Port of Sciacca
Life between sun and sea breeze
After 5 places absolutely to see, I’m here to talk you, as I promised, about an other wonderful place that my town hides in itself: the port of Sciacca.
I think that a lot of people maybe don’t know that Sciacca has got the second biggest fishing fleet of all Sicily. We have 150 boats engaged in different types of fishing, overall they deal with blue fish – thanks to which Sciacca is renowned in Italy and in the world – as anchovies, sardines, mackerel etc.
The origins of the port of Sciacca are very old, dating back to the twelfth century and at that time it was only a small cove, near the cliff of San Paolo, rudimentary equipped for the landing and loading of ships. The current port was built at the end of the nineteenth century on the remains of the ancient cliff, now submerged.
When you will go to discover our port, you need to remember to take a step in Bar Roma, where you will find a delicious brioche filled with granita. The cafè is small and maybe it’s not the most beautiful you’ve ever seen, but you can trust on me when I say that lemons taste of zio Aurelio will make you exalt the taste buds: this is in fact renowned as the best granita in all Italy!
Well, once arrived at the port, you can see that something is different: the colors seem more vivid, the background music is sung by seagulls that roam the port area and the landscape is composed by big and small boats with fishermen that manage fish as if it were the most precious good ever seen on earth. One has the feeling that this is their home, a public house, exposed to anyone who wants to visit it, immersed in the mirror of the sky.
The sea became as gold for fishermen, in fact someone called him boat as “Oro Blu” (Golden Blue). Seeing them come back from the sea is an unique moment (if the weather is good they usually come back from lunch time until 4/5 p.m.).
Want you know about fish? It’s of course fresh and delicious but it’s also very chip, in fact when our tourists go at he porto to buy this natural good, they return to the structure with so much fish, that it would be enough to satisfy all our guests!
If you don’t want cook, even because with fish you need a good dose of skill and patience, you are into the best place to taste typical dish as pasta con le sarde (pasta with sardines), rich of ingredients; pasta con i ricci (pasta with curls), with a strong taste; or a second simple and particular dish, as dentice al sale (snapper salt). Where? My favourite restaurants are Ristorante Porto San Paolo – where you can enjoy of a wonderful breathtaking view – and Ristorante Italia da Nino – where explosion of taste will surprise you.
If you decide to visit Sciacca at the end of June, you have to participate absolutely at one of the most beautiful local feast, where fishermen are the protagonist thanks their protector, St. Peter.
During these period – normally from 27th to 29th June – you can find several stands, playground for all ages and, in the afternoons, an unmissable appointment with the fishermen, who take part in a game that involves participants and spectators: l’antinna a mari.
It is a sort of cuccagna tree placed on the sea: a long trunk greased with soap and tallow is suspended almost horizontally on the waters facing the pier. The aim of the game is to try to reach the flag (l’antinna) without falling into the water. Of course they fall everytime, but sometimes you can see a fisherman reach the flag.
According to tradition, only the sons of fishermen can participate.
A sensational moment to which you must certainly attend is that of the sunset on the port, when the boats are submerged by a warm and soft light, a mix of blue, pink and orange. But before the sunset, you have to go looking for ceramic stairs and zig-zag stairs. The first are located near the church “San Pietro”, while the second are just behind the restaurant “La Lampara”.
Well, what else to say? Come and visit Sciacca, life between sun and sea breeze is waiting for you too!