Dina and Clarenza: an act of heroism that became a legend of Messina

dina clarenza

August 1282. Dina and Clarenza were two women that defended their city, Messina, from the siege of the troops of Carlo I d’Angiò during the Sicilian Vesper. Two women like many others that became the protagonists of a legendary episode.

The French troops were in a overwhelming numeric superiority. But Messina’s citizens were armed with courage and determination: they heroically endured from April. On 8th August a ferocious battle flared up near Caperrina hill. Here the walls were heavily damaged by the enemy artillery.

Angevins tried to make a sortie during night, entering in the city from the walls that were damaged. They thought they would found lacking surveillance and resistance. But the women of Messina were on the walls of the city, that stayed there to guard so that men can sleep.

Diana and Clarenza noticed just in time that the enemy troops were trying to do an assault. So they started launch stones to the enemies and ring the bells to call the citizens. Soldiers, nobles, jurists, artisans, merchants, priests, and women: everybody did something to repel the enemies beyond the walls.

Dina and Clarenza became two legendary heroines. They represent the love of Messina’s citizens for their city. In fact they were represented on the bell tower of the Duomo while they ring the bell.


Image source: Flickr.com/photos/vitomanzari

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