Messina, Strait of

Messina, Strait of, channel, c.20 mi (32 km) long and from 2 to 10 mi (3.2–16 km) wide, separating the Italian peninsula from Sicily and connecting the Ionian and Tyrrhenian seas. Reggio di Calabria, SW Italy, and Messina, NE Sicily, are the main ports. A ferry crosses the dangerous waters of the strait from Messina to Villa San Giovanni. The currents, whirlpools, and winds of the strait, which still hamper navigation, gave rise in ancient times to many legends about its dangers to navigators (see Scylla).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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