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Patti, Province of Messina, Sicily, Italy





The town rises on the northern slope of the Monti Nebrodi, with the Timeto stream to the east and the Montagnareale to the west.

The area is intensively cultivated with olive trees, vinayards, citrus orchards, palms and banana trees, and also includes the seaside resort of Marina di Patti. The most ancient part is medieval, with narrow stairways and alleys, and the castle at top.

Info

Population: about 13,000 inhabitants -- Zip/postal code: 98066 -- Phone Area Code: 0941

History

For the beautiful position and fertile lands, the area was inhabited since antiquity, as shown by items of the Bronze Age found in the Contrada Monte. In the vicinity there was the Greek colony of Tyndaris, founded in 396 BC by Dionysius the Elder, famous for the Battle of Tindary where the Romans deafeated the Carthaginians. It was a flourishing Roman colony with the name of Augusta Tyndaritanorum, then in the early centuries of the Christian era Tyndaris was also a bishopry.

Unfortunately a number of earthquakes and landslides started its decadence, until it was finally destroyed by Muslim pirates in 836 AD. Its survivors dispersed in the area, and a number of them founded a new site, located on the high ground overlooking the Tyrrhenian Sea in the present Gulf of Patti and called it "Epì Akten" (=on high banks) which name then changed into Patti.

The place was mentioned in 1104 AD, when COunt Roger of Altavilla established a monastery in Patti, probably on the spot of a previous Byzanthine building. After Roger's death his widowed wife Adelaide of Monferrat remarried Baldwin of France, but her unhappy second marriage led her to take refuge in the monastery of Patti, where she died in 1117 and was buried in the Cathedral.

The town grew in importance under the Normans and was again a bishop's seat, and rose again also after the terrible pillage of Tunisian pirate Barbarossa in 1544. After the Battle of Lepanto, which brought to a halt the pirate raids in the Mediterranean, the population started to move to lower areas, and formed the borough of Patti Marina, which became a flourishing export harbor of local ceramics throughout the Mediterranean.



Province of Messina

What to see

  • The cathedral, of Norman origin but rebuilt in the 18th century, preserves the Renaissance sarcophagus in the transept to the right which is the resting place of Queen Adelaide, the mother of Roger II, and a fine 16th-century painting of the Virgin by Antonello de Saliba.
  • The ruins of Tyndaris, including a basilica, a theater, a lavish Roman Villa of the Late Empire with mosaics and baths, against the wonderful background of the sea.

Where to stay



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