Strait of Messina & Taormina, Italy

Jun 26, 2019 - Sea Cloud


At 5:30 a.m., Sea Cloud approached the famed Strait of Messina from the northern end in the Tyrrhenian Sea. The derelict remnants of Europe’s tallest electrical towers stand sentinel where the mythological monsters Scylla and Charybdis once intimidated ancient sailors with their treacherous and dynamic currents. We passed at slack water to berth for the day at the Port of Messina, on the Sicilian side of the strait, which would be our launching point for the morning in Taormina. First settled as the ancient Greek colony of Taoromenion, its perched location has made it a popular resort town for a succession of Mediterranean civilizations. After a relaxing and enjoyable morning among the exquisite architectural details and intriguing shops and side streets, we enjoyed an unforgettable Sicilian lunch at the Castella degli Schiavi, which was used in the filming of many of the scenes in the Godfather films.

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About the Author

Tom O'Brien

Expedition Leader

Tom O’Brien has been leading and designing expeditions for Lindblad Expeditions since 1985. With a background in physical geography and conservation, a Bavarian heart and a Celtic soul, Tom has been one of the most passionate advocates of the expedition experience around the world for the last twenty years. Many of the local people and communities that we work with today are the result of friendships that Tom and his expedition mates developed many years ago.

About the Photographer

Massimo Bassano

National Geographic Photographer

Massimo Bassano has worked as a freelance photojournalist since 1990. His work appears in National Geographic Traveler and National Geographic online edition, as well as many publications throughout Europe. Massimo's photographic subjects know no bounds—his recent assignments have covered social issues, international travel, fitness and health, fashion, and portraiture. In 2004, he was awarded a Ph.D. in journalism from the Italian Association of Journalism.

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