Duration : 8 Hours
You’ll see such a variety of things on our private shore excursion to Messina and Tindari! This tour gives you the best of mythology and folklore, art and architecture, history and ruins, food and culture, man-made wonders and natural splendor.
Features of this day trip to Messina & Tindari from Messina:
According to legend, the people of Messina descended from Mata, a beautiful local girl and Grifone, a giant Saracen pirate, a thousand years before Christ, Another legend tells that the city of Messina was founded by Orion.
What we know for sure is that the Ancient Greeks were here in the 8th Century BC. They founded the city of Zancle (which means “scythe” in Greek) for its harbour in the shape of a sickle, which was later renamed Messina.
Messina, a stone’s throw from the toe of Italy’s mainland boot, has long been in an important port in Sicily. Over the millennia the city has been influenced by the myriad conquerors of the island (Romans, Arabs, Normans, etc.) and has also been “remodeled” by various disasters.
The cathedral from the mid-16th Century is like the “unsinkable Molly Brown” of churches. After being damaged by an earthquake in the late 18th Century, it was completely demolished by the devastating earthquake of 1908, then leveled again by air raids during World War II. The church that stands today is a reconstruction replicating the original design and decoration.
The beautiful church of Santissima Annunziata dei Catalani is an architectural point of interest not to be missed. It is of Norman origin, one of the few remaining structures in Messina from that period.
The church of San Francesco (Saint Francis of Assisi) is one of the oldest in Messina, built at the end of the 13th Century, not long after St. Francis was canonized. It is one of the finest examples of Italian Romanesque Gothic in Sicily.
The Fountain of Orion, built to commemorate the opening of the aqueduct in 1547, has been described as “the most beautiful fountain of the 16th Century in Europe.”
Another splendid fountain by the same Tuscan artist is the Fountain of Neptune. The female sea monsters at the base of the fountain represent dangers in the Strait of Messina that caused countless shipwrecks, one of them being rocks and the other a giant whirlpool. The Greek idiom from this myth is where the expression “between a rock and a hard place” comes from.
The Astrological Clock
Maybe the coolest thing in Messina is the gigantic bell tower and astronomical clock, the largest in the world. When the clock strikes noon a fantastic mechanical spectacle takes place as bronze figures are set in motion for 12 minutes. You can go inside the clock tower to see the fascinating gears, pulleys, weights and counterweights that move the figures.
The Regional Museum
The Regional Museum is a beautifully curated gallery the incorporates archeological finds, sculpture and painting. including two masterpieces by Caravaggio.
A delightful hamlet on the Gulf of Patti. Tindari was founded by Greek merchants from Siracusa in 396 B.C, who named it after Tyndareus, King of Sparta.
The thing that immediately captures the attention of the visitor is the Sanctuary of the Black Madonna, set high on the cape. The pursuit of many a pilgrim, the Black Madonna is enshrined within, a Byzantine statue in cedar from the 8th or 9th Century.
If you prefer ancient stuff to religious stuff, there are awesome ruins in Tindari: the original Greek fortification walls, Roman houses and baths with mosaic floors, a Greek theatre from the 4th Century BC. The theatre sits in a breathtaking location with views of the sea, and is still used for concerts.
lovers will want to walk along the linguetta di sabbia (tongue of sand),
the sandbar that stretches for a mile into the water, creating a habitat for
all sorts of flora and fauna.
1. Is this tour private?
The tour is private just for your party, however, you can look for other travel companions to share the costs of the tour with.
2. Is the driver also a guide?
Our English-speaking drivers are NOT licensed guides. In order to provide you with the best-in-class service, our English-speaking driving guides have been trained to offer our clients a nice overview with information regarding the major highlights avoiding the expensive charges of hiring a private guide. Due to strict Italian laws & regulations that protect officially licensed guides, our driving guides can comment and explain the sights only from inside the vehicle but are not allowed to do so once they are outside the vehicle. They are regularly licensed instead to chauffeur the public. We highly recommend that you never book with any touring company that does not make this clear.
3. Does the driver go with us inside the monuments?
No, only a licensed guide is authorized to accompany you during the visit of sights. Our driver will drop you off close to the sights but will stay with the vehicle for the duration of your visit.
4. Does this tour include lunch and admission fees to sites?
No tickets or lunch are included in the rate. Please contact our office for pricing and reservations.
5. Does it include a guide?
A guide is not included either. Please contact our office for pricing and reservations.
6. What is the duration of the tour?
The duration of the tour is 7/9 hours, including pickup and drop off at the ship.
7. Is the itinerary flexible?
Our itineraries are completely flexible, and we will be happy to operate any changes to the original itinerary (within reason). Please contact our office with all the requests you may have so that we can better organize your day.
8. Do you guarantee the return to the ship on time?
In almost 30 years of business, we have never missed the ship that is why we have organized all itineraries to guarantee your return on time.
9. Is gratuity included in the price?
Tips are never included in our quotes. We think that a tip shouldn’t be included in the rate otherwise it would be a tax!!! Once in Italy do not feel as though you have to tip everyone because someone told you to. Tip only if you really liked the service. Tips are generally: 10% not bad 15 % great 20 % best tour in my life. Please report any abuse.
There will be a full charge for bookings canceled with less than 72-hour notice for any service required. In this case, a full charge will be made on your credit card. If you miss your flight or if your airline decides to cancel the flight due to bad weather or if your flight is directed to another airport on arrival, please advise us on time (as soon as you know) or a full charge will be made.
Please give us enough time so we can accept other reservations and allocate them to our chauffeurs. If the ship does not make it to the pier for bad weather, you will not be considered responsible so NO CHARGE will be made to your credit card. A full charge will be made for a no-show-up.
Only pre-purchased skip-the-line tickets (if requested) are not refundable under the circumstance and will be charged to your card.
Transfer Services activated.