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Portopalo di Capo Passero

Portopalo di Capo Passero is a resort in Syracuse, in the south of Sicily on Capo Passero. It is situated at the same latitude as Tunisia. Portopalo is often confused with another resort of Sicily called Porto Palo. The latter is located in Agrigento near Menfi.

Portopalo started to develop in the 19th century. But its sights are of different periods of the isle’s history. There is located one of the oldest tonnaras of the 13th century, which was built by the Normans. Tonnara is a Sicilian factory producing preserved tunny-fish. Not far from it is located the Tafuri Castle. It was built in baroque style in the 16th century. The Castle and the tonnara belonged to the Bruno family.

Portopalo has always been and remains a large fishing region. Famous “matantsa” (special means of tunny-fishing) is still very popular there. The local market is famous for its great variety of fresh fish.

Tourism and fishing are the most important components of prosperity in Portopalo di Capo Passero. Those who like fishing come to spend their holidays there. Farmsteads are decorated in fishing style with fishing nets instead of fences, with stuffed sword-fish and domestic cuisine with plenty of sea foodstuffs. The Culmination point is a voyage by boat along the sea coast. This kind of spending holidays is possible not only in Portopalo, but in some fishing villages near it, such as Marzamemi, San Lorenzo and others.

The beaches are quite different in Portopalo. There are sandy and rocky beaches. The Scalo Mandrie Beach is very popular. There is also Isola delle Correnti only 10km to the west from Portopalo. The isle is famous for its wonderful beaches with fine sand and pure water. There is also Carratois Beach opposite Isola delle Correnti, which is famous for the longest natural beach in the vicinity of the resort. Carratois is well equipped and is considered to be one of the windsurfing centers on Sicily.

There is also one small isle opposite Portopalo. It is known as a place where the Aragon King Carl V built the citadel in the 14th century. It was built to protect the sea coast from pirates. Nowadays the isle is very popular among divers.

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