Scopello, in Sicily, is famous for its Tonnara. Today, it is a monumental and residential complex that offers a dream trip to Scopello. However, it has remained faithful to the ancient history of the sea, to Sicily and to its traditions.
Let’s take a trip to Scopello, Sicily
Scopello and its historic Tonnara are located in a small corner of paradise: the municipality of Castellammare del Golfo, in the province of Trapani. The town lies at the foot of Mount Inici, which gives its name to the homonymous Gulf, overlooking the Castle.
The foundation of this small village – and one of the most beautiful beaches in Italy – dates back to the 17th century. It includes a baglio adapted from the Norman era and the square where the Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie and a few other houses are located.
The area of Scopello was chosen by Ferdinand II of Borbone as a royal reserve for hunting due to the incomparable charm of nature, nearby woods, history and tradition.
The Scopello hunting reserve was then assigned to a state company and, after, it was acquired by the municipality of Castellammare del Golfo.
Scopello and its beaches are one of the most popular destinations in western Sicily. Here are a few suggestions so you don’t miss the best beaches in the village.
- Faraglioni beach. The beach is partly made up of the concrete platform of the tuna fishery, but the sea here is very blue, clear and uncontaminated.
- Guidaloca beach. One part of the beach is equipped with bathhouse, while the other part is public.
- White Cove (Cala Bianca). A beautiful, wild and uncontaminated place, far from chaos; Cala Bianca is bathed by very clear and deep waters, bordered by white rocks.
- Mazzo di Sciacca Cove. Mazzo di Sciacca Cove lies close to the Zingaro Nature Reserve; here the sea enjoys a very rich flora and fauna.
The Scopello’s Tonnara: a dream place to live
Today the ancient Scopello’s Tonnara is an important ecomuseum of the territory. It overlooks a crystalline sea and one of the most beautiful beaches in Italy. It is located not too far from the Zingaro Nature Reserve.
The complex maintains a historical testimony of a traditional economy which represented for centuries one of the main sources of income for the local community of Scopello. Still today, it preserves all of the equipment and tools used for tuna fishing.
The residential infrastructure of the Tonnara is immersed in the beauty of nature that reinvigorates mind and body. It is located within a complex conceived as an ancient fishing village: it consists of fourteen residential units surrounded by nature, located in relation to their original history. This is the perfect place for those who want to get away from the frenzy of everyday life and spend their stay in absolute enjoyment and relaxation, being immersed in a magical atmosphere: a combination of both history and nature.
History of the Tonnara
The Scopello’s Tonnara still preserves history, traditions and ancient knowledge. It offers the history of the sea and Sicily in an authentic way to all tourists who stay here.
Taking a trip to Scopello and visiting the village means to discover the history that makes this place a truly unique reservation of the tuna fishing tradition.
The first construction of the Tonnara dates back to the 13th century and it is the first residential complex: the houses leaning against the rock and the watchtower. Between the 15th and 16th centuries, after its acquisition by the Sanclemente family, the Tonnara di Scopello underwent significant transformations. In fact, the Trapani family had a series of works that enlarged its spaces. Later, the whole complex was left to the Jesuits, who made further improvements to the Church, the boat sheds and the body of the building, used to house the fishermen.
In 1874 the Florio family getthe ownership of the Tonnara and they increased the fishing productivity thanks to the use of new work tools. The Scopello’s Tonnara thus became known as “Palazzina Florio” and it was integrated with a new premises to house the administration.
How to plan your stay at the Scopello’s Tonnara
Planning a trip here and spending a holiday immersed in the wonders of this area located directly within the Scopello’s Tonnara is a unique trip and quite simple to organize.
Accommodation can be found in the various buildings of the Tonnara; the old fishermen’s houses have been renovated to welcome tourists. They still keep their Spartan appearance and they do not offer all modern comforts. This is to remain faithful to their origins, to respect the place and its precious history.
The Palazzina Florio located within the Scopello’s Tonnara is the main building that now houses six residential units, all having a sea view, independent access and every reserved service. These are suitable for both couples and families.
Events at the Tonnara
The Scopello’s Tonnara and its splendid natural setting represent the ideal place to host exclusive events, as well as being the set location for various film and photo shoots. In fact, there is the possibility to organize ceremony within the old fishermen’s baglio. On request, it is also possible to reserve the spaces of the Tonnara.
The Museum of Scopello’s Tonnara
Inside the monumental complex we can find the Museum of Scopello’s Tonnara. Here, the story of Sicily and the ancient tuna fishing ritual by using simple and authentic manners is told. This stretch of sea which is considered a stage in the migration of tuna, this means that Scopello’s Tonnara is one of the main tuna traps along with Milazzo, Tindari and Favignana. It is in these places where fishing was practiced through a complex system of networks.
In the Museum, old tools are still on display, real boats are housed and the original processing environment after the tuna slaughter has been reconstructed.
Useful Museum information
Once you enter the monumental complex of the Scopello’s Tonnara upon payment of a ticket , it permits you to use the common spaces which are full of historical goods. With an additional contribution, a guided tour is provided.
Opening hours: from 9.30am to 6.30pm
Telephone: +39 3888299472 / +39 3924955002
What to see nearby
- San Vito Lo Capo (53 minutes by car)
San Vito Lo Capo is a small fishing village, known for its marvellous crystal-clear waters and its light sandy beaches surrounded by Mediterranean vegetation.
- Erice (47 minutes by car)
Erice is one of the Italian Touring Club’s “Most Beautiful Villages in Italy”. It is perched on the mountain of the same name and it dominates the tip of western Sicily, offering its guests a 360° degree view of the Gulf of Trapani, the Egadi Islands and Mount Cofano.
- Zingaro Oriented Nature Reserve (8 minutes by car)
To explore the Zingaro Oriented Nature Reserve by land you can only walk, choosing from five routes. This provides easy access to the most spectacular coves and, between one swim and another, you will have the opportunity to visit the five museums dedicated to different themes, located along the routes.
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