Thursday, October 16, 2008

Fish Tourism in Sicily

Giovanna Bellia La Marca was born in Ragusa, Sicily. She came to the United States at the age of 10, and has kept her love for Sicily alive with frequent trips to the island. Now a retired art and Italian teacher, she devotes herself to writing, cooking, entertaining, traveling with her husband, and enjoying her grandchildren in Cliffside Park, New Jersey. She is the author of Language and Travel Guide to Sicily and Sicilian Feasts, published by Hippocrene Books.

I first discovered the beauty of the coastline of Sicily when I flew over it and saw the clear emerald waters against the craggy coast framed by the window of the airplane.Sicily is known as "La Perla Del Mediterraneo or “The Pearl of the Mediterranean” . With its beautiful blue-green waters and magnificent coast, it has developed some very enticing tourist attractions. Its golden-yellow sandy beaches are among the most beautiful in the world. The appreciation and preservation of the coastline has led to a unique offering which is gaining popularity as a tourist destination in the form of Pescaturismo. Since its beginning, Fish Tourism has been very successful as a unique venture that gives visitors the opportunity to learn about fishing by going out to sea with experienced, local fishermen as guides.

In an effort to preserve the beauty of the land and the sea, the city of Trapani on the western coast of Sicily has been on the forefront of environmental conservation by setting up the Riserva Naturale dello Zingaro, a natural reserve that preserves not only the natural beauty of the coastline but also tries to keep the waters clear and unpolluted. To be close to nature in a clean and uncontaminated land and waters has certainly become a goal for many tourists who are looking for unique rewards in traveling to many of the unspoiled areas of Sicily.

The recreational initiative in which professional fishermen take tourists out to sea to have them experience and learn about the island’s most important industry is one aspect of Pescaturismo which is attracting people with very specialized interests also giving them the possibility of engaging in water sports which have become very popular in this area. Divers enjoy the crystalline waters, swimmers and snorkels delight in the clarity of the blue Mediterranean and in the richness of the marine life it supports. Scuba diving, explorations of the coast, and underwater photography are also sought after activities which attract visitors and locals alike.

Guided tours are available for novices as well as for the experienced who wish to see, visit, and explore the splendid coves, mysterious grottos, the reefs teeming with a wealth of marine life and the breathtaking cliffs rising out of the blue waters to photograph, draw or just to enjoy while creating lasting memories.

Helpful Phrases

Dove si trova il Centro Turismo? Where is the Tourist Office?

Che cosa e’ la Pascaturismo? What is Fishing Tourism?

Come si fanno le prenotazioni? How do you make reservations?

Quanto costa il biglietto? How much is the ticket?

Accettano carte di credito? Do you accept credit cards?

Useful Words:

Barca Boat

Traghetto Ferry

Barca a vela Sailboat

Pesca Fishing

Pescatore Fisherman

Scoglio Cliff, crag

Spiaggia Beach

Sabbia Sand

Piscina Swimming pool

Nuoto Swimming