Marzamemi stands on a small promontory and takes its name
from the arab wards ” Marsa al hamen“,
which mean ” road of the turtledoves”,
in fact, its first inhabitants were Arabian people,
who conquered Sicily in the IX century.
This tiny small village is situated 5 Km northwest
from the agricultural village of Pachino ( a well-known for
production of its homonymous variety of tomatoes,
also known as the Ciliegino tomato).
The present Marzamemi became an important fishing
village between XVII and XVIII centuries,
when the Prince of Villadorata built one of the most
important tuna-fisheries of south-western Sicily which
was used until 1950s therefore expanding the local economy.
Marzamemi has a regular urban plan developed around the old
tuna-fisheries and the baroque palace of Villadorata.
The fisherman’s houses,
owned by the Lord of the village,
had just one floor, few rooms and overlooked the main
square or tiny hidden squares or the marina directly.
many of those fisherman’s houses are used for commercial and
The Sicilian writer Vitaliano Brancati (1907 – 1954) built his
house on the romantic little island,
in the middle of the delightful fishing harbour.
Exploring southern Sicily
An excellent starting point for any visit to Sicily’s southern tip is Syracuse,
with its exceptional artistic and cultural heritage.
It lies about 60 km from Catania airport and is a
two-hour drive from Messina,
along the a scenic route with the Ionian sea to your left
and Mount Etna on your right.
Other popular sights in this part of Sicily are the old cities
in the interior,
those in Val di Noto (Caltagirone, Modica, Noto, Palazzolo Acreide,
Ragusa and Scicli, along with Catania) have been named UNESCO
World Heritage sites.
The mountains conceal an impressive testimony to the ancient
history of southern Sicily in the crevices of Pantalica,
Ispica and Lentini.