TOURISTIC LOCALITY

Founded by Dionysius I of Syracuse in 396 B. C., Tyndaris was one of the last settlements to be estabilished by the Greeks in Sicily. Growing rapidly, the town played a strategic role of great importance in guarding the Thyrrhenian maritime routes.
During the Roman age, Tyndaris enjoyed all the privilegs of a roman colon. Much of the buildings at Tyndaris that can be seen today, dates back from this period (end of 1st c. B. C.) and the subsequent centuries of Imperial Rule (the Theatre, the Basilica, the Walls, the Roman houses).
On the site of the ancient agorÓ, at the highest point of Capo Tindari incorporating the little 16th century Santuary, there stands the Santuary of the Tyndaris Madonna, a mecca for continual pilgrimages. With a three-nave basilica layout, and rich in mosaics, behind the high altar the imposing monument houses the Black Madonna.
The story of this shrine is one which put the seal on our religious pilgrimage, because it seems to sum up all the characteristics of folk devotion which, though stratified in time on many vestiges of ancient cultures and civilisations, yet remains sculpted in faith as in a rock.
The mistery of the statue, an image, a countenance which like light came as a gift to this land, via pathways still fraught with mistery, from the Christian east, around the 7th century, and patiently withstood raids by Saracens and old pirates, old and new, exibiting the elegant sign of a continuity which recent restoration work has revealed in all this dignified beauty.

In the afternoon the group will visit the town of San Marco d'Alunzio, a lovely town located in the Nebrodian Mountains.
Visit includes: the Temple of Hercules whose cella was turned into a Church dedicated to St. Marco, the Bizantine Church of St. Teodoro, the Church of Santa Maria d'Ara Coeli and the great Benedictine Abbey in the nearby countryside dating back to the 1082.
Sanmarc2.jpg (7900 byte)
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