The famous Strait of Messina separates Calabria from the island of Sicily. A natural whirlpool develops at the entrance to the Strait, making this passage a particularly dangerous one. In legend, this was the home of Scylla and Charybdis, sea monsters who dwelled on either side of the narrow passage, Scylla on the Calabrian side and Charybdis on the Sicilian side, drowning sailors who passed too close to one or the other.
There has been a long-running controversy in Italy about building a bridge across the Strait, which is technically feasible but would be very expensive. As of May 2006, the idea has been shelved by the government.