Tindari in English
Once you reach Tindari you will see the imposing church dedicated to the Black Madonna from the wooden statue carved in dark wood portraying the Holy Virgin just inside the cathedral.
This statue is Byzantine in style and said to have come from Constantinople.
From the Belvedere in front of the church you can look down on some sort of lagoon kown as the “Laghetti di Marinello” which is also a protected area where birds stop during their migrations.
Walking through the colourful little souvenir shops you will reach the ruins of Tyndaris, the Greek town founded in 396 b.C. by Dionysius I of Syracuse as a defence against the Carthaginians. The first inhabitants were refugees from Greece and the city was named after the Dioscuri, Castor and Pollux, protectors of the emigrants. Then the town was passed to the Romans and flourished during the Imperial period until , in 365, it was damaged by a terrible earthquake. It was then completely razed by the Saracens in 836 a.D. when they conquered Sicily.
As you walk through the ruins you will be able to see the little museum where you have descriptive plans, fragments of pottery, vases, reliefs, two “nikai” and an interesting marble head of Augustus.
Through the “decumanus” you will reach the theatre in a quiet spot overlooking the harbour.
Originally it was built by the Greeks in the 3rd century b.C., then it was reconstructed by the Romans. Coming back to the museum you will see the “insula” with Roman houses and public baths decorated with mosaic floors. The imposing building with arches at the entrance was probably a “basilica” or a place for public meetings that originally had 3 floors of which only the lower one remains. It was probably linked to the “agorà” that is now covered by the modern village.
In leaving the ruins pay attention to the marble plate near the front door of the block opposite the archaeological site: you will read a poem written by the nobel-prize Salvatore Quasimodo dedicated to Tindari that he used to visit when he was in Sicily.
Caterina De Simone