Conquer the sacred land of Tindari. If Rome has the Vatican and St. Peter’s Basilica, Sicily has Tindari and the Sanctuary of the Black Madonna.
As they say, Italy is one of the sacred countries for having plenty of Catholic Churches and the Pope. People around the world are also coming to Sicily, Italy for vacation and to witness the beauty of the Sanctuary of Tindari. The Sanctuary of Tindari in Sicily is a place for a holy expedition. Moreover, its location has extraordinary archaeological ruins that attract many visitors from each corner of the world.
About the Sanctuary
The amazing pilgrimage is located at the top of the Mount Tindari. During your religious journey, look down from the top of the mountain to witness the beauty of the Marinello Lake. Marinello Lake is a nature reserve and one of the most reminiscent natural environments of Sicily Island.
Firstly, Tindari, ancient Tyndaris or Tyndarion, is a small town and belongs to the commune of Patti and a Latin Catholic titular see. In addition to that, the monumental ruins of ancient Tyndaris are the main destination for visitors and excavations.
When you are at the top of the mountain, you can also admire the stunning views of the Tyrrhenian Sea, the Aeolian Islands, and the sandy Sicilian bay. This area has a vivid atmosphere thanks to the Greek ruins which frame the southern part of the site, and on the north-west is where you’ll find the Roman baths, displaying stunning floor mosaics. During the summer they put on performances in the old 4th century BC theatre of Greek plays.
It has been a tradition of the Italians to have a summer vacation. However, this summer, 2020, the Covid19 pandemic changed everything. People are afraid of going out. Fewer people in restaurants and shops. You can enter the cathedral for FREE. However, wear a mask and use hand alcohol or sanitizer before entering.
We advise you to go early if you want to see the beauty of the sunrise. Also, if you are going with your car, it is always best to go early so you can still find some parking spots. No car to use? Not a problem. There are buses that you can take to climb up to the top of the mountain.
In addition, in front of the church, for those who love souvenirs, this is for you. Never go home without holding anything. There are a bunch of vendors of different types of souvenirs in front. Not only that, but there are also food stalls that you can enjoy before or after your pilgrimage. Right now, some shops are not opening due to the pandemic. It is sad, I know.
Meanwhile, facing the church on the right, there is the secretary’s office where you can do offering for the soul of your loved ones who passed away.
The Sanctuary of Tindari
Historically, Sanctuary of Tindari was built on the ruins of the Tindari Castle which is built in 1950s. That is to say that the Holy Sanctuary contains the famous statue of the Black Madonna. This statue of Byzantine origins is dated back to 800 Anno Domini. In addition to that, it is carved from a block of infrequent Turkish cedarwood. The legends tell that the ship carrying this Madonna was driven onto the Tindari bay after a violent storm.
According to popular belief, the Black Madonna has a miraculous power that shields Sicilians from many dangers including thunderstorms, earthquakes, plague, and the attacks of enemies, armies.
Today, the Black Madonna stands behind the altar with the inscription ‘Nigra sum sed formosa’ (I am black but beautiful) The said inscription is written at the base of the holy sculpture.
The Teatro Greco Tindari
Firstly, Tindari is an archaeological area with the Greek theater. Just five minutes of walking from the Basilica, you will find the Greek Theater.
Right after visiting the sanctuary of the Black Madonna, I decided to take a snap of the famous old theater. The Greek Theater is a small theater that has overlooking view of the sea. It is spectacular. Sad that I didn’t able to enter because it is close till now.
About the Greek Theater of Tindari
Firstly, the Greek Theater of Tindari was built at the end of the fourth century Before Christ and renovated during the Roman times, to be adapted to the amphitheater games.
Remained for a long time in abandonment, the Theater was gauged in the basin of a hill. With a series of steps, the theater can accommodate and hold about 3000 people.
Since 1956 the Greek Theater of Tindari has hosted an artistic festival that embraces dance, music, and theater. However, since 2001 the “Festival of the Theater of the Two Seas” has been based there.
Meanwhile, visit the official website of the Sanctuary Black Madonna Tindari for the most updated events of the Basilica.
Disclaimer: Some links in this article are affiliate links, which means that if you purchase through them, we receive a small commission. This will never cost you extra and in many cases, you receive a special discount. We appreciate your support!
Hi! It’s me! I am a hospitality professional and a part-time blogger! I am a travel dreamer and world conqueror based in Rome, Italy.