Messina (originally Greek in ancient Zancle Ζάγκλη Zancle, then MESSENE Μεσσήνη, Latin Messana) with 238,439 inhabitants (December 31, 2015) the third largest city in the Italian region of Sicily and also the administrative center of the metropolitan city of Messina. Due to its proximity to mainland Italy Messina is called the gateway of Sicily. In the course of its history Messina experienced not only the changing rulers heydays and destruction. Severe earthquake in 1783 and 1908 as well as the bombings in World War II destroyed much of the city again and again. Today Messina is one of the economic and cultural centers in Sicily.