The church that sit atop a mountain contains the Black Madonna of Tindari. The statue bears the inscription "NIGRA SUM SED FORMOSA" meaning "I am black but beautiful".
Another famous legend is the story of the lagoon. It was said to be created when a pilgrim refused to pray to the Madonna because she was black. The woman accidentally dropped her baby into the ocean and she asked the Madonna to save her baby, The Madonna then made the land rise to save the infant. The shape of the sands of the lagoon looks like the image of the Madonna carrying the baby.
Another interesting characteristic of the church are its mosaic-laden walls.