Tindari, Sicily and the Sanctury of the Black Madonna

Photo of Tindari in North Sicily

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Visit Tindari

The town of Tindari is found in north-eastern Sicily, on the northern coast

First an important Ancient Greek settlement, it was under the Ancient Romans that the town flourished and several Roman monuments can still be seen here scattered around the surrounding landscape.

Explore Tindari

It is said that a part of the city fell into the sea in the first century AD, bringing to an end the glory days of Tindari, but much of the ruins are still visible. Highlights among the Roman ruins are stretches of defensive walls, a theatre, sections of the original town and some good mosaics.

The remains of a Basilica thought to have been erected by the early Roman empire can be admired. Built of large sandstone blocks, two of the original three storeys survive. Each floor is decorated with columns and was once, according to Cicero, surrounded by porticos and statues.

Tindari basilica

The main sight in Tindari is the Santuario della Madonna Nera (Sanctuary of the Black Madonna). Built in the 1960's the Sanctuary is an impressive sight and as it sits on the top of a cliff overlooking the ocean it can be seen from some distance away as you are driving up to the town.

The sanctuary was built to house a statue of the Virgin that has been attributed with having miraculous powers, and as a result many pilgrims visit the sanctuary each year. The statue is a Black Madonna which is rare and was carved in the 12th century. The statue sits next to an insciption saying "black am I but beautiful".

The town of Tindari sits on top of a cliff above the Tyrrhenian Sea. Below is a 1.5 kilometer long sandbank which seen from above makes the coastal views fantastic. This is the so called 'tongue of sand'. The sand bank is large and has various lakes on it offering unusual conditions for the flora and fauna and leading to it being made a nature reserve.

The sandbank is popular with sunbathers and its length is often dotted with sunbathers. The sandbank offers a natural to the sea on the landward side making it excellent for swimming.

Tindari sandspit

Tindari has a museum with local finds from neolithic, Greek and Roman times. Its exhibits give an interesting account of the history and development of Tindari.

Places to visit nearby

Nearby Milazzo is a popular coastal town and has ferries to the beautiful Aeolian Islands. These volcanic islands each have individual characteristics. Lipari is the largest and has a lively harbour town. Panarea is the chic holiday destination of the jet-set crowd. Stromboli still has an active volcano and a night-time boat ride allows you to watch the pyrotechnics and Vulcano has a brooding atmosphere and strong sulphur smell.

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Map of Tindari and places to visit

Tindari places to visit