Sicily’s Wild Coastal Walk
Just a few kilometres from the baroque town of Noto in the south eastern corner of Sicily is a wild and windswept coastline which is now a protected nature reserve.
The Vendicari Nature Reserve covers 1400 hectares and is dotted with deserted beaches, salt pans, lagoons, Greek ruins dating back two and a half thousand years and plentiful bird life which attracts hikers and birdwatchers from across Italy and beyond.
For centuries this part of the Sicilian coast has also been a favoured destination for tuna fisherman – the giant fish is plentiful! In the seas south of the island and on an isolated headland on the reserve sits the ruins of a giant tuna processing factory dating back to the 16th century.
The site was originally used by the Romans to produce garum, a salted fish sauce which was very popular.
The site also includes a 15th century tower which was used as a storage facility for the nearby port.
This unique and once bloody site sits as a an eerie reminder of an industry which once sustained communities along the coast. Tuna remains a seafood staple on the island today.
Written by Ian Cross, edited by Kaz Bosali