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TERRITORIO

Travels and and reveries

 

The Vendicari reserve: a blend of history and pristine nature

Like the better known Zingaro nature reserve, the Vendicari reserve was established in 1984, enriching Sicily with an uncontaminated territory, within a coastal zone surrounding Syracuse that is itself highly anthropised and industrialised. 

A nature reserve that is of fundamental importance for migratory activities, and is home to numerous bird species, including flamingos, herons, egrets and the common shelduck, symbol of this nature reserve.

Known as the 'bird hotel’, its fauna makes Vendicari a must for birdwatchers, especially in December. With its idiosyncratic configuration, characterised by marshlands and dunes, where over time abundant brownish algae detached from the seabed prairies to accumulate along the shoreline, creating a perfect environment for migratory species stopping over on the island every year.

In a perfect balance between nature and history, the coastline boasts some of the most beautiful beaches in Italy , alongside archaeological sites dating back in time.

Close to the beach at Eloro are the stone quarries of an eponymous ancient Greek colony.

Continuing along the coastline you stumble across the minute and charming cove of Calamosche, better known to the locals as Funni Musca. Set between two rocky promontories, these shelter it from the currents, making its water crystal clear.

Heading further south you reach the long stretch of beach of Vendicari, home to an ancient and intriguing tonnara (tuna fishery), representative of an important Sicilian activity, tuna fishing. This activity was already practised in the 4th millennium B.C., as demonstrated by the paintings found in the Grotta del Genovese on the island of Levanzo. Tuna fishing was also one of the most profitable activities in Sicily between the 17th and 20th centuries where each year, from May to September, fishing crews and their families would move to Vendicari for the fishing season, enlivening this area with a great commotion. 

One anecdote in particular can help us understand the importance of this activity for the local population.At the not-so-distant Marzamemi, where it’s still possible to see an ancient tuna fishery in action, it becomes immediately apparent that the town square is hugely disproportionate in size compared to the town’s residential area. This is because the square was the place where the huge tunny nets were spread out, so that they could be sheltered more easily. 

After exploring these picturesque landscapes and discovering their stories, all that remains is to taste the local gastronomic delicacies, based on fresh tuna of course!

Among our suggestions, in Marzamemi, is the Campisi restaurant, owned by the historic company of the same name, which for five generations has been processing tuna to create delicious preserves. We also recommend Cortile Arabo, an evocative restaurant overlooking the sea, a perfect location to enjoy the flavours of the territory in a contemporary key where recipes linked to ancient Sicilian culture meet the flair of chef Massimo Giaquinta.

Our reception at Villa Boscarino is at your disposal for any information and details you may require and can assist in organising your perfect day, whether of total relaxation or a more adventurous and challenging exploration. 

I do not envy God the paradise because I am well satisfied to live in Sicily.

(Frederick II of Swabia)

 

 

 

DIARY

Notes of a journey

There’s a place in Sicily where tradition, spirituality and magic meet.

Notes of a journey

Authentic Sicilian holidays

Notes of a journey

Among the many wonders of Sicily there is without a doubt the sea, which has little to envy exotic and faraway destinations.

Notes of a journey

Like the better known Zingaro nature reserve, the Vendicari reserve was established in 1984, enriching Sicily with an uncontaminated territory, within a coastal zone surrounding Syracuse that is itself highly anthropised and industrialised.

Notes of a journey

Often our guests ask us this question. It’s all the fault - or merit - as the inhabitants of upper Ragusa would say - of an earthquake, known to history as “u teremotu ranni”.

Notes of a journey

A 3 day immersion in local charm and gourmet fare

Notes of a journey

Each time we plan a trip, we define an itinerary; we choose the places we’d like to visit and at the same time - inevitably - we look for a place to restore ourselves, to rest, a kind of home away from home. A place where, for a few days, we will be looking for that much-needed sense of well-being.

Notes of a journey

In Sicily, the festivities celebrating Easter have always been among those most deeply-rooted in tradition, perhaps because they so well represent the cycle of life and the magic of faith

Notes of a journey

A pattern of recurring events can determine a place’s identity, and every time I look back over the villa’s history, I see a succession of very different people and situations, all united by a common trait. For each and every person that has lived here, Villa Boscarino has consistently been a place of welcome, care and refuge. And today it remains so for the guests who stay here in search of relaxation and culture. In the past, the villa was a refuge for my family during the hot summer month

Notes of a journey

The Hyblean landscape extends throughout south eastern Sicily, its mountain range defining this part of the territory in a unique way. The rock that makes up this mountainous mass, of which the uppermost peak is Mount Lauro (986 m) boasts ancient, volcanic origins. Sandstone and basalt flows developed to create singular landscapes, characterised by the Cave

Notes of a journey

The story of Villa Boscarino, and of the man behind it, begins in the contrada Palazzello, a neighbourhood in > upper Ragusa. Not only a man, but a physician, passionate and courageous, who on his return from his studies in Paris in the late 1800s was confronted with a serious cholera epidemic in his home town.

Notes of a journey

A land that inspires... This island, in the centre of the Mediterranean sea, has given birth to great authors and fabulous tales whose protagonists have entered the common narrative. Numerous men of letters have walked its city lanes, applying an infallible intuition to their explorations.

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