Experiences at Tindari
Tindari, here we are, a nice place belonging to the municipality of Patti (in the province of Messina).
Its name is important as its history, it derives from Tindaro, king of Sparta. Anyway, it was founded by the will of Dionisio I from Syracuse, in 396 BC, by a group of his mercenaries who where employed in the war against Carthage.
The history of Tindari, due to its strategical position, is a succession of changes of control and background of important naval battles that transformed the development of the history since the ancient times.
The Carthaginians and the Romans alternated with their naval bases. On this subject, the battle of Tindari is famous, in which the ships of the Roman Empire destroyed the Carthaginian fleet.
Then, as the time passed, it was conquered by the Byzantines and subsequently it was razed to the ground by the Arabs.
Nowadays Tindari is renowned because of the presence of a famous Sanctuary dedicated to the “Black Madonna”, venerated by a high number of believers, to the point that it is one of the most important sanctuaries in Sicily, and because of the presence of the Greek Theatre dating back to the III and II century BC, still in a good state of preservation, whose perfect acoustics has been permitting the realization of several events dealing with the drama and jazz music up to now.
It’s said that in 726 the Byzantine Emperor Leo III “the Isaurian”, as it was forbidden to venerate the holy statutes, ordered their destruction. So, the wooden sculpture of Virgin Mary was committed by the believers to some seamen, in order to avoid its destruction. Crossing the Tyrrhenian Sea, the ship was caught in a so violent storm that the captain was forced to refuge the ship nearby the gulf below Tindari. When the storm passed, nobody was able to make the ship left. Just at the moment in which the crew landed the case holding the sculpture, the ship succeeded in leaving. Since that moment Tindari became a place of veneration.
The second legend, still bound to the veneration of the “Black Madonna”, links the headland of Tindari to the Lakes of Marinello, situated below the promontory.
It’s told that a believer reached Tindari to thank Virgin Mary for grace received, once she noticed that Virgin had a dark complexion, not appreciating Her look, she expressed a bad opinion. At the same time it happened that her daughter, leaned over the promontory, fell down destructively. The mother asked for a second miracle that was accepted and the baby was caught by angels and left safe and sound on the beach of Marinello. This is the veneration linking the people of the believers to the Holy Virgin.
But Tindari is also a place of literary inspiration: the Nobel Prize Salvatore Quasimodo dedicated his famous poetry “Wind at Tindari” and Andrea Camilleri entitled his famous book “The trip to Tindari”, that was the matter of an episode of the well known TV series “Inspector Montalbano”.
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