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  • Writer's pictureThe Sicilian Wanderer

The Sanctuary of Tindari: A jewel between sea and mountains.


The Sanctuary of Tindari

Dear readers of our travel blog, today we take you on a journey to discover one of the most enchanting places in Sicily: the Sanctuary of Tindari. Perched atop a hill overlooking the Tyrrhenian Sea, this sacred site is a perfect blend of history, art, and nature. The Sanctuary of Tindari, also known as the Sanctuary of the Black Madonna, is one of the most beloved and visited places of worship in Sicily. Legend has it that a wooden statue of the Madonna, originating from the East, was found on the shores of Tindari in 780 A.D. Since then, the statue of the Black Madonna has become the heart of the sanctuary and a symbol of protection for pilgrims and visitors. The journey to the sanctuary is an experience in itself, as the road winds through ancient olive groves and captivating hilly landscapes. Reaching the summit will reward you with a breathtaking view of the bay below, with the Aeolian Islands on the horizon and the famous "Lakes of Marinello" stretching at the foot of the hill. The Sanctuary of Tindari is a masterpiece that blends elements of Roman, Byzantine, and Arab architecture. The main facade is adorned with a magnificent rose window and three finely carved portals. Inside, in addition to the image of the Black Madonna, you can admire frescoes, mosaics, and artworks that narrate the history of the place and the devotion of the faithful. Not far from the sanctuary, don't miss the ruins of the ancient city of Tindari, founded in 396 B.C. by Greek settlers. Here you can explore the remains of a Greco-Roman theater, an early Christian basilica, and other significant archaeological sites that bear witness to the rich history of this area. The Sanctuary of Tindari is a place that captures both the soul and the mind, offering a perfect blend of spirituality, culture, and natural beauty. If you find yourself in Sicily, don't miss the opportunity to visit this hidden gem nestled between the sea and the mountains. We are certain that the experience will leave you in awe and with lasting memories etched in your heart.


Visiting Information:

  • Access: You cannot drive directly to the town. Visitors must park in a large car park at the base of the hill and then take a bus to the top. It's recommended to check the current opening times for the basilica and allow time for ticket queuing and bus boarding.

  • Location: Via Monsignor Pullano 12, 98066 Tindari, Patti, Sicily, Italy.

  • Mass Timings: On weekdays at 7:30 am, 10:00 am, and 5:30 pm. On Sundays and holidays at 10:30 am and 5:30 pm.

  • Rosary: Every day at 5:00 pm.

  • Contact:

    • Address: Santuario del Tindari, Via Mons. Pullano, 12, 98060 Tindari (ME), Sicily.

    • Phone: 0941-369003

    • Secretary: 0941-369260

    • Email: santuariotindari@santuariotindari.it



Dear readers of our travel blog, today we take you on a journey to discover one of the most enchanting places in Sicily: the Sanctuary of Tindari. Perched atop a hill overlooking the Tyrrhenian Sea, this sacred site is a perfect blend of history, art, and nature.  The Sanctuary of Tindari, also known as the Sanctuary of the Black Madonna, is one of the most beloved and visited places of worship in Sicily. Legend has it that a wooden statue of the Madonna, originating from the East, was found on the shores of Tindari in 780 A.D. Since then, the statue of the Black Madonna has become the heart of the sanctuary and a symbol of protection for pilgrims and visitors.  The journey to the sanctuary is an experience in itself, as the road winds through ancient olive groves and captivating hilly landscapes. Reaching the summit will reward you with a breathtaking view of the bay below, with the Aeolian Islands on the horizon and the famous "Lakes of Marinello" stretching at the foot of the hill.  The Sanctuary of Tindari is a masterpiece that blends elements of Roman, Byzantine, and Arab architecture. The main facade is adorned with a magnificent rose window and three finely carved portals. Inside, in addition to the image of the Black Madonna, you can admire frescoes, mosaics, and artworks that narrate the history of the place and the devotion of the faithful.  Not far from the sanctuary, don't miss the ruins of the ancient city of Tindari, founded in 396 B.C. by Greek settlers. Here you can explore the remains of a Greco-Roman theater, an early Christian basilica, and other significant archaeological sites that bear witness to the rich history of this area.  The Sanctuary of Tindari is a place that captures both the soul and the mind, offering a perfect blend of spirituality, culture, and natural beauty. If you find yourself in Sicily, don't miss the opportunity to visit this hidden gem nestled between the sea and the mountains. We are certain that the experience will leave you in awe and with lasting memories etched in your heart.

After visiting the sanctuary and its surroundings, we recommend taking the time to explore the local gastronomy and traditions of the region. Sicily is renowned for its dishes bursting with Mediterranean flavors and aromas, and Tindari and its neighboring villages are no exception.


Don't miss the chance to taste some of the local culinary delights, such as "arancini" (stuffed and fried rice balls), "caponata" (a dish made of eggplants, capers, olives, and tomatoes), and the "Sicilian cannolo" (a dessert consisting of a crispy wafer filled with sweet ricotta). Moreover, the area is known for producing fine wines, like Nero d'Avola and Grillo, which you can sample in the many wine bars and restaurants in the area.

If you're a hiking enthusiast, Tindari also offers a range of nature trails that allow you to immerse yourself in pristine nature and admire breathtaking views. Among these, the trail that runs along the Laghetti di Marinello will introduce you to golden beaches and hidden coves, while the path leading to the Capo Tindari promontory will provide a 360-degree view of the sea and surrounding coast. For those wishing to delve deeper into Sicilian culture, visiting nearby villages like Patti, Montalbano Elicona, and Castroreale will let you discover hidden treasures, from churches and castles to museums. Also, take advantage of the numerous local festivals and fairs that animate the area throughout the year, immersing yourself in the traditions and hospitality of the Sicilian people.

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