Want to know where Much Ado About Nothing is set? Read on for all the details on this play set in Messina, Sicily, check out our write up and map below, showing the locations of each scene in Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing.
Shakespeare set Much Ado About Nothing in the sixteenth-century in Messina on the Italian island of Sicily. Right down in the south of Italy, it’s a fun place. It’s the perfect setting for the high-jinks that take place in this play.
The Elizabethan audience would have seen Messina as a peaceful place, far away from the threat from the Turks. It was a place where officers could take a break from the violence of the wars in northern Italy. And indeed, the main male characters in Much Ado About Nothing are just such officers. This respite from the wars going on in other parts of Europe allows for the love and matchmaking that takes place in this holiday atmosphere.
The map below shows all the locations Messina Shakespeare used for Much Ado About Nothing. You can zoom in on the map for a more detailed view of an area, and click the icons on the map for more information. Text in the more info box are the specific locations Shakespeare references in his Much Ado About Nothing text: