TINDARI: THE ACROPOLIS AND THE SHRINE OF THE BLACK MADONNA
An archaeological site, a Marian Sanctuary, and breathtaking landscape with a sheer drop over the sea: Tindari is a fascinating blend of nature, history and spirituality.
What we will see
- Gulf of Patti
- Archaeological area: Graeco-Roman amphitheatre, Baths, Gymnasium
- Sanctuary of the Black Madonna
- Marinello Lakes
What we will do
- We make our way by coach from the port of Messina to the town of Tindari, admiring the natural splendour of the Gulf of Patti along the way, and even, from certain points, catching a glimpse of the Aeolian Islands.
- When we arrive in Tindari, one of the last Greek colonies in Sicily founded by Dionysius, tyrant of Syracuse, in 396 BC, we take a walk amidst the ancient ruins of the Archaeological Area. Excavations suggest that this complex dates to the 4th century BC. What makes it unique is its combination of typical construction techniques from the Hellenistic period and characteristic elements of Roman architecture. The buildings here include a Graeco-Roman Amphitheatre, Baths and the Gymnasium.
- Our journey back in time does not end here. Our next port of call is the Sanctuary of the Black Madonna, which dates back to the Byzantine era. Legend has it that in the year 726, the Eastern Roman Emperor Leo III forbade the practice of venerating religious statues. As a result, holy statues were entrusted to sailors for safekeeping. The 'Black Madonna', for instance, was preserved in a crate in a cargo ship, which docked at Tindari to shelter from a storm. When the storm passed however, it was not possible for the ship to return to sea until the crate containing the statue was unloaded.
- The Sanctuary commands a breathtaking view of the Marinello Lakes, which are unique in the Mediterranean for the way they are naturally laid out.
- At the end of the tour, we have some free time to take a few photos or browse around the many souvenir shops, before heading back to the ship.
What you need to know
- Places on this excursion are limited. We recommend booking early.
- Comfortable shoes and clothing are recommended.
- This tour is not recommended for guests with mobility problems.