Visiting Messina, whose capture marked the end of the Sicily Campaign.

As we departed the Hotel Villa Angela at Taormina, we still had hopes of understanding their floor numbering system. Since the hotel was built on the side of the mountain - as most towns in Sicily are - we understood that the lobby would be on the top floor and everything else was below us. ...But that Minus One floor? Guess it's a Sicilian Thing!
Arriving in the port city of Messina, the Reggio Calabria is just beyond. I was amazed at how close the tip of Sicily is to the Italian "toe." Messina was the goal of the entire Sicily operation. It's capture was no small task because it was vital to the enemy as an evacuation port. Heavy weapons emplaced in the Reggio Calabria were easily able to cover approaches to the port. In August of 1943, the Allies still did not have control over the air and German air-raids were frequent. Messina was captured just as the last German troops left - it was the Dunkirk of the German Army.
Messina, like most cities, is crowded and its streets are way to small to accomodate the amount of cars that use them.
Mussolini was out by the time Messina fell, the King set about the task of forming a non-Fascist Government which would eventually come over to the side of the Allies.
The Cathedral of Messina. Wasn't that the fountain Billy Crystal found on his front lawn in Analyze This?
Here in the park in front of the Municipal Building, General George S. Patton reviewed the victorious troops.

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