 10/12 and 16/18