View Full Version : Strait of Messina Swim

February 7th, 2004, 06:02 AM
Hi Everyone! I'm organizing a crossing of the Strait of Messina in August 2004. The Strait of Messina is between Calabria and Sicily, Italy. The swim is approximately 3.3KM, but there are strong currents. We're organizing the swim with all the safety bells and whistles required by law, and by common sense. We've got a website up at: http://members.xoom.virgilio.it/traversata/, but we're still working on it. I'll be tranlating it in English soon too. The date is still unsure because given the strong tide currents, we want to calculate it according to the moon phases to have the smoothest ride.

So, if anyone's interested, send me an email, and I'll let you know more details as they come up. This should be fun!


April 12th, 2004, 04:40 AM
We've now fixed a date for the Strait of Messina swim:

August 8, 2004

We also have a new website up: Strait of Messina Swim (http://www.traversata.altervista.org/)
so check it out.

It's still in Italian (I've got to translate it into English - give me a couple of days)... but it will give you an idea of the location of the swim.

For any info, just contact me at:


Ciao from Florence!

April 12th, 2004, 01:02 PM
Anyone who has the chance at that DO IT!!! That place is so beautiful. I swam a meet there right off the ocean and it was the greatest view I've ever seen. Even if you go to watch.

August 11th, 2004, 10:07 AM
This is a note to share my joy that on Sunday August 8th 2004, a dream of mine came true. I swam, together with 9 other swimmers, across the Strait of Messina.

The Strait of Messina is not a particularly long swim, in fact it is only 3.3KM (which for a long-distance swimmer is a hop). However, it is characterized by strong currents, and changes in tides every 8 hours. In addition, there is heavy shipping traffic through the channel, making the crossing particularly dangerous. In fact, it is VERY difficult to get permission to do the swim. It is required that a boat accompany each swimmer, the local ports are advised so that the shipping traffic is stopped during the swim, ambulances must be present, and there must be an MD aboard one of the accompanying boats.

Ill tell you, it was a big job to organize it all. In fact, final authorization came through only the day before the swim.

My dream was made particularly special by the fact that 2 of the athletes, Mario Balli (58 years old) and Antonio Petraliti (61 years old), are paraplegic, and swim using only the power of their arms.

We all had big smiles on our faces upon our arrival to the other side!

I apologize to anyone who was planning on joining us on this swim... since it was SO difficult to get all the burocratic side working, I decided not to encourage anyone who had to make a long trip to do it. I didn't want to risk you buying a ticket, just to find that the whole thing was a let down.

Im already planning to organize the crossing for next summer though, so start training now! I'll post a new message once I've set the date... and this time it will be planned far in advance so that everyone who wants to can make it.

Or, just come along for the ride! It's a beautiful one!

Mary Lokken
Florence Italy

May 28th, 2012, 05:54 PM
Has anyone else done this swim? I think that it still an event but I haven't seen any posts by Maryyyyy for some time.
I would like to try this swim next year-I think it is held in July-would appreciate any input.

May 28th, 2012, 09:12 PM
Aug. 5, 2012

A more general link, with additional links within:

Google is your friend. :)
Hope you get to swim it!

May 29th, 2012, 04:58 AM
Has anyone else done this swim? I think that it still an event but I haven't seen any posts by Maryyyyy for some time.
I would like to try this swim next year-I think it is held in July-would appreciate any input.

Wow - it's been almost 8 years since I last posted here! How time flies.
After the first swim in 2004 I organized yearly non-competitive swims for 5 years taking about 150 swimmers across the Strait of Messina.

Since then my wonderful boat pilot, who is also the record-holder for the single crossing of the Strait of Messina, Giovanni Fiannacca, has been organizing swims. He is wonderful and anything organized by him will be a great experience.

Here's his website:


The other crossing mentioned by ViveBene is a 5km race which is held annually. That is also a fantastic event. However, there is such a request for it that it is "sold out" soon after the opening of the applications every year.

Good luck and have fun whatever you decide to do! The Strait of Messina is a magical place!!!

May 29th, 2012, 05:52 AM
Thanks, Mary(yyy)!

My knowledge of Italian just increased by leaps:

Per partecipare alla traversata a nuoto bisogna iscriversi inviando il nostro modulo completo in ogni sua parte e firmato (scaricalo (http://www.colapesceprimo.it/site/allegati/Modulo-Iscrizione.pdf)) con allegato il certificato medico per la pratica agonistica ...

La pratica agonistica - :agree: - et dur.

May 29th, 2012, 06:24 AM
Thanks, Mary(yyy)!

My knowledge of Italian just increased by leaps:

La pratica agonistica - :agree: - et dur.

pratica agonistica = competition.

You have to have a specific medical certificate for swimming competition.

May 29th, 2012, 09:34 AM
Yes - and there is the nice interlanguage slide of swimming as "agonistic practice."

May 29th, 2012, 04:52 PM
Thank you very much for all this helpful information.I have a sister who lives near Florence and she has a friend-an ex-pat from New Zealand-who lives in Sicily and who is the driving force behind this urge to do the swim. She said the applications open in May-so we plan on 2013. We might have better luck with Maryyyyy's friend. Will check on both events. And this will be the incentive for me to learn some more Italian.