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Located in the Aeolian group of islands, the Italian island of Panarea is the second smallest in the island chain, which is located to the north of Sicily. There are around 300 inhabitants on the small island although this number increases during the summer months in order to cater for visiting tourists. The island, popular with celebrities, has some thermal springs close to the village of Punta di Peppre e Maria which attracts people to the island. So too does the island's crystal clear waters with scuba divers. There are only two beaches on the island that can be accessed by land. The beach of Cala Junco is in the southern part of the island and is accessed along a path that leads to the beach. It can also be accessed from the sea. The second beach, Cala degli Zimmari, is located just along the road from the first. Other beaches on the island include Lisca Bianca, Basiluzzo and Spinazzola.
From the island's small port ferries depart to Napoli and Milazzo.
Messina is an Italian city and is sometimes referred to as 'the door of Sicily' and lies on the Strait of Messina in the north east of Sicily. The city's port has played an important role in the city's growth and fortunes and supports tourism for the city and surrounding area and is also home to commercial and military shipyards. Since 1548, Messina has been a Roman Catholic Archdiocese and Archimandrite and is also home to the University of Messina which was founded in 1548 by Ignatius of Loyola. A popular tourist attraction in the city is the 12th century cathedral which guards the remains of King Conrad who was ruler of Germany and Sicily during the 13th century. Following a huge earthquake in 1908 the cathedral had to be almost completely rebuilt between 1919-1920 and then again in 1943 following a fire that was caused by Allied bombing during the Second World War.
Ferry services from Messina operate to one of two ports in Calabria (Villa San Giovanni and Reggio Calabria) or on a longer ferry ride to Salerno, just south of Naples.