The CIMS is based in Villa Pace in Messina, residential multi-level, built in the mid 800 from the English family Sanderson, acquired by the family Bosurgi and since 1992 member of the University of Messina. Restored and renovated, surrounded by a large Mediterranean park and with an exceptional view of the Strait, as well as hosting various educational facilities and research at the University of Messina and a stable construction, the Pharmacy Museum, Villa Pace is frequently beautiful setting of exhibitions, meetings and cultural events
The ancient name of the city, Zancle, a Greek word meaning "sickle", reflects the unusual curved shape of the harbour which since antiquity has made it a safe landing- pIace. In pre-Greek times it was in- habited by autochthonous people, possibly Sicels. In the 8th century BC Ionians and Chalcidians founded the first urban nucleus between the San Ranieri peninsula and the harbour zone. The town began to grow, favored by trade and port traffic. After the 5th century BC, as a result of internal conflicts, it was destined to alternating vicissitudes. Messenian populations changed its name to Messina. After a period of Carthaginian domination ( 426 BC), the city achieved its freedom and formed an alliance with Syracuse but, having been recaptured by the Carthaginians, it was destroyed by the Carthaginians in 396 BC. The new city, rebuilt in the Hellenistic period by Dionysius I of Syracuse, fell once again to the Carthaginians, from whom it was liberated by Timoleon. In 289 the city was occupied by a group of mercenaries from Campania who had been expelled from Syracuse, the Mamertines. When these were on the point of being overcome by the Syracusans and the Carthaginians, they asked Rome for help in 264 BC, the year when the First Punic War broke out. Having passed under Roman control in 263 BC, Messina became a federate city. It continued to prosper until the fall of the Western Roman Empire (AD 476). After the dark period of the Barbarian invasions, Messina returned to splendor in the Byzantine Age, when the trading activities of the port were revived. In 843 AD it was overcome by the Muslim invaders and the inhabitants fled in mass to Rometta, and organized their resistance. They capitulated only in 965 AD, when they returned to the city and reorganized its layout and social and economic life. In the Norman period Messina became one of the most important center in Sicily. The royal palace was built, the arsenal began to operate and the city defenses were strengthened by the extension of the boundary walls along the entire coast. The building fever continued in the successive Swabian Age, with further developments in town-planning and new development northwards. After the Angevin age and the War of the Sicilian Vespers, in which Messina immediately played an active part and fought strenuously against the oppressor, a new social and economic order was imposed by Frederick of Aragon, and a new city layout was planned. In the 14th and 15th century, a new entrepreneurial bourgeois class began to develop, devoted particularly to the silk, leather and wool trade. In the 15th century, and even more so in the 16th century, the considerable economic development was accompanied by the opening-up of new roads and squares and the creation of new areas of expansion. The anti-Spanish revolt in 1674-78, which was suppressed with great violence, put an end to the idea of making Messina the capital of the vice-royalty of Sicily. The repression of the revolt, the exile of many families, the burden of new taxes and repeated epidemics caused the impoverishment of the city. The earth- quake in 1783 was the final blow. The process of reconstruction was very slow, partly because of continuous political conflicts and changes in the regime. In the 19th century Messina was a declining city. The achievement of the Unification of Italy, with the sharp gap between north and south, made the situation even worse. A sign of revival, at least for port activities, was the institution of a regular ferry service to Calabria, which continues even today. On 28 December 1908 another violent earthquake almost completely destroyed Messina, killing about 60,000 people. The lengthy and laborious programme of reconstruction aimed at the creation of a city with a modern grid layout, the protection and restoration of the architectural and artistic testimonies that had survived the earthquake and above all at guaranteeing the antiseismic quality of the new buildings. Between the 1930s and the 1950s buildings were constructed along the harbor front which, unlike the uninterrupted stretch of houses that had stood there previously, now consisted of individual constructions which reflected the lively artistic and architectural trends of the period.
The City of Messina has two beautiful coasts and two marvellous lakes (Ganzirri).
Photo: Tadorna tadorna and Larus ridibundus, migration birds, have been settled in Ganzirri lakes during autumn. (Nov 2011).