Not many know Tindari, a real pearl present on the Sicilian territory. This town is located in the province of Messina, and is a fraction of the municipality of Patti.
In addition to being popular for its exceptional natural beauty, it is also known for its wonderful archaeological and historical structures. There are so many things to see in Tindari . So here is a general overview of the wonderful Sicilian town!
What to see in and around Tindari
1 – Archaeological Area of Tindari
This archaeological area includes, in addition to Tindari, also the municipality of Patti. Of considerable historical-archaeological importance, this area preserves the testimonies of the various eras with finds, statues, coins. Among the important monuments, various remains of temples, such as that of Jupiter, of Neptune, but also remains of the acropolis, located where the Sanctuary of Tindari stands today.
The imperial urban structure with thistles and decumans is still visible and distinguishable, as well as structures such as the Gymnasium and the Theater. Still in the urban structure, the remains of some important Roman domus and villas can still be visited.
Other remains can be visited in the Antiquarium museum, with five rooms each of which houses important artifacts and findings from the archaeological area.
- How to get there: it is located about 400 meters from the center, accessible on foot or by car through via Monsignor Pullano – Get directions
- Hours: In January / February / November / December from 09:00 to 16:00. In March from 09:00 to 17:00, in April from 09:00 to 18:30. In May / June / July / August from 09:00 to 19:00. In September from 09:00 to 18:30, in October from 09:00 to 17:30.
- Ticket price: Adults € 6.00 – Reduced students € 3.00 – Children under 18 free
2 – Ancient Sanctuary of the Black Madonna
The Basilica Sanctuary of Maria Santissima di Tindari is one of the most important sacred places in Sicily and the main attraction of Tindari .
It rises in the area where the acropolis once stood first, the castle later. The icon of this sanctuary is the statue of the Black Madonna , of Byzantine origins and with oriental features. The cult grew following the legend according to which the statue was on a ship taking shelter in the bay of the current Marinello lakes to escape a storm. The same ship was unable to return to sea due to the heavy load, but in reality it was only after having deposited the statue that it was able to resume navigation.
The coloring is due to the construction material, cedar from Lebanon, and is dated between the eighth and ninth centuries.
In addition to the statue, the fresco in the central nave, depicting the Triumph of the Madonna, and the high altar are of great value.
- How to get there: located in the center – Get directions
- Hours: Always accessible
- Ticket cost: Free
3 – Tindari
Valley The Tindari Valley and the immense natural area that covers the Sicilian town . In this area it is possible to admire with admiration the course of nature that grows undisturbed and cared for. It is a natural oasis that lies above the area of the Marinello lakes . Relaxation reigns supreme in this location and visiting it can be useful to unwind and enjoy moments of peace.
- How to get there: you can reach it from the Coda di Volpe path, therefore about 150 meters from the city center – Get directions
- Hours: Always accessible
- Ticket cost: Free
4 – The Coda di Volpe
Trail The Coda di Volpe Trail is located in an area within the Marinello Lakes Reserve , and it was precisely the path once used to connect the port to the ancient colony of Tindarys. In more recent times, I represent the pilgrimage route to reach the Sanctuary of the Black Madonna.
The particularity of this route is certainly to be attributed to the spectacular landscapes and panoramasappreciable along the way, with the view that sweeps from the Gulf of Patti to the Marinello lakes up to the profile of the Aeolian islands. The length is just 1.2 km, to be covered downhill if the direction is from Tindari towards Marinello, uphill if in the opposite direction. The peak in height is about 260 meters above sea level, and the path can be covered in about 50 minutes. It is not a prohibitive path but in some places it can be challenging to follow, therefore it is not recommended to undertake it for people who are not well trained or not accustomed to trekking activities.
- How to get there: The beginning of the path is practically in the center of Tindari. To reach it you need to walk 150 meters in the direction of the Sanctuary of the locality – Get directions
- Hours: Always accessible
- Ticket cost: Free. Possibility to walk the path with a paid tour guide
5 – Grotta Donna Villa
This is a very interesting natural cavity, located about 80 meters above sea level, accessible from 3 small caves. Inside there are concretions of various colors as well as stalactites and stalagmites formed over the centuries . The cave seems to date back to the period of melting of the glaciers. To confirm the fact that the cave was once underwater, there are countless small cavities and micro-holes created by erosion by marine molluscs.
But the charm of this cave is also to be attributed to the legend that hovers around it. It seems that it was inhabited by a sorceress, ugly and deformed but capable of transforming herself into a beautiful girl to attract passing boats and sailors, who could not resist her call. Once lured into the cave, her home, with a spell made them sink into a long sleep and stripped them of coins. This hag was called Donnavilla, and it is imagined that in the cave there is still a treasure that no one has been able to find.
- How to get there: it is located in the Tindari Valley. From the center, move 150 meters towards the Coda di Volpe trail – Get directions
- Timetables: Accessible according to the availability of the guides
- Ticket cost: depending on the excursions
6 – Villa Romana di Patti
Discovered in 1973, it represents an important example of a suburban villa from the Roman era , following the example of the more famous Villa del Casale in Piazza Armerina.
It was discovered during the excavations for the construction of the motorway, bringing to light the central nucleus of the villa, characterized by the courtyard in the center and a peristyle that delimits the residential area.
Noteworthy are the mosaics , some of which unfortunately were destroyed, while in some rooms they are in excellent condition. Other rooms of the villa are identifiable for the mosaics of Medusa and Bacchus. There are also, as was customary in the imperial era, some thermal baths.
Finally, in the antiquarium opened in January 2001 you can find testimonies and finds such as ceramics, amphorae, terracotta, coins and marble artifacts.
- How to get there: the Roman Villa is located in Patti. From Tindari there are no means available, it is necessary to use the car along the SS113 road for about 10 km / 20 minutes – Get directions
- Hours: May / August 09:00 – 19:00 September 09:00 – 18:00 October 09:00 – 17:00 November and December 09:00 – 16:00
- Ticket price: Full € 4.00 – Reduced € 2.00
7 – Marinello
lakes The Marinello lakes are located in the area of the homonymous nature reserve. It is a brackish area at the foot of the mountain that houses the Sanctuary of Tindari, marked by real lakes within the sandy offshoots of the sea . Precisely because of this nature, the number and shape of the lakes varies according to the tides.
The origin of these lakes is to be attributed to human intervention: in fact they arose from changes in the hydrogeographic sector downstream of the Timeto stream.
The beauty of this area is certainly also landscaped, with truly rare natural spectacles to admire. In these lakes it is also possible to swim, but it is advisable to choose the most external areas and closest to the sea.
- How to get there: There are no means to get to the Marinello lakes. You can visit the reserve by car by crossing the SS113 road. The distance from the center is about 2 kilometers – Get directions
- Hours: Always accessible
- Ticket cost: Free
8 – Borgo di Mongiove and beaches
The seaside village of Mongiove is not far from Tindari (about 5 km), right on the slopes of the mountain that hosts the Sanctuary, in the area marked by the Marinello Lakes Nature Reserve. Here you can swim in beautiful waters and relax on incredibly beautiful beaches. The coast is bordered by Monte Giove and characterized by caves and stacks not far from the shore.
It is also advisable to taste the local fish-based recipes that are a delight for the palate. Just wonderful!
- How to get there: There are no means to reach the town, which is about 5 km from Tindari. By car it is necessary to continue for the SS113 – Get directions
- Hours: always accessible
- Ticket cost: Free
9 – Basilica Cathedral of San Bartolomeo, Patti
The Cathedral Basilica of San Bartolomeo is the main place of worship in the city . Its foundation dates back to the 11th century, commissioned by Ruggero d’Altavilla (father of the more famous Roger II). In the beginning, instead of the basilica, there was a fortress that served as a strategic military stronghold. Due to several earthquakes, the structure has undergone several changes over the centuries.
The first thing that catches the eye is the façade, with decorations in lava stone and white marble , on which an Arab-Norman style portal intersects, while the southern portico is in Baroque style and dates back to 1742.
The interior of the church is also of considerable interest, with numerous works including a marble statue of the Madonna and Child by Antonio Vanella, a canvas by Borremans with the Adoration of the Shepherds and the altars, that of the Holy Crucifix with the reliquary and that of Santa Febronia.
- How to get there: the Basilica is located in Patti. There are no means of transport that connect it to Tindari. By car instead, the distance from the center of Tindari is almost 11 km, the journey time about 20 minutes – Get directions
- Hours: always accessible, mass on holidays at 17:00
- Ticket cost: free
10 – Grotta del Tono, Gioiosa Marea
The Grotta del Tono is a cave of great historical-geological interest located in Gioiosa Marea, a few km from Tindari. It is accessed through an entrance just 160 cm high and a little wider (180 cm), which leads to this hypogeum of about 10 meters above sea level. From here, a series of tunnels intersect each other , some only partially passable. Characteristics of the cave are the limestone rocks and the various stalactites and stalagmites which give it a fascinating aspect.
We recommend a visit together with expert speleological guides to better understand the karst phenomena that affect the cave. For guided tours it is necessary to book in advance specifying the number of participants. Just call 0941-363351 or 0941-363323 (tourist information office)
- How to get there: a car is necessary from Tindari. The distance is about 20 km, along the SS113 state road (travel time 32 minutes) – Get directions
- Hours: Tuesday / Friday 09:00 – 12:00
- Ticket cost: € 1.00
Tindari itinerary in one day
Morning : the perfect itinerary starts in the town center with breakfast at the Bar del Pellegrino. To be able to visit all the attractions it is then necessary to head towards the Archaeological Park of Tindari. In this place it is possible to make a different path, to discover the cultural wonders of the locality. After having also visited the Greek Theater, it will be good to get back on the road towards the ancient Sanctuary of Tindari, what is considered the holiest place in the whole town.
Afternoon: lunch in one of the typical restaurants of the historic center, Tyndaris restaurant, to have lunch with the best local dishes. After lunch it is recommended to take the Coda di Volpe route heading towards the area above sea level. The route is an excellent option to admire the fabulous Tindari Valley, surrounded by lush and uncontaminated nature.
Also in the early afternoon it is possible to visit the area of the Marinello lakes. At this time of day the climate is mild and taking a bath in the pristine water that bathes the coast is a real show. In this place it will be possible to relax and enjoy some well-deserved relaxation. It is advisable to bathe in the gulf of this area, as the water is spectacular.
Finally, dinner at the Locandina, a restaurant in the center of Tindari that offers typical Sicilian dishes.
One day itinerary at a glance
- Breakfast at Bar del Pellegrino – Get directions
- Archaeological Park of Tindari : from Mon to Fri from 9:00 to 19:00 – ticket price: full € 6.00, reduced € 3.00, minors free
- Ancient Sanctuary of Tindari : always accessible – ticket price: free
- Lunch at Tyndaris Restaurant – Get directions
- Coda di Volpe trail : always accessible – ticket price: free
- Laghetti di Marinello : from Mon to Fri from 9:00 to 19:00 – ticket price: free
- Dinner at La locandina – Get directions
Where to eat in Tindari
- Tyndaris Restaurant : interesting location and typical Sicilian dishes
Average price per person: € 15.00
Address and contacts: Piazza Salvatore Quasimodo, 1 (Get directions) / tel: 0941369002
- La Locandina : small inn offering the best of local recipes
Average price per person: € 20.00
Address and contacts: via Monsignor Pullano, 1 (Get directions) / tel: 0941369018
- Ristorante Pizzeria La Vela : a typical pizzeria to enjoy one of the best pizzas in the area
Average price per person: € 10.00
Address and contacts: Contrada marinello (Get directions) / tel: 3400586112
What to do in the evening: nightlife areas and best clubs
Being a destination mainly chosen for religious tourism and full relaxation, Tindari does not have much to offer in terms of entertainment and nightlife areas. However, in the surroundings of the resort, within a radius of 25 km it is possible to be able to find places that offer entertainment for the nightlife . In particular in Patti, a town about ten km away from Tindari, and in the nearby towns, there are clubs that, in particular on summer evenings, allow you to have fun until late at night.
- La Pineta discotheque : summer club that organizes dance themed events and evenings
Address: via Roma 7, Gioiosa Marea – Get directions / Facebook page
- Club 147 : Club 147 is a summer club overlooking the sea, a meeting place for young people in the area
. Address: SP147, 48, Capo d’Orlando – Get directions / Facebook page
- The Beat Disco Club : very lively colorful venue, excellent for those who love to move to the rhythm of the best songs that have made the history of disco music
Address: via Papa Giovani XXIII – Get directions / Facebook page
- Birimbao Bar : informal setting for an excellent bar where you can taste well-made cocktails
Address: via Palermo, 56 – Get directions / Facebook page
- Malarazza : casual place offering an excellent selection of beers and wines as well as live music
Address: Via Mandanici – Get directions / Facebook page
Plan your stay in Tindari: info and useful tips
- How to get there: the best way is by car, as it is difficult to reach the location by public transport. Tindari is connected to Messina (60 km / 1 hour) and Palermo (170 km / 2 hours) by the A20 motorway. From Catania (150 km / 2 hours) you can arrive via the A18 Catania – Messina motorway, then the A20. The closest airport is Catania – Fontanarossa (about 165 km / 2 hours) – Flights to Catania from € 33.00 – look at the offers
- How to get around : to stay in the center it is possible to move on foot, but to visit the surrounding areas a car is highly recommended.
- Where to park : Santuario del Tindari car park, at the base of the Sanctuary. Parking and Paid – Get Directions
- Where to sleep: Hotels and b & b from € 47.00 per room – see the offers
- What to see nearby : Milazzo (35 km / 37 min – Get directions), Barcellona Pozzo del Gotto (22 km / 26 min – Get directions), Montalbano Elicona (30 km / 45 min – Get directions), Capo d’Orlando ( 37 km / 40 min – Get directions)