STS090-715-060 Strait of Messina, Italy April 1998
The Strait of Messina separates Sicily (left-west) from the mainland of Italy (right-east) and also provides a water passage, connecting the Tyrrhenian Sea with the Ionian Sea. The strait measures 20 miles (32 km) in length and varies in width from 2 to 5 miles (3.2 to 8 km). The landscape on both sides of the strait is characterized by rugged mountainous terrain, short-flowing rivers, and clustered urban areas along the narrow coastline. The concentration of lighter colored areas along the shoreline identifies the location of Messina (Sicily) and Reggio di Calabria (Italy). The mountain ridges on either side of the strait exceed 4,000 feet (1,220 meters) above sea level. The pronounced radial drainage pattern of the mountainous area east of Reggio di Calabria indicates that this geologic structure is volcanic in origin.

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