One of the many elements that link Sicily to the sea and to the ancient traditions of the fishermen, are “tuna fisheries”.
The origins of tuna fisheries in Sicily are indeed very ancient. Truly a tradition dating back from the Quaternary (about two million years ago) when fishing was practiced in a crude and essential way. The various populations that have lived on the island have, from time to time, improved and refined their techniques of fishing to the point it became a primary maritime economy. The Phoenicians, in Cadiz, had organized a maritime tuna working center, then the tradition continued with the Greeks and the Byzantines and the Arabs gave, to fishing, that touch of refinement with the installation of fixed networks at sea by placing them so that the tuna was led through several rooms until the final stage. This system is currently being used in order to "imprison" tuna and prevent them to exit. After a few days the nets are raised to the surface and tuna killed. Afterwards the work continues on the mainland where there are large sheds that serve as storage and space for processing (gutting, cutting, etc.). Over the time, in Sicily, tuna fisheries multiplied and expanded. Le Tonnare represent a piece of history and Sicilian tradition, they tell of fishermen's labors, that life is divided between land and sea.THE STAGES OF THE TRIP
- 20 October 2016, 82km, Siracusa - Porto Palo (SR)
- 21 October 2016, 105km, Porto Palo - Scoglitti (RG)
- 22 October 2016, 115km/H778m, Scoglitti - San Leone (AG)
- 23 October 2016, 71km/H678m, San Leone - Sciacca (AG)
- 24 October 2016, 116km/H626m, Sciacca - Marsala (TP)
- 25 October 2016, 70km, Marsala - Trapani (via Tonnara Bonagia)
- 26 October 2016, 41km, Trapani - Favignana (Egadi)
- 27 October 2016, 70km/H1090m, Trapani - Scopello (via R.N.O. Zingaro)
- 28 October 2016, 80km/H650m, Scopello - PalermoTOTAL DISTANCE 750 km
… the trip starts HERE 20 October 2016:
Here below the departure from Syracuse with the "blessing" of Gianni and Francesco, two authentic “Syracusan” bikers !!20.10.2016: Tonnara di Santa Panagia (Siracusa)
GPS 37.107180, 15.277141
The tuna fishery of Santa Panagia is located north of Syracuse over the homonymous promontory. The history of the trap dates back to the 10th century; then after a long period of silence it passes under the legal authority of the Syracuse Regional Chamber during the Spanish period. Then it’s sold to various private owners for the first time in 1655.
Existing plants can be traced back to the eighteenth century, probably reconstructed on a previous system following the 1693 earthquake. It was used until the fifties when he became inactive due to the introduction of catching tuna by "flying networks."
Currently the trap is in serious degradation conditions, nonetheless there’s a plan of Sicily Region for restructuring and the transformation of the site into a museum dedicated to the relationship between man and sea. 20.10.2016: Tonnara di Vendicari (Siracusa)
GPS 36.803177, 15.099233
The tuna fishery of Vendicari was very important for the economy of Sicily. Also called Bafutu it was built in '700. His life was influenced by the proximity of two other traps because of which Bafutu underwent periods of closure and crisis. The heyday has lived at the beginning of last century and was renovated in 1914 by the will of Antonin Modica Munafò. Its activities ceased in 1943 following the landing of Anglo-American troops. Today all the rooms adjacent to the trap, and the trap itself, have been restored thanks to the intervention of the Superintendence of Syracuse.20.10.2016: Tonnara di Marzamemi (Siracusa)
GPS 36.742461, 15.118787
The Tonnara of Marzamemi, built in the sixteenth century, is one of the oldest and most important tuna fisheries in eastern Sicily, taking advantage of the orographic position of the coast, intercepted, from May to July, by important migration of tuna. The environment that originally served as a shelter for the big boats of the trap, so-called “scieri”, today is a “Loggia”, one large room of about 750 sqm., Traversed by ancient tuff arches and overlooking the sea and the old fishing port. The Loggia communicates directly with the private courtyard of the Palazzo dei Bonaccorsi Reburdone of Principles through the ancient door, it opens on the magnificent Piazza Regina Margherita, the center of the small village of Marzamemi. The trap of Marzamemi, which in prosperous times recruited up to 1,500 workers, closed around in the 1960 with the crisis of the traps.20.10.2016: Tonnara di Porto Palo di Capo Passero (Siracusa)
The Tonnara of Capo Passero at the extreme southeastern tip of Sicily was a thriving manufacturing plant in the twentieth century and today is a splendid monument of industrial archeology. Here are visible the balata, the loggia and the plant for the processing of tuna, the big furnace, the warehouses, the XVII century church. 21.10.2016: Porto Palo - Scoglitti
... feeling HAPPY: Porto Palo, Isola delle Correnti, Sampieri, Donnalucata, Marina di Ragusa ... Scoglitti22.10.2016: Scoglitti - San Leone (Agrigento)
Here below a beautiful sunset: it’s 18:11 hrs of today 22 October 201623.10.2016: San Leone - Sciacca (Agrigento)
Today:24.10.2016: Sciacca - Marsala (TP)
Today:25.10.2016: 70km, Marsala - Trapani (via Tonnara Bonagia)
GPS 38.067291, 12.594370
The fishery trap of Bonagia is among the oldest and most valuable of the whole Sicily. Already in operation by mid-1200 under the rule of the Angevin, the current building does not reflect the original one which in 1624 was destroyed by a pirate attack. Initially the trap was owned by the Royal Court of Naples and only in 1638 it passed to Baron Antonino Stella. At the end of 1800, after a period of neglect, its administration was taken from the Fatebenefratelli hospital in Palermo who sold it, in 1923, to the Phoenicia S.p.A. Trapani. It worked until recently and has given its owners a lot of satisfaction with pretty rich and good fishing.
In 1996 the complex was completely renovated and has been transformed into a hotel facility.
In the ancient tower there’s the Tonnara Museum, where you can admire the remains and relics of the illustrious past of the trap.26.10.2016: 40km, Trapani - Favignana (Egadi), La Tonnara di Favignana (Trapani)
GPS 37.930181, 12.328761
In the Egadi islands, and more precisely in the island of Favignana, historical sources refer to the presence of a trap since the twelfth century, where they used to process tuna in salt. In 1841 Vincenzo Florio introduced a new level of workmanship that made the fishery more profitable. Since then tuna is not only processed and conserved in salt but also tinned and conserved in oil. The trap of Favignana has suffered years of decay and neglect, and only a few years ago started a process of restoration and recovery in order to adapt it to cultural, tourist, sporting and craft activities.According to your forum rules, no maps must be displayed. I have converted the map into a link.Map27.10.2016: 70km/H1090m, Trapani - Scopello (via San Vito lo Capo e Riserva Naturale "Zingaro")
GPS 38.165342, 12.773070
It's hard to go back to the year of its construction though, some first citations date it back to 1600.
Initially owned by the Monastery of Santa Rosalia, in 1872 it was purchased by Vito Foderà of Castellammare del Golfo. With this new ownership the trap changed and expanded rapidly in the following years.
Unfortunately the fishery is currently abandoned.NOTE:
crossing of the Zingaro Nature Reserve
The Zingaro Nature Reserve is a vast forest area in the province of Trapani located along the coast between San Vito lo Capo and Scopello. The reserve can not be crossed with a bike even if conducted by hand.28 October 2016, 80km/H650m, Scopello – Palermo, La Tonnara di Scopello (Trapani)
GPS 38.071636, 12.821908
Scopello is a strip of land up and jagged overlooking the deep blue water located about an hour's drive from Palermo. Here in the bays there are hidden lonely strips of sand and pebbles often accessible only by sea. This natural paradise is precisely the village of Scopello, small but rich in tradition. A place that has managed to preserve over time a few houses, the beam, a church, the stacks and the small fishery. This latter is one of the oldest of the entire island and is the testimony of an activity once flourishing. The silence that surrounds it is broken only by the sound of the waves. You can visit the "death chamber" where it was practiced the cruel slaughter, the warehouse where it was stowed tuna and the anchors used for networks. The trap of Scopello is one of the most important and ancient of whole Sicily and today a few rooms are reserved for accommodation.