Inescapable passage to history
According to Pliny it is 15,000 yards long; according to Strabo it is 607 perches wide; 12 perches specified Polybius; 1,500 yards said Pliny; 20 perches said Thucydides. 3,416 according to modern measurements. At times the Strait of Messina can become a boundless ocean, Sicily and Calabria are like two people within touching distance but remaining remote from one another, two objects close together but far apart.
Sea currents, winds, vortexes, legends and terrors are symbols of how nature endows this stretch of sea with dramatic intensity, an aura of adventure and endless spaces. The short-lived and very rare Fata Morgana mirage, on very hot calm days, miraculously brings the Sicilian coastline up close to observers in Calabria, like a magnifying glass. A fleeting close glimpse, hanging by an atmospheric thread, a work of magic.
The ferries tie the two shores together with their comings and goings, like large chubby shuttles; this is one of the busiest sea lanes in the world.