What to see in Ortigia

What to see in Ortigia

The islet of Ortigia is the historical heart of the city of Syracuse. Within its area of one square kilometer it is possible to admire the architectural beauties of different historical periods: from the first prehistoric settlements, through the numerous remains of ancient Greek Byzantine and Norman.

Today Ortigia lives in a brilliant reconstruction of its old charm, finding consensus in the numerous tourists who remain entranced by the rare beauty of Syracuse.

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The Cathedral of Ortigia

The Cathedral is the most important building of the homonymous square, built on the ruins of an ancient Greek temple that forms the backbone. Severely damaged by the earthquake of 1693, it underwent several restorations, the most important of which was the facade, rebuilt during the first half of the eighteenth century (designed by Andrea Palma).

The great abundance of baroque style contrasts sharply with the interior of the Cathedral: here, the sobriety of the ancient temple has been maintained over the centuries. Of the three aisles, the right is even further removed from the other: the rich decoration of the chapels is in typical baroque, as well as the grand altar, placed in 1659. The interior of the cathedral is also decorated with many works of Gaginis marble.

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What to see in Noto

All What to see in Noto

Dove si trova Noto

World Heritage site since 2002 thanks to its beautiful baroque-style historic old town, Noto has become a favorite and much appreciated destination very much in demand by Italian and foreign tourists. Located about 30 km south-west from Syracuse, it maintains the finest examples of Sicilian Baroque.

In 2007, after seven years of restoration Noto’s Cathedral has returned to its former glory. For those who find themselves in Sicily in May, not to be missed is the “Infiorata”, a floral event among the most beautiful and colorful in Italy.

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Noto was rebuilt on the hill of Meti, which offers a great view over the plains of the river Tellaro and the coast. Rebuilt in two different clusters, Noto is divided in low and high.

The first, more elegant, would accommodate the religious and political authorities, while the second would house the people. The main street is Corso Vittorio Emanuele, interrupted by three squares, including the Town Hall Square, the heart of the historic center. The historic center can be accessed from the east, from Viale Marconi passing through the Porta Reale.

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The floral display

For over thirty years the “Infiorata” has been a tradition for the third weekend in May, when in via Nicolaci are exhibited the works of floral artists: either reproductions of famous paintings or original drawings, it doesn’t really matters…what matters is that they are all created by the genius of its own creator using flower petals.

The celebration has now turned into a major event: the city welcomes tourists and visitors who invade the streets of Noto to admire these true and real works of art, a triumph of colors and scents without equal.

Those who decide to book some accommodation in the city will do well to do it with a few weeks in advance.

Historical Background of Noto

The first human settlements in the area date to the Sicilians in the prehistoric period. In a long period of time over five centuries, few small villages emerged, such as the “Civilta’ di Castelluccio and the “Cultura del Finocchito”, made famous in antiquity for the manufacture of cloth and ceramics.

During the advent of the Greeks the city began a steady economic and population growth, but it was after the arrival of the Romans that Noto distinguished itself from the other towns of southern Sicily: in fact it was proclaimed a federated city of the Empire, like Taormina and Messina.

After the Arab conquest, Noto increased its prestige and became a center of primary importance not only in Sicily, but of the entire Mediterranean basin. Sicily in fact, was divided into three different administrative areas and Noto was placed at the head of the south-east: the Val di Noto.

But it was after the earthquake of 1693 that Noto radically changed its story. Razed to the ground by the earthquake, the reconstruction of the city happened at about fifteen kilometers from the previous settlement.

The urban project made use of foreign engineers and the construction of the buildings was entrusted to the best local labor. The ensuing result is still clearly visible today: the most exciting urban-architectural expression of Sicilian Baroque.

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Noto by Night

The atmosphere of Noto is ideal for those looking for a quiet evening in an elegant resort. A walk in the “Corso” is ideal for couples and families, while enjoying a delicious ice cream, product of very skilled local artisans.

The restaurants however, offer excellent cuisine, combining quality with affordable price. Not infrequently there are concerts, parades and folk performances to enliven the carefree evenings of Noto, a beautiful and elegant city of Sicily.

Scicli: What to see in the city

Scicli: What to see in the city

Dove si trova Scicli

The town of Scicli is located at the extreme southern Sicily, a few kilometers from the more famous Modica.Built over three different promontories, it occupies a strategic position on the fertile plateau above: it is no coincidence that the first human settlements foundin the area are among the oldest inSicily.

It became part of the UNESCO World Heritage in 2002, as it boasts beautiful examples of Baroque kept within its historic center.A few kilometers from beautiful golden beaches, Scicli is now affirmed among the continuously growing Sicilian tourism spots.

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Historical Background of Scicli

The first settlements near Scicli date back to the third millennium BC.

Inhabited by Greeks and Romans, it is possible that for a short time even the Carthaginians had subdued the city. After the Arab conquest, Scicli experienced an exciting period of economic growth that lasted into the Norman period.

In the Middle Ages the urban structure was turned upside down: the fortress was preferred, and because of the scarcity of water, the structure was built in the valley. As with so many other cities in eastern Sicily, Scicli binds its historical evolution to the 1693 earthquake and its reconstruction, thanks to which today it presents a beautiful baroque style. During the war of Independence, the city was known for the strong patriotism of its people: in 1860 it was proclaimed, by plebiscite, the annexation to Piedmont.
Today Scicli has become famous thanks to the hit television series of Inspector Montalbano, based on the tales of Sicilian writer Andrea Camilleri: The city was chosen as the main backdrop to create the imaginary city of Vigata.

Scicli by Night

Although a small sized center of the southern Sicily, Scicli can be a good starting point for a stay in the province of Ragusa. Practically next to Modica and not far from Ragusa, both in winter and in summer the city may be the place to spend a nice evening.

Scicli in fact, is developing an excellent touristic touch: the high quality of its bars and restaurants, where you can eat a delicious dinner in one of the most important baroque scenes of Sicily. In addition, for the summer, Scicli is very close to beautiful coasts, where sandy beaches and crystal clear waters are transformed into breathtaking venues for parties and events that go on until the early hours of dawn.

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What to see in Modica

What to see in Modica

Dove si trova Modica

The historical town of Modica is located in the south-eastern part of the island in about 20 km distance from Ragusa.

The elegancy of its buildings and streets richly decorated with baroque motives gave a significant boost to the town’s tourism. A further contribution was the annexation to the communities of the world cultural heritage of the UNESCO in 2002.

Modica is built at the foot of a rocky ridge where once two rivers flew which are underground today. In the past the town became an important centre of southern Sicily being the head of the homonymous county. Today the town is composed of two urban agglomerations: the Upper and the Lower Modica, both are fascinating in equal way for different reasons.

The Modica tourist may not miss, in no case, a culinary visit to one of the numerous shops where the delicious Modica chocolate is made and sold.

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The Chocolate of Modica

The typical Sicilian specialty, the chocolate of Modica, has its origin on Sicilian ground thanks to the Spaniards who imported it to the county. The cocoa had been discovered by the “conquistatores” in Latin America who also passed on the way of processing as used overseas. Even today the cocoa mass composition is entirely maintained without changing the quantities of cocoa or butter. The only addition is the sugar which is worked at temperatures which do not allow the crystals to break down. This gives a compactness to the chocolate which distinguishes it from others.

With its distinctive and pure taste the chocolate finds more and more lovers among the visitors who tasted it. It is delicious enjoying it as it is, but it is also unique melted in hot beverages – above all in coffee .

Moreover the Modica-chocolate is characteristic for being aromatized in different ways from Cinnamon to Chili and from red wine “Nero d’Avola” to pistachios.

Historical Background of Modica

The first settlements of humans in the area of Modica date back to the Bronze Age (XVI century B.C.) when indigenous peoples considered the structure of the area as being advantageous. The original name was Murikà (which means stone, rock) and was probably coming from the local language.

Later during the Roman era the name was modified into Motyka. After the conquest by the Arab peoples Modica was distinguished by a commercial and an agricultural centre which had equal importance: with the help of the innovations introduced from the Orient fertility of the ground and the prosperity of the area could be incremented substantially.

At the end of the year 200 the county of Modica was founded: with increasing economic and political importance Modica experienced about three centuries of splendor. The different aristocracies alternated governing the feudal state, which in wealth and splendor was second to Palermo only.

The dramatic earthquake in 1693 caused drastic changes also to Modica: the town almost completely destroyed lost its charisma and its political importance which it had enjoyed in the past. The subsequent reconstruction gave the baroque appearance to Modica by which it is distinguished nowadays in a way that it had been declared part of the world cultural heritage in 2002.

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Marina di Ragusa: the beaches and what to see

Marina di Ragusa and what to see

Dove si trova Marina di Ragusa

A seaside resort with increasing tourism, Marina di Ragusa is consolidating its role as a center of seaside excellence, managing to attract the attention of Italian as well as foreign tourists.

The golden beaches, the nightlife, the recently restored port tourist area, and the delicious Ragusan cuisine are an indispensable mix for those who decide to come and spend an intense period of sun, sea, and fun in Sicily.

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The seawaters are always crystal clear and calm.  The fine sand gently slopes downward into the sea, allowing a gradualdescent into the water.  The beaches are well maintained and equipped with different playing fields.  For sports lovers, basketball and soccer tournaments are frequently held in Piazza Malta.  For the beauty and cleanliness of its coastline,it was awarded the prestigious Blue Flag award in 2009.

Eating in Marina di Ragusa

The products of the earth are a unique delicacy: the famous cherry tomatoes di Pachino, eggplants, fresh fruit cultivation ingreenhouses, a habitat that makes them outstanding in flavor and delicacy.

The Ragusan cheeses, the pride of the Ragusan kitchen, are not to be left out.The numerous dairies,handed down from father to son for generations, produce exceptional cheese that is worth tasting.  From the seasoned to the fresh cheeses, they are excellent dishes that are served as appetizersor as condiments in the first or second dishes for lunches that can hardly be resisted.

Marina di Ragusa by Night

By now, the nightlife in Marina di Ragusa, has become well known. Every summer evening is a source of entertainment for thousands of young people who get together to drink or eat something in the numerous bars that are enjoyed on the Marina waterfront.  A great factor to increasing tourism was the renovation of the port of Marina, in 2009, the restoration done in an elegant white stone “dell’lungomare of old” (as it was formerly called, and is still well defined, although the restoration was only recently completed in 2010).

This has, in fact, become an ideal location for a great night: from the port to Piazza Duca d’Aosta the new street spreads, with the buzz of waves in the background and fine and elegant mansions that overlook the shore, as well.  Many of the establishments that alternate on the waterfront bars, creperies, and clubs are literally besieged by young people.  Most recently, the late night music allows for the drink and dance to go until the early morning hours.  It should be emphasized, that inside the Marina, the large parking lots, even during crowded times, ensure available space for evening traffic.

If you love nightclubs you can find a wide variety of them. Each tends to organize different theme nights throughout the summer, some of which are celebrated directly on the beach.

Marina di Ragusa is an ideal location for families: the beautiful sea will not get boring to the children, and in the evening, the waterfront Andrea Doria is host to all kinds of events, in addition to the constant presence of dozens of stalls full of toys, candy, even earrings and necklaces in hard stone for the more self-indulgent  ladies.

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Ustica: the beaches and what to see

Ustica: the beaches and what to see

Dove si trova Ustica

The island of Ustica is the summit of a massive submerged volcano in the middle of the Tyrrhenian Sea, about 60 kilometers north of Palermo.

Its name derives from the Latin Ustum, burned: angular island, the coast is purely rock lined and surrounded by a breathtaking sea. Ustica is famous throughout Europe for the charm of its depths and the tranquility that reigns there throughout the year.

Since 1987, the beauty of the sea is under the protection of the First Marine Protected Area established in Italy, to which, since 1997 the Natural Reserve of Ustica Island has been added for the protection of terrestrial landscape.

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Aside from the magnificent sea, Ustica houses interesting details that certainly will not disappoint the visitor. The center of the town is located on the north-eastern side of the island: here the houses are low; all gathered around the three squares in the center and in some of them you can still see some form of murals. From the town it is easy to walk to the ancient ruins of the Saracen castle.

At the center of the island is the summit of the volcano, Guardia dei Turchi, 244 meters from sea level, where you can behold a beautiful panorama, three hundred and sixty degree view across Ustica. It will also be unforgettable to explore Ustica along the paths that branch among the expanses of prickly pears, vines, and vegetables, which cover the 9 km of green surface on this wonderful island.

The Sea of Ustica

Lovers of diving could hardly ever find a more suitable location than Ustica. The coast of pure rock line offers caves and hidden coves where you will not be able to help yourself from visiting the transparent waters ranging from turquoise to blue to dark blue depending on the time of day.

For those who prefer lying comfortably to sunbathe, there are the beaches: Cala Sidoli and Calettain the northern part of the island while on the eastern side is Cala Faro, a little to the north of the ruins of the Saracen castle. Further south, however, Spalombatore Punta and Punta Cavazzi in deserve a swim, where the particular shape of the rock forms a real natural swimming pool of sea water.

Due to the large number of shipwrecks further out at sea, amphoras and historical artifacts of various kinds have been organized in the Underwater Archaeological Museum.

By boat you will be able to discover the most beautiful places of the island.

The grotto dell’Acqua, better known as the Blue Grotta, has a huge entrance, in which the sunlight reflects off the blue sea coloring the entire inner environment. A figure similar to a pyramid formed by stalagmites secular in this cave captivates the attention, while another part is connected to the Cave of San Francesco Vecchio. Continuing south, you come to the Grotto of Pastizza, in front of which there is an ominous stack. Continuing to the south, you come to the Grotto of Segreta, the largest on the island. On the west side is the Scoglio del Medico which is the perfect place for diving: groupers and barracudas swim undisturbed around this small promontory sea, where the depth reaches about 40 meters.

Instead, further north, Secca Colombara is another ideal place to explore the depths: here the encounters with schools of fish of considerable size are frequent and it will not be too difficult to spot shrimp and lobsters.

Historical Background of Ustica

Ustica has been inhabited since ancient times. Archaeological findings trace the presence of man since the second millennium BC which was followed by settlements of the Phoenicians and the Romans. In the hands of the Saracens from the eighth century AD, (of which there are only a few remains of a castle in the eastern part of the island) it had come under the control of the Normans.

Its isolated position with respect to Sicily made it easy prey for pirates who ravaged it several times. Only during the Bourbon period, the system of fortifications was able to stand up to foreign incursions. In this period and during the Fascist period it was used as a site of exile for political opponents of the regime.

Today, the small population of Ustica is based on fishing and agriculture, during the summer they are happy to welcome tourists who go there to enjoy the sea, the sun, and all the serenity that this island has to offer.

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Monreale and The Cathedral, what to see

The Cathedral of Monreale: What to see

Dove si trova Monreale

Monreale is one of the most prestigious locations in western Sicily. Only 8 km from Palermo, the town enjoys a truly enviable panorama: from its height of 310 meters you can admire Palermo in all its extension.

Famous throughout the world for its magnificent Norman Cathedral, intact in its entire splendor, Monreale is a not to miss stop.

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It’s one of the most visited buildings in Sicily: harmonious in size, balanced in shapes and with lavish decorations, is the symbol of the refined Norman art in Sicily. A visit becomes mandatory for those who are going to organize a trip to the island.

Its construction was made by King William II, after the conflict with the powerful archbishop of Palermo.  The Cathedral in fact, was build to assert the supremacy of the Norman crown over the ecclesiastical powers, which in the meantime were concerned to complete the Cathedral of Palermo.

The work began in 1174 and took advantage of the best labor available at that time to complete in a few years one of the most beautiful medieval buildings, not only of Sicily, but of all Italy.

The facade is at the center of two mighty towers, including a portico of the eighteenth century. The bronze doors date back to the twelfth century and depict biblical events and figures of Saints. The rear of the building is the one that most shows the Norman influence, consisting of three rows of arches.

Inside we witness all its beauty. The structure has three naves, divided by 18 granite columns. All around the beautiful shimmering mosaics, with gold background, cover most of the surface of the walls, portraying characters and episodes from the Bible. At the center, above the altar, the famous Christ Pancreator. The mosaics were made by Byzantine artists along with the Venetians and Arabs for what is today the most remarkable set of mosaics of Italy (the works cover about 6,340 square meters).

Inside, there are also the tombs of William I and William II the Good. Originally, in fact, the building was designed to become the Royal Pantheon. Of particular importance is also the Treasury, made up of several real reliquaries.

The Cloister of the Cathedral hides a charm in its measures and the very fine decorations that are rarely found in similar buildings. Built together with the Cathedral, is perfectly square in shape, with a long inner arcade, supported by as many as 228 columns.

Right across from the Cathedral is the entrance to the caves of Monreale, creeks within which you can hear the flow of groundwater.

Do not miss the beautiful view that you can enjoy from the “Belvedere” (observation point), directly on the Valley of the Oreto and the Conca d’Oro, a huge and fragrant garden-like, territory planted with thousand of orange trees.  Inside the public gardens, we can admire the Civic Gallery of Modern Art, in which are preserved sculptures and paintings by various artists, modern and contemporary.

Historical Background of Monreale

The genesis of the city is mainly attributable to the construction of the Benedictine Abbey in the twelfth century, around which were built private houses, most of them owned by clergymen.

In the same period were built also the residence of the King, the Archbishop’s Palace and the Cathedral. Today it is a town with many hints of the Baroque style, given by the fact that the urban formation was consolidated predominantly in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

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What to see in Cefalù

What to see in Cefalù

Dove si trova Cefalù

Cefalù is a lovely beach town on the Tyrrhenian Sea, almost halfway between Palermo and Messina.  Its long beach is one of the most sought after of Sicily: the golden sand and crystal clear waters are an irresistible attraction for tourists who go every year to one of the most fascinating places in Sicily.

Nevertheless, Cefalù is not only sea and sun: its historic center still conserves important symbols of the past, such as the Norman cathedral decorated with exceptional Byzantine mosaics.

A tourist destination of excellence, not only in Sicily, but also throughout the Mediterranean, Cefalù is suitable for young people and families, the ideal setting for a wonderful stay in Sicily.

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The Cathedral of Cefalù

There are several hypotheses on the origins of the construction of the Cathedral of Cefalù.  According to the legend, it was Roger II in gratitude for having survived a storm near the coast, wanted to build a great religious building.  Others believe that it was built to convert many Muslims who at the time lived in the northern coast of Sicily.  Most likely, behind the construction of the cathedral there was the special behest of Roger II to assert his supremacy against that of the Pope’s.  The marvelous structure was started in 1131 but the original plan was never brought to completion.

The mighty Norman structure dominates the ancient quarter, with your back to the scenic coast: the facade, which looks out on Piazza Duomo, is characterized by two large towers between which there is a magnificent entrance with marble decorations.  The interior consists of three aisles divided by columns.  Of exquisite work are marble statues such as the Madonna and Child on the left aisle.

But that which marvels is without a doubt are the gold dipped mosaics placed behind the altar, made in classical Byzantine, and perfectly preserved and shining in all their glory: Christ Pancreator is placed in the upper section, below The Madonna with the four archangels, and finally the twelve apostles.  Ever more, the surrounding walls are decorated with mosaics depicting figures of saints.

A side entrance leads to the cloister of the Cathedral, once severely damaged, but today returned to its beauty thanks to the recently completed restoration work.

The historic center of Cefalù

The historic center of Cefalù has a main axis, Corso Ruggero, around which develops an intricate set of streets and alleys, derived from the Arab period.  Other evidences remain from this time-period, such as a washhouse carved directly into the rock.  It should also be noted that the beautiful medieval palace Great Osterio, previously the royal palace of Roger, later became the residence of the Ventimiglia family.

Piazza Garibaldi instead gives us access to the Fortress: After a nice climb you reach the so-called Temple of Diana, an archaic construction dating from the ninth century BC, changed considerably during the Greek period and converted into a church of Byzantine times.  From this last period, remain traces of the walls, which at the time were running a length of 3 kilometers, in addition to a few ruins of the medieval castle.

Municipal Museum Mandralisca

Near the Cathedral, in Via Mandralisca, the Municipal Museum has a collection of historical artifacts of exceptional value: paintings, bronzes, mosaics, coins, engravings, tracing the history of Cefalù since ancient times.

The most prestigious piece is undoubtedly the Portrait of an Unknown Man, created by Antonello da Messina, to whom an entire room is dedicated, complete with explanatory panels in reference to the painting.

Noted should also be the numerous finds of Greek origin, among which is “the seller of tuna”, a vase painted around the fourth century BC.

Historical Background of Cefalù

The construction of the city of Cefalu started from populations originating in Sicily who found the place to have a good natural defense.  The center has significant influences from the Greek world, so much as to be called in the ancient period Kephaloidion (the head), referring to the place where it stood.

It passed onto the hands of the Romans in 254 BC but there is no specific information to this historical period.  The Arabs took Cefalù only after two bloody sieges, but it was the Normans after the Conquest of 1063, that made the city a major nerve center of Sicily where the most important buildings of present day testify to the splendor of the epoch.

Cefalù by Night

In the Sicilian landscape, Cefalù is a front-row seat not only for the beauty that it has but also for the nightlife that it offers, incredibly alive and satisfying to any need.

The entire historical center hosts elegant restaurants, in which delicious dishes common to the cuisine of Messina and Palermo are served.  The main courses, needless to say, are based on fresh fish.

During the summer season, it is on the seafront that the nightlife focuses: between a nice ice cream and a drink, and a walk in front of the beach shore where the sea breeze revitalizes the air.  There are several bars that offer the chance to drink until late in the evening and of course, the clubs situated in picturesque locations, where every day of the week, the parties last all night.

The beauty of the environment together with a varied array of services and leisure activities, easily explains why Cefalù has become one of the most popular destinations in the Sicilian tourist scene.

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What to see in Bagheria

What to see in Bagheria

Dove si trova Bagheria

The resort of the ancient nobility of Palermo, Bagheria has long been the scene of pomp and boast, chosen from the most important families of Palermo as a place to build their magnificent villas.

Favored for its sweet location, on a gentle slope between the sea and Mount Catalfano, made famous by the Italian film industry, with the masterpiece Baaria, the city of Bagheria is a recommended stop for those who find themselves in Palermo and the surroundings areas.

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Historical Background of Bagheria

The history of Bagheria is fairly recent, although traces of human settlements have been found in the area dating back to about 2500 years ago. During the Greek and Roman periods, the area was thickly wooded, which was then cut down in order to obtain lumber, and its land used for the cultivation of citrus fruits and grapes.

It was at this pleasant place, overlooking the sea, which the aristocracy of Palermo decided to seek refuge from the heat of the city. In the fourteenth century began the construction of magnificent villas, mainly in Gothic, baroque, or neoclassical style. The city assumed, more and more, the appearance of lordly center, from the streets to the tree-lined avenues, favored by the architecture of its villas and the ever constant presence of noblemen of the epoch.

Today Bagheria presents itself as a dynamic center, devoted to commerce and agriculture, in which are preserved the remains of the greatness of the ancient and powerful families of Palermo.

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What to see in Tindari

What to see in Tindari

Dove si trova Tindari

The village of Tindari is an ideal place with a little something for everyone: for the faithful, who come in September to celebrate the Black Madonna.

For the history fans, they have the opportunity to learn about one of the most beautiful archaeological sites in Sicily dating back to classical times. But Tindari is best known for its beautiful golden beaches, a highly recommended destination for lovers of sea and nature.

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What is now possible to visit inside the archaeological site of Tindari comes from the Roman period, a period of great development for the city, but there are also the remains of the classical era.

What is surprising is the harmony and perfection of the urban plan, consisting of a checkerboard, with major roads (decumani) cut at a right angle from the minor ones (hinges). The city walls are still well preserved, constituting in their entirety one of the longest city walls from the period still observable today in Sicily; together with the strategic position of the city, it made Tindari impregnable.

Among the buildings, many were private homes with a few shops, as well as a thermal plant, an indispensable construction for the Romans, where it is still possible to see the mosaics on the floors.

The Shrine of the Black Madonna

In a dominant position, in the place which was the agora of ancient Tyndaris, the shrine of Our Lady of Tindari attracts pilgrims from all over Sicily and becomes a very crowded place in September, during which the Black Madonna is celebrated.

The gleaming building was completed in 1979 with a basilica, divided into three aisles. On the walls are mosaics, while the wooden statue of the Virgin Mary is located behind the main altar with clear Byzantine features.

The statue mysteriously arrived on the coast of Tindari. From the square of the Sanctuary, the panorama opens up to the view of the Aeolian Islands.

The Sea in Tindari

Tindari is ideal for those who want to spend a few days at sea: the beautiful beaches and the crystal clear waters have some of the most beautiful seaside resorts of Sicily, which are less crowded than other resorts.

Just below the town there is one of the most beautiful bays: with alternating beaches, dunes, lagoons and reefs, at the foot of the promontory which houses the Shrine of Tindari.

Nearby you can visit other beautiful seaside resorts a few kilometers from Tindari: Cape Calava Capo d’Orlando and Milazzo.

Historical Background of Tindari

The historical writings on the story of ancient Tindari are scarce, but new excavation projects could enrich the knowledge of the place.

The ancient Tyndaris was founded by Syracuse in 396 BC who built an outpost as a symbol of classical civilization on a high cape on the coast of the Tyrrhenian Sea. Passing under the influence of Carthage, in the waters off the coast of Tindari there was one of the most magnificent naval wars of antiquity; the Roman troops defeated the Carthaginians and prepared the invasion of Sicily.

It was under the Empire that Tindari experienced its period of greatest splendor, thanks to the privileges bestowed by Rome in recognition of its loyalty. Several catastrophic events followed that undermined the livelihoods of the islanders: a landslide in the first century AD caused enormous damage to a part of town, while two centuries later; earthquakes were to put a strain on the village of Tindari.

By the power of the Arabs it was finally destroyed and no longer inhabited. During the Byzantine period came the arrival of the miraculous Black Madonna from the east, today it is a source of pilgrimage for thousands of believers.

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