Black Madonnas

Let’s discover together the mystery of the black Madonnas. What lies behind the dark color of Marian icons?

Black Madonnas are religious icons depicting the Virgin Mary with dark face. These depictions hold cultural, historical, and religious significance in various cultures. The colour is often symbolic and it can be the result of different factors such as: artistic choices, cultural influences, or the effects of aging on the materials used.

Black Madonnas are found in different parts of the world, including Europe, Africa, and the Americas.
Some of these images have become pilgrimage sites and are associated with significant events. The symbolism of the dark skin can vary, representing themes such as the universality of Mary’s motherhood or a connection to ancient traditions. For instance, about Black Madonnas, there are:

 

      • Lady of Sanctuary of Tindari (Province of Messina), one of the most famous in Sicily. Tindari is a destination of many pilgrimages every year.
      • Lady of Częstochowa (Poland): this icon is housed in the Jasna Góra Monastery.
      • Lady of Montserrat (Spain): the statue is located in the Santa Maria de Montserrat Abbey and is known as “La Moreneta”.
      • Lady of Guadalupe (Mexico): the image is often associated with indigenous symbolism and features a brown-skinned Mary.
black-madonnas

Pilgrimages and Devotion

Interpretations and Symbolism:

The dark skin of these icons are often seen as a symbol of divine mystery, transcendence, or a connection to the earth and its people. Or other interpretations suggest that the dark coloration is a result of centuries of candle smoke, aging, or the materials used in creating the images.
Many Black Madonna sites attract pilgrims who seek spiritual connection, healing, and blessings. The veneration of Black Madonnas is often deeply ingrained in local and oral traditions and has been passed down through generations. The significance and interpretations of these icons can vary among different cultures.

Come with me to discover the black Madonnas around Etna volcano!

The Itinerary

 In this itinerary you will discover the ancient cult of the black Madonnas in Sicily, which is closely linked to the oriental one. There are many icons with the dark face of her and mostly, around the Etna volcano area, there are precious ones not to be missed! The mystery of the syncretism of the pagan mother goddesses comes into play which has its roots according to the surveys, during the period of the crusades with the Templars. An unusual itinerary trip all to be discovered, including walking tours dedicated to good food, history and culture.

day

1

Welcome to Catania

  • Arrival in Catania airport by your own, accommodation in 3*/4* Hotel.
  • Welcome meeting with the Travel Designer and/or your Tour leader for a light briefing.
  • Dinner at the hotel restaurant and overnight stay.

day

2

Catania Street Food tour lunch included

  • Breakfast at the hotel and meeting with the local guide for the Street Food tour of the city center of Catania included the tasting of typical local products such as the “cipollina” a sort of puff pastry stuffed with a mixture of onion, tomato sauce, mozzarella, or “minni di S.Agata” a sort of round-shaped sweets made with sponge cake soaked in rosolio and stuffed with ricotta, chocolate drops, and candied fruit and more.
  • Then, you will be spectators at the famous fish market full of flavors and colors.
  • The tour continues to admire the Madonna di Loreto located in the ancient and ex-district of Giudecca, or going into the Diocesan museum, to admire the 16th century of Santa Maria di Nuovaluce and the 19th century icon of the Virgin Hodegetria.
  • Free afternoon to rest or to do shopping. Dinner at the hotel and overnight stay.

day

3

Paternò Castle – Nelson Castle – Linguaglossa

  • Breakfast at the hotel and departure for Paternò, a medieval town on the slopes of Etna.
  • Short visit inside the Church of Santa Maria dell’Alto, the oldest Christian church and the medieval Castle immediately after.
  • Free lunch on the spot and short break. In the afternoon, we’ll reach the Abbey of Santa Maria di Maniace, to admire the Byzantine Madonna of the milk, whose find inside the Nelson Castle.
  • After the visit, departure and transfer to Linguaglossa, accommodation and dinner at the hotel 4*/5*.

day

4

Linguaglossa – Sanctuary of Santa Maria di Vena

  • Breakfast at the hotel and departure for the Sanctuary of Santa Maria di Vena.
  • Free afternoon to rest or to do shopping. Dinner at the hotel and overnight stay.

day

5

Departure and END OF SERVICES.

day

1

Welcome to Catania

  • Arrival in Catania airport by your own, accommodation in 3*/4* Hotel.
  • Welcome meeting with the Travel Designer and/or your Tour leader for a light briefing.
  • Dinner at the hotel restaurant and overnight stay.

day

2

Catania Street Food tour lunch included

  • Breakfast at the hotel and meeting with the local guide for the Street Food tour of the city center of Catania included the tasting of typical local products such as the “cipollina” a sort of puff pastry stuffed with a mixture of onion, tomato sauce, mozzarella, or “minni di S.Agata” a sort of round-shaped sweets made with sponge cake soaked in rosolio and stuffed with ricotta, chocolate drops, and candied fruit and more.
  • Then, you will be spectators at the famous fish market full of flavors and colors.
  • The tour continues to admire the Madonna di Loreto located in the ancient and ex-district of Giudecca, or going into the Diocesan museum, to admire the 16th century of Santa Maria di Nuovaluce and the 19th century icon of the Virgin Hodegetria.
  • Free afternoon to rest or to do shopping. Dinner at the hotel and overnight stay.

day

3

Paternò Castle – Nelson Castle – Linguaglossa

  • Breakfast at the hotel and departure for Paternò, a medieval town on the slopes of Etna.
  • Short visit inside the Church of Santa Maria dell’Alto, the oldest Christian church and the medieval Castle immediately after.
  • Free lunch on the spot and short break. In the afternoon, we’ll reach the Abbey of Santa Maria di Maniace, to admire the Byzantine Madonna of the milk, whose find inside the Nelson Castle.
  • After the visit, departure and transfer to Linguaglossa, accommodation and dinner at the hotel 4*/5*.

day

4

Linguaglossa – Sanctuary of Santa Maria di Vena

  • Breakfast at the hotel and departure for the Sanctuary of Santa Maria di Vena.
  • Free afternoon to rest or to do shopping. Dinner at the hotel and overnight stay.

day

5

Departure and END OF SERVICES.

Price starting from

€ 899 p.p.*

*min. 6 participants in Double or Twin room

R

PRICE INCLUDES

  • Availability 24/24 h. by one of our local operator
  • Tour leader and/or local guide where provided
  • Private transfer by van included driver for the whole tour
  • No. 2 nights in hotel 3*/4* in Catania in double/twin room in HB (dinner) – (1st and 2nd night)
  • No. 2 nights in hotel 4*/5* in Linguaglossa in double/twin room in HB (dinner) – (3rd and 4th night)

NOT INCLUDED

  • Anything not mentioned in voice “THE PRICE INCLUDES”
  • Tourist tax to pay on the spot in cash, entrances tickets for museums, churches etc..
  • Personal expenses, extras , tip and fees.
  • Pick up and drop off transfer from/to airport
R

PRICE INCLUDES

  • Availability 24/24 h. by one of our local operator
  • Tour leader and/or local guide where provided
  • Private transfer by van included driver for the whole tour
  • No. 2 nights in hotel 3*/4* in Catania in double/twin room in HB (dinner) – (1st and 2nd night)
  • No. 2 nights in hotel 4*/5* in Linguaglossa in double/twin room in HB (dinner) – (3rd and 4th night)

NOT INCLUDED

  • Anything not mentioned in voice “THE PRICE INCLUDES”
  • Tourist tax to pay on the spot in cash, entrances tickets for museums, churches etc..
  • Personal expenses, extras , tip and fees.
  • Pick up and drop off transfer from/to airport

Additional Information

The price could be subject to changes depending on the number of participants.

The tour could be combined with other services such as:

    • different type of room
    • addition of pick up and drop off transfer from/to airport and more services.

Come discover with me the black Madonnas of Etna volcano!