Messina is the sicilian city also called "door of Sicily". It is near the extreme northeast tip of Sicily (Cape Pelorus) over the Straits that bears his name.

The city was  was founded by Greeks (settlers Calcidesi coming from Messini of Pelloponisos) around the 756 b.C., with the name of Zancle. Romans conquered it in the 264 b.C. and after the fall of Roman Empire, it was first possessed by Byzantines and then by Arabs. In 1060 it was conquered by Norman.

Under the  Swabian Aragon Angevin domains, Messina reached great prosperity, it became capital of the Kingdom of Sicily together  with Palermo  (the Kingdom of Sicily included for a long period also the entire southern Italy) and, thanks to its port, it was also one of the earliest shopping centers and among the largest, thriving and important cities of the Mediterranean Sea. For many centuries, it was one of the richest city in Sicily,  the second in Southern  Italy only after Naples.

In 1674 it rebelled against Spain suffering subsequently the repression. It was touched by a serious earthquake in 1783. It became part of the Kingdom of Italy after the expedition of Garibaldi's Mille 1860. In 1908 it suffered the destruction of another earthquake, and even the bombing of World War II. 

A significant page of the friendship between the city and the Russian people is linked to the tragic earthquake of 1908. First responders who arrived to Messina were sailors of Russian Imperial Fleet, which was in the port of Augusta for some exercises.

It was destroyed again by the huge Anglo-American bombing of 1943, which caused thousands of deaths. For tenacity in resisting disasters and in reborning again, the city was decorated with a gold medal to the military valor and one to the civil valor.

 From the first till the third of June 1955, the city hosted the Conference of  Messina, fundamental and decisive step wich would have led to the constitution of Euratom and of CEE (European Economic Community), that later became the European Union.