The small village of Scopello, in the municipality of the city of Castellammare del Golfo, is an ancient fishing place that lies where the city of Cetaria was established, so called for the abundance of tuna fish in its sea. Instead, Scopello probably owes its name to the “Faraglioni” or rocks (in latin it is scopulus, in greek it is scopelos). The XVII century Baglio is surrounded by a few standing houses, with a paved square, a stone-made trough and a small church. Setting for many historical events, it is wrapped in an aura of mystery fueled by legends and stories told by the elderly, such as the hunting of Ferdinand III of the Borbone House, king of the two Sicilies, inside the wood of Scopello which once was home to deer, wolves and wild boar, and such a legend made it a royal reserve.
At the foot of the ancient village of Scopello and set in a charming place is the Tonnara (tuna fishery), a touristic holiday complex where you can admire the old equipment used for tuna fishing. Today the complex is laid up, but everything has remained perfectly efficient, so as then, from warehouses to the Baglio, from the ancient church to the boats. Because of its charm, the complex allows you to relive the bloody moments of tuna fishing.
The cove is embellished by the astonishing view of the Faraglioni. According to major sources, tuna fishing was practiced even before the advent of the Romans and, in the surrounding of the Tonnara, it was set the mythological city of Cetaria , so called for the large amount of pelagic fish in the sea. It is thought that the Arabs both rebuilt and re-used it, handing down this noble art over the centuries. The latest massacre at the Tonnara of Scopello occurred in the ‘80.
Zingaro Reserve Excursions
On the western side of the Gulf of Castellammare, the Zingaro Natural Reserve is the only protected shore in Sicily not to have a coastal road, that is an artificial demarcation often meant to stop that variety of landscapes that chases at a short distance, from seabed to the coastal shore or the mountain slope. Its 1.600 hectares of pristine nature are made by towering mountains, deep indentations and broad valleys facing the sea.
The Reserve includes part of the Scopello area and part of the territory of San Vito Lo Capo. The Zingaro Natural Reserve has become well famous for its: rugged beauty, vivid colors in each season, white coves accessible through small paths surrounded by dwarf palms which now become a symbol for the Reserve, and eventually the lush Mediterranean vegetation.
Natural Reserve Oriented
It is an approximately 7 km wide shore formed by a rocky coastline interspersed with delightful coves. However, the terrestrial Zingaro Natural Reserve is closely connected to the sea, which is not just a geographical boundary but also a background for the landscape and the essential feature in every naturalistic aspect. The shoreline is made by an alternation of high cliffs plunging into the blue and inlets gently degrading toward the sea. The Zingaro coves feature small white pebbles that enhance sea water transparency just like in a tropical setting.
Walking along the 7 km coastal route, in addition to natural sites you can visit different museums located along the coast: the Nature Museum at the Punta della Capreria, the Manna Museum, the Museum of Rural Life, the Environmental Education Center and the Museum of Maritime Activities where you can admire those carried out since ancient times. Within the Reserve you can also get a chance to perform guided trekking.
Scopello and Zingaro Natural Reserve excursions: a day dedicated to admire, through climbed paths, the wild beauty of the place.