Initially Tindari was a colony owned by mercenaries who had taken part in the war against Carthage and took the name of Tindari in honor of Tindaro, king of Sparta. The city was founded in 396 a. C. from Dionysius of Syracuse. It was a naval base and in its shore the Romans repelled the Carthaginians fleet. Together with the city of Syracuse it passed under the dominion of the Romans and became the naval base of Sesto Pompeo. In 36 a. C. was taken by Augustus who transformed it into a Roman colony.
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From prehistory to modern history, in a succession of landscapes of exceptional beauty.
The Sanctuary of the Black Madonna
The origins of this statue, according to a legend, begins when a ship was transported by sea and once it landed in Tindari was unable to leave again, until, leaving the statue, the ship was able to return to the sea. The statue was brought to the hill inside a small church.
The Sanctuary, as we can see it today, is located on a promontory overlooking the sea, near the ancient acropolis, where a small church was built. The statue of the Black Madonna is carved in cedar wood.
The church was destroyed in 1544 by Algerian pirates and then rebuilt a few years later. Every year, on 7 September, the Sanctuary festival takes place.
Tindari hides many treasures. In the archaeological area there are the remains of the ancient city. Mosaics, sculptures and ceramics that have been found are now partly preserved in the Archaeological Museum of Palermo and partly in the local Museum.
The town plan of the city most likely dates back to the period of its foundation and is a checkerboard pattern with three main streets, one of which housed a theater and the agora (where today the sanctuary of the Black Madonna is located). The surrounding walls are also interesting, which extend for about three kilometers and are now partially visible. They were rebuilt in the third century BC. C. on the previous walls.
The Theater and the Archaeological area
The ancient theater was built at the end of the fourth century. This theater was abandoned for a long time and only rediscovered in the 19th century. The theater is located near a hill in which large steps were dug that served as seats and could accommodate about three hundred people. A festival has been held in this theater since 1956 with various dance, music and theater events. In addition to the remaking of the theater, the Romans also left an entire block with various houses and rooms for trade. The houses date back to the 1st century BC. C., even if over time they have undergone several changes. The “Basilica” is a two-storey building from the 4th century which has a large central passage with a barrel vault divided into nine arches.
Tindari lagoon and Marinello beach
Another very fascinating place is the Marinello beach. A legend is linked to this beach, that the beach was formed following the fall of a child from the terrace of the sanctuary above.
In addition to the legends, this beach is also talked about for its beauty. On the ridge overlooking the beach there is a cave that according to a legend was inhabited by a sorceress who attracted the sailors and then devour them. When her spells did not work the sorceress vented her anger by piercing the rock walls with her fingers and this would be the reason for the small holes that are on the walls of the cave.
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