History and Culture

History and Culture

Nature has been as generous as history

Phoenician, Arab, Norman and Spanish invaders have left an everlasting mark. The small chapel of Santa Crescenza welcomes visitors who arrive by land and opens the doors to a different place, where Arab atmospheres and alchemies of colours mix into the Sicilian landscape.

The grotta dell’Uzzo, inside Zingaro nature reserve, is one of the most important prehistoric sites in Sicily: traces of human presence dating back to the Mesolithic have been found inside it. Ancient rock paintings depicting human figures decorate the walls of the Grotta del Cavallo, in Cala Mancina, while engravings from the upper Palaeolithic and drawings depicting deer have been found in the complex of the Isulidda caves.

The Sanctuary is a symbol of the interweaving between east and west, dedicated to Saint Vito, an ancient defence against the incursions of Saracen pirates.

The Towers

From the towers of Impiso, Sceri, Torrazzo and Isulidda, your gaze is lost in time and in a distant horizon. Built at the end of the 16th century to defend the coast from pirate raids, the towers now stand majestic and proud, masters of a tumultuous past.

A leap into the past

Submerged wrecks and the charm of the ancient tonnara

A visit to the ancient tuna fishery of San Vito, the Tonnara del Secco is a leap into the past. Unused since 1969, it takes you back to when tuna was fished and processed here. Diving lovers can discover the wreck of the Cypriot cargo ship Kent, sunk in 1978 in the waters in front of the tuna fishery. Named the “ship of the Korans” due to its load of sacred books, the wreck is populated by resident morays and conger eels, groupers, white bream, pelagic fish and many red scorpionfish.