The city was founded by Dionysius of Syracuse in 396 BC as a colony of Syracuse mercenaries who had participated in the war against Carthage, in the territory of the Sicilian city of Abacaenum (Tripi), and took the name of Tyndaris, in honor of Tyndareus, king of Sparta and husband of Leda, foster father of Elena and Castor and Pollux.

During the First Punic War, under the control of Hiero II of Syracuse, was Carthaginian naval base, and its waters was fought in 257 BC the battle of Tindari, in which the Roman fleet, led by the consul Aulus Atilio Calatino, routed the Carthaginian.

WithSyracusethen passed under Roman naval base and was Sextus Pompey. Taken by Augustus in 36 BC, who deduced the Roman colony of Colonia Augusta Tyndaritanorum, one of five of Sicily,Ciceroquoted as noble civitas.

In the first century A.D. suffered the consequences of a major landslide, while in the fourth century was subject to two destructive earthquakes Episcopalian, was conquered by the Byzantines in 535 and in 836 fell into the hands of the Arabs, from whom he destroyed.

There was a shrine to the Black Madonna of Tindari, gradually enlarged, which houses a Mary and Child carved in wood, considered to be a pledge of grace and miraculous.

The remains of the ancient city are located in the archaeological zone, in fairly good condition, for the lack of interest of a re-use of sandstone blocks of which they were made. The urban, probably dating back to the founding of the city, had a regular path to the board. Was based on three decumani, main roads (width of 8 m), ran to the south-east – north-west, each at a different altitude, and is intersected at right angles and distances with regular icardini, secondary roads and slope ( width 3 m). Under the hinges ran the city sewer system, which is raccordavano the ducts from individual homes. The isolates delimited by the streets had a width of about 30 m and a length of 77 or 78 m.

The Sanctuary of Tindari is located at the eastern end of the promontory, overlooking the sea, at the ancient acropolis, where a small church was built on the ruins of the abandoned city.

The church was destroyed in 1544 by Algerian pirates, was rebuilt between 1552 and 1598 and the sanctuary was enlarged by Bishop Joseph Pullano with the construction of a new larger church was consecrated in 1979.La Black Madonna statue, carved in cedar wood, I was placed in an unknown time, perhaps come here from the East following the phenomenon of iconoclasm in the eighth or ninth century.

The feast of the shrine is held annually between 7 and 8 September.