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Nature

Tonnara Beach

Tonnara Beach, pearl of the Vendicari Reserve This is a natural oasis, a virgin territory bathed in Mediterranean maquis and overlooking a spectacular stretch of coastline. The Vendicari Reserve, a protected area in eastern Sicily, offers visitors a wealth of splendid views. Paths end in visions of magnificent beaches lapped by crystal-clear waters. First of all, let’s visit the Spiaggia della Tonnara. The iridescent reflections of the sea On the reserve's 13 kilometres of coastline, the Spiaggia della Tonnara (Tuna Beach) stands out in the southern part, with its long sandy shoreline and a number of scenic rocks. The seabed is shallow and gently sloping, so you will have to walk a little before you get to the point where you can finally dive in. The water ranges in hues from green to turquoise, from azure to a blue that rivals the sky in its beauty. The richness of the marine flora will also capture your attention, characterised here by vast prairies of Poseidonia, the aquatic plants found both on the beach and in the very first few metres of the seabed. The tradition of tuna fishing Opposite the beach is the islet of Vendicari, along the coast is the Torre Sveva and the remains of the ancient tuna fishery with its artefacts of “fishing archaeology”. This is because Sicily boasts a very ancient tradition of catching and processing tuna, which gave rise to these fascinating buildings. The Tonnara di Vendicari fishery, also known as Bafutu, skims the water and today we can appreciate its recently restored ruins. It is 100 metres in length with a series of columns that once supported the roof, and it has a tall chimney. You will also see the old fishermen's houses here. The Sveva Tower is a defensive structure built in 1400 to protect the warehouses where foodstuffs were stored in what was once a thriving port. The impressive building still has its original windows. Amid beaches and footpaths It is a real pleasure to walk or cycle around the Vendicari Reserve, which covers 1,512 hectares in the province of Syracuse, from the town of Noto to Pachino. You will come across other beaches, such as the magnificent San Lorenzo beach, which is very child-friendly and also close to the Spiaggia della Tonnara, of which it is the natural extension. In addition to the section dominated by fine, light-coloured sand, you will also find small rocky inlets and a gem of a beach, Calamosche, a delightful sandy cove bordered by two rocky promontories that shelter it from the tides and create an enchanting natural swimming pool. Along the path leading to San Lorenzo beach, huts have been set up for birdwatching. You will wander among junipers, tamarisks, mastic trees and glasswort, beautiful orchids, thyme and rosemary bushes. Look up to the sky to spot grey herons and large flocks of herring gulls, while a few foxes, hedgehogs, porcupines and wild rabbits may roam among the vegetation. And even further south... Towards the extreme southern tip of Sicily, the Isola delle Correnti is where the Ionian and Mediterranean Seas meet. Untamed and unspoilt, it is connected to Portopalo by a thin sliver of stone. Then head to Marzamemi, a charming fishing village built around its majestic tuna fishery. The central Regina Margherita square with its two churches and old fishermen's houses all around is delightful. Enjoy a leisurely stroll; the entire village is pedestrianised so no cars are allowed to drive through. Sip a coffee while enjoying a view of the sea, in one of the small cafés overlooking the two natural harbours, La Fossa and La Balata. Settle down at an outdoor table in one of the many restaurants and order prawns from Mazara del Vallo, pasta with cherry tomatoes from Pachino and specialities made from ventresca, botargo and bluefin tuna mosciame, which you can also buy in the large emporium in the historic centre.
Entertainment

Etnaland

Etnaland: the amusement park in the shadow of the volcano The great Sicilian volcano looks up at that temple of entertainment that has given the island one of its most ambitious projects. Etnaland, for its part, celebrates it in name and probably sees a certain affinity in its ability to hypnotise and amaze. That’s right, because since opening, the park continues to expand its offering, conquering an ever-widening public. Will you come discover it with us? Partly for fun, partly to learn With a total surface area of 280,000 square metres, Etnaland is located in Belpasso, a few kilometres from Catania: inside it a host of attractions for all tastes and ages, including a popular water park, plus an incredible educational area that will capture the attention of your children, starting with the Prehistoric Park and the botanical trail. It was a zoo in the beginning In 1976, this area was home to the La Pergola farm, which belonged to the father of the current park director, Francesco Russello. When a circus went bankrupt in Palermo in the early 1980s, Russello thought of acquiring the animals and creating a first wildlife area that was called The Sicilian Zoo Park, which was later joined by The Park of Prehistory. We were still a long way from creating the largest theme park in the South, but do you know what happened then? When he realised how successful his idea was, he purchased several water park facilities and, in 2001, opened the first version of Etnaland to the public. Investments over time have multiplied and attractions have been added that are not always found in this type of facility, but which are suggestively named. Do Crocodile Rapids, Jungle Splash and Dragon River sound familiar? Take a dip in the Aquapark Since 2012, Etnaland has raced to offer an increasingly adrenalin-fuelled and exciting experience. The Aquapark was completed in its initial design in 2014, although it was officially opened in the year of its grand opening. It includes more than 25 attractions with a total of 8,500 square metres of pools and now also has a record: it has the most attractions and highlights in the whole of Europe. It even surpassed the huge Siam Park in Spain. For children and families Etnaland boasts some thirty attractions for the little ones: if you have children they will go crazy for the colourful rotating hot air balloons Billow Balloon, the Guard and Thieftoy cars and Brave Kart, the Twistarello flying cars and Ciclopina's, freefall tower in mini version. Electric boats Love Lagoonthe carousel Gran Carillon and the Babel tower are attractionsfor the whole family. A glimpse of Etna Don't forget that the park you are visiting, which in summer keeps its gates open even at dusk to prolong the fun under a blanket of stars, is located on the slopes of Etna, the volcano recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A look up to admire the wonder of the Muntagna, as the Catanese say, is a must. But an excursion to its summit craters is also definitely worthwhile.
City

A natural platform overlooking the sea

With its medieval village appearance, its ancient Greek soul, and the colours and scents of Mediterranean flora, Taormina is one of the most beautiful places to visit in the world. A natural terrace overlooking the sea dominated by the majestic volcano Mount Etna, Taormina is truly a magical and unique place.

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