Patti is a treasure chest that contains extremely precious jewels, and Tindari is the most valuable gem. Patti is one of the main tourist resorts in the province of Messina. It is part of the wide Nebrodi area and overlooks the Tyrrhenian sea and the same-named gulf. It is the historical seat of numerous institutions and an important religious centre. It is the bishop’s seat of the diocese of Patti, one of the oldest in Sicily, and the famous Tindari Sanctuary.
The town centre of the former Patti has a medieval layout. In the past, it was an independent unit from the area known as Marina di Patti (Patti Marina), but today they are united as a result of the progressive urban growth.
The prestige of this area is equal to the archaeological and naturalistic richness it offers. The historic centre has kept all its medieval character. Alleys, stairways and churches adorned with flowers make it a surprising place. Strolling through the streets, you can come across beautiful religious buildings, well-preserved churches and elegant 19th-century palaces. The town still preserves parts of the ancient city walls, dating back to the 14th century.
The main religious building in Patti is the Basilica Cattedrale di San Bartolomeo. It was built in 1094 at the behest of the Great Count Roger I of Altavilla. Inside the Cathedral is preserved the sarcophagus of Queen Adelasia, wife of the Great Count. The Basilica stands next to the bishop’s palace. Its Gothic-style façade is made of black lava tiles that give it a very original touch. On the beautiful altar is a painting of the “Adoration of the Shepherds“. Probably the author of the work was the Flemish painter William Borremans.
The roots of the city of Patti lie on the hill where the ancient settlement of Tyndaris is located. The village was founded by the Syracusan tyrant Dionysius “the Elder”, in the 4th century BC, at the end of the First Punic War. The town is also the site of the great Sanctuary that houses the wooden and brown Madonna. This area is rich in history, and another piece of evidence of past eras is the Archaeological Park of Tindari. Take time to visit the enchanting Greek-Roman theatre, perfectly preserved and surrounded by Mediterranean scrub. The site is the venue for internationally renowned cultural events.
From the Coda di Volpe trail, you can enjoy a wonderful panorama. This area includes the Gulf of Patti, the Aeolian Islands and Capo Milazzo. The path is a trekking route of medium difficulty (due to the slopes) and is very popular with hikers.
At the foot of Capo Tindari, the Laghetti di Marinello nature reserve is a surprising corner of paradise. Nature is wild and unspoilt. The landscape is varied and stretches from the sandy tongue of Marinello beach to the caves of Mongiove. Natural arches and stacks give the coastline a mysterious charm.
During excavations for the Palermo-Messina motorway, was discovered another important cultural asset. It is a magnificent late antique Roman villa from the fourth century AD. The mansion is rich in polychrome mosaics that have the composition and style of the African artistic technique. These features are similar to those of Casale in Piazza Armerina and Tellaro, near Noto. The latter is an unmissable stopover in the archaeological parks of the Syracuse area.
Patti has over ten kilometres of free beaches touched by a turquoise sea. These waters are perfect for diving and observing the beautiful seabed. Many tourists come to practice snorkelling and scuba diving. The Secca del Tindari is one of the best known and most sought after shoals for experienced divers. The Scoglio di Patti, also known as “a petra i Patti”, offers a very interesting rocky seabed with rocks and ravines. An incredible variety of fish finds refuge here. Finally, at the Scoglietto, it is possible to see numerous pelagic species of the Mediterranean.
Marina di Patti is the heart of the nightlife. There are many bars where, before going to the beach, you can enjoy a typical Sicilian breakfast. It is usual to start the day with a granita and brioche. In the late afternoon, you can enjoy happy hour at sunset. Walking up the seafront towards Via Mustazzo, you can visit the Villa Pisani.
Camping lovers will be happy to know that there are many areas where it is possible to park a camper van.
Let’s conclude our city tour with an inviting and mouth-watering experience.
In the city’s pastry shops, you can taste Pasticciotti di carne (meat pasticciotti). They are small round- shaped cakes that, together with toasted almonds, have an unusual ingredient: veal.
But this area is full of exquisite food and fine wines such as, for example, Mamertino wine (one of Sicily’s DOC wines) and Valdemone olive oil, one of Sicily’s PDO varieties.