• Strada Provinciale 46 | C.da Graffetta | 97014 Ispica | Ragusa
Isolotto Brancati


  • By massimo alecci
  • 22 April 2016

Marzamemi is a small fishing village on the south-eastern Sicily’s coast, in the province of Syracuse. The name, according to some, comes from the words “marza” and “memi” which means “little port”, according to others, derives from ‘Arab “Marsa al hamam”, Bay of Doves, for the abundant passage of the birds in spring who migrated to the warmer places. Marzamemi today is the fraction of two different municipalities, Pachino and Noto, both belonging to the province of Syracuse.


Marzamemi origins date back to the Arab period and the local economy has always been based on the tuna processing, in fact, in 1912, was also built a factory for the processing of salted tuna and marinated in oil, then later abandoned. The history of this ancient fishing village, is built around a tuna, one of the most important in Sicily, in possession of the Prince of Villadorata in 1630, which contributed to the economic development of the town, marking the path of this beautiful seaside village . In 1752, he built the palace of the Prince of Villadorata and the Church of tuna. The Prince, from the terrace of his palace, he controlled his workers, and thus the Villadorata palace was the central meeting place, and for this reason he decided to build the Piazza Regina Margherita, which became a place of fishermen’s meeting. The square also known as the square of the two churches, the presence of two places of worship, an art nouveau open to the public, the other in the now disused Baroque style, dedicated to San Francesco di Paolo, the patron saint and protector of fishermen Marzamemi, which is celebrated every year in August, with a procession of boats, a boat race and other maritime events.


Piazza Regina Margherita is the heart of Marzamemi, square-shaped, surrounded by the ancient fishermen Casuzze, which have in common a rare example of “Arabian Courtyard”, and from here the narrow streets always lead to the sea, on all sides. Today this square, has become a symbol of summer events, including, since 2000, the International Film Festival of Borders, with film screenings, short films and works from all over the world. Indeed, already in 1993, Gabriele Salvatores, had been hit by the scenario of Marzamemi, and shot some scenes of the South film.


The houses of the fishermen now have been converted into quaint craft shops and famous fish taverns, where you can enjoy the gastronomy of the place, with a predominance of Cherry tomato flavors Pachino, Nero d’Avola, and the famous Tuna Marzamemi, which will intensively enhance the flavor and aromas. On the coast of Marzamemi there are two small ports, the Pit and Balata, in the past also important for the wine trade, hence the goods laden ships departed directed towards all the ports of the Peninsula.


This town on the tip of Sicily, is a real paradise, with a landscape characterized by pristine beaches, with clear, blue water. A landscape surrounded by a charming sea for its colors, flora and fauna, but also for pieces of history that are hidden in the depths, rich of testimonies of past ages. We recommend excursions to the Roman Columns on ‘boat underwater vision that lets you explore the depths comfortably seated.


The stretch of water of the marina from where there are the ‘islet Brancati, the Tonnara and Balata make Marzamemi an exceptional show that along with the history, culture and ancient traditions make a little vacation a succession of unique and extraordinary emotions.

Pozzallo Montalbano

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