Tindari: what to see, where to eat and what to do in the evening

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Lluis Enric Mayans

wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

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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 structures and historical. There are so many things to see in Tindari. So here is a general overview of the wonderful Sicilian town!


  1. 10 things to see in and around Tindari
  2. What to see in Tindari in one day: recommended itinerary
  3. Where to eat in Tindari: the best restaurants
  4. What to do in the evening: the nightlife areas and the best clubs in Tindari
  5. Plan your stay in Tindari: info and useful tips
  6. User questions and comments

10 things 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, several remains of temples, such as that of Jupiter, of Neptune, but also remains of the acropolis, located where today the Sanctuary of Tindari stands.
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 you can still visit the remains of some important domus and villas from the Roman era.
Other remains can be visited in the Antiquarium museum, with five rooms each of which houses important artifacts and finds from the archaeological area.

  • it is located about 400 meters from the center, which can be traveled on foot or by car through via Monsignor Pullano - Get directions
  • 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.
  • 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 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 oriental-like features. The cult grew following the legend according to which the statue was on a ship that took shelter in the bay of the current Marinello lakes to escape a storm. The same ship was unable to resume the sea due to the heavy load, but in reality it was only after depositing the statue that it was able to resume navigation.
The coloring is due to the construction material, cedar of Lebanon, and is dated between the th and th 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.

  • located in the center - Get directions
  • Always accessible
  • Free

3 - Tindari Valley

The Tindari Valley is 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.

  • it can be reached from the Coda di Volpe path, therefore about 150 meters from the city center - Get directions
  • Always accessible
  • 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 the path once used to connect the port to the ancient colony of Tindarys. In more recent times, it represented the pilgrimage route to reach the Sanctuary of the Black Madonna.
The particularity of this path is certainly to be attributed to spectacular landscapes and panoramas appreciable 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 go, therefore it is not recommended to undertake it for untrained people or people not accustomed to trekking activities.

  • The beginning of the path is practically in the center of Tindari. To reach it, you need to walk 150 meters towards the local sanctuary - Get directions
  • Always accessible
  • Free. Possibility to walk the path with a paid tour guide

5 - Grotta Donna Villa

It 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 in addition to 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.
Ma 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, his home, with a spell he 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.

  • it is located in the Tindari Valley. From the center, move 150 meters towards the Coda di Volpe trail - Get directions
  • Accessible according to the availability of the guides
  • depending on the excursions

6 - Roman Villa of 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.

  • 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
  • May / August 09:00 - 19:00 September 09:00 - 18:00 October 09:00 - 17:00 November and December 09:00 - 16:00
  • 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 ponds within the sand on the sea. 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 resulted from changes in the hydrogeographic sector downstream of the Timeto stream.
The beauty of this area is certainly also scenic, 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.

  • There are no means to get to the Marinello lakes. You can visit the reserve by car by crossing the SS113 road. The distance to the center is about 2 kilometers - Get directions
  • Always accessible
  • 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 distinguished 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 recipes that are a delight for the palate. Just wonderful!

  • There are no means to reach the town, which is about 5 km from Tindari. By car you need to continue on the SS113 - Get directions
  • always accessible
  • Free

9 - Cathedral Basilica 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 th century, commissioned by Ruggero d'Altavilla (father of the more famous Ruggero 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 prospectus, 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.

  • the Basilica is located in Patti. There are no means of transport that connect it to Tindari. By car, on the other hand, from the center of Tindari the distance is almost 11 km, the journey time about 20 minutes - Get directions
  • always accessible, mass on holidays at 17:00
  • free

10 - Grotta del Tono, Gioiosa Marea

The Grotta del Tono is a cavity of great historical and 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 viable. Characteristics of the cave are the limestone rocks and various stalactites and stalagmites which give a charming look.
We recommend a visit 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)

  • from Tindari a car is required. The distance is about 20 km, along the SS113 state road (travel time 32 minutes) - Get directions
  • Tuesday / Friday 09:00 - 12:00
  • € 1,00

What to see in Tindari in one day: recommended itinerary

Morning: the perfect itinerary starts in the town center with breakfast at the Pellegrino Bar. To be able to visit all the attractions you must then 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 spectacle. In this place it will be possible to relax and enjoy some well-deserved relaxation. It is advisable to swim 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

  1. Breakfast at Bar del Pellegrino - Get directions
  2. Archaeological Park of Tindari: from Monday to Friday from 9:00 to 19:00 - ticket cost: full € 6,00, reduced € 3,00, minors free
  3. Ancient Sanctuary of Tindari: always accessible - ticket price: free
  4. Lunch at Tyndaris Restaurant - Get directions
  5. Coda di Volpe trail: always accessible - ticket price: free
  6. Marinello lakes: from Mon to Fri from 9:00 to 19:00 - ticket price: free
  7. Price at the poster - Get directions

Where to eat in Tindari: the best restaurants

  • Tyndaris restaurant: interesting location and typical dishes of the Sicilian tradition
    Average price per person: € 15,00
    Address and contacts: Piazza Salvatore Quasimodo, 1 (Get directions) / tel: 0941369002
  • The Poster: 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
  • La Vela Restaurant Pizzeria: 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: the nightlife areas and the best clubs in Tindari

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 locality, within a radius of 25 km it is possible to find places that offer entertainment for nightlife. In particular in Patti, a town about ten km away from Tindari, and in the nearby towns, there are clubs that, especially in summer evenings, allow you to have fun until late at night.

The best pubs, clubs and discos

  • La Pineta nightclub: summer club that organizes dance themed events and evenings
    Address: via Roma 7, Gioiosa Marea - Get directions / Facebook page
  • 147 Club: 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 a great 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

  • 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 nearest airport is Catania - Fontanarossa (about 165 km / 2 hours) - Flights to Catania from € 33,00 -
  • Getting around: to stay in the center it is possible to move on foot, but a car is highly recommended to visit the surrounding areas.
  • Where to park: Santuario del Tindari car park, at the base of the Sanctuary. Parking is paid - Get directions
  • Hotel and b & b starting from € 47,00 per room -
  • What to see in the surroundings: 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)

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