Marzamemi - a charming fishermen village - Sicilyincoming

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Marzamemi is an ancient and picturesque fishing village situated a few kilometres from Pachino. The name of the village is of Arabic origin and derives from Marsà al-hamām what means “Turtle Dove Road”, as area is obliged to place the passage of small birds during the migration. It was founded around the tuna trap built during the Arab domination, and evolved in mid-1700, when the Prince of Villadorata, who became the owner of the factory, ordered the construction of a high-class building, of a church, and at the same time put the tuna trap back into use.
Marzamemi has two small natural harbours called Fossa and Balata. Balata is like a small square bounded by houses and by the sea, it is paved with compact rectangular-shaped limestone slabs, with the old factory, where was produced ice, and casa Cappuccio, a house deriving its name from an old tenant. Most of the houses of fishermen, square-shaped with a sloping roof, have been uninhabited for a long time. The most distinctive one is perhaps Casa del Forno ("House of furnace"), so named because it had a large masonry oven that supplied bread to all the inhabitants of the tuna trap. The little piazza with the church, the houses and the
seventeenth century main villa has been used as a backdrop for several films. Until nowadays artisan factories in the village are at full production for bluefin tuna and other fish processing (anchovies, sardines, mackerel, amberjack, swordfish).


- 23rd – 29th  July 2012: International Film Festival of Cinema di Frontiera

It is created and organized by Nello Correale with the support of cinema historian Sebastiano Gesu'. The the festival is now at its 12th edition. The aim of this open-air film festival is to promote          multi-cultural film-making, to break the barriers between the known and the unknown, to pose questions and experiment with new languages, new technology and new contaminations; a style of cinema which is a window on the world, pushing to the limits to discover new territory.

- 10th – 19th August 2012: Tuna Folk Festival

Between Via Ionio and Piazza Regina Margherita various cultural events: film screenings, exhibitions, theatre, folk music, poems in dialect. Along the Via Ionio food and wine tasting; stands with typical products and handicrafts for gourmets.
- 20th August: Feast of San Francesco di Paola
In  the summer is celebrated the feast day of San Francisco di Paola saint protector of fishermen.  Its statue is carried on a procession to the sea by fisherman on their boats, then through the town   streets.  In  the afternoon it is a tradition for groups of young people to take part in a boat  race; each boat  has a sort of leader who spurs the rowers to try hard in order  to win. The rowers who get to the arrival point first, raise their oars happily and they are welcomed by the people waiting for them on the  shore.  Finally there is the  local band playing folk songs on a temporary stage in the open air. At midnight the waters off the port of Marzamemi is illuminated by magnificent fireworks display fired in honour of San Francisco di Paola.


- Bottarga of bluefin tuna - salted bluefin tuna roe
- Mosciame of bluefin tuna - bluefin tuna loin lightly salted and wind dried
- Ventresca bluefin tuna - high grade belly cut of bluefin tuna in olive oil
- Smoked swordfish
- Typical local sauces
- Tomatoes dried in the sun


By car: from Catania follow the road SS114 Syracuse-Gela until Noto, then take the provincial road SP19 direction Pachino and from there direction Marzamemi.

By train: the nearest train station is in Syracuse.

By bus: from Catania and Syracuse daily links (INTERBUS). The last bus stop is in Pachino. To reach Marzamemi (3 km from Pachino) you can request a transfer service.

By plane: the nearest airport is “Fontanarossa” in Catania (120km)

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