History of Vendicari

The Vendicari Nature Reserve was planned by a law of the Region of Sicily in 1981, but it was officially established in 1984, after numerous struggles of environmental groups and many bureaucratic steps.
The history of the reserve has very ancient origins. Various archaeological and architectural statements are from the establishment of the man since the Greek era.

Hellenistic Age

South of Eloro, not far from the beach Marianelli, there are some quarries (stone quarries) of the 5th century BC used in the ancient Greek city of Eloro for the construction of temples and monuments.

By the sea, not far from the Sveva Tower, there are tanks for tuna processing, next to which a small necropolis was also discovered.

Inside the reserve, even a portion of the ancient via Elorina is visible, the connecting road between the colony of Eloro and Syracuse.

Some ruins of ancient Eloro city
Some ruins of ancient Eloro city
Necropolis of Eloro
Necropolis of Eloro
Ancient tanks for Tuna - Eloro
Ancient tanks for Tuna - Eloro

Byzantine Age

The complex of Byzantine is located in the south of Vendicari, today called “Cittadella dei Maccari”.

In this site you can admire the Trigona: a Byzantine Cuba, which like all the churches of the time, has a square layout with three apses, a dome top and an opening to the east so that, as per tradition, the full moon light could enter the building beginning in this way the Holy Easter.

At a small distance from the Byzantine Cuba there are several catacombs dating from the same period and some rests of houses, a sign of a densely populated area.

Byzantine catacombs
Byzantine catacombs
Byzantine Trigona
Byzantine Trigona
Byzantine Trigona
Byzantine Trigona
Byzantine Trigona
Byzantine Trigona
Byzantine Trigona
Byzantine Trigona

Medieval Age

To this period belongs the most beautiful and visited construction of the Reserve: The Sveva Tower, probably built by Peter of Aragon, count of Albuquerque and duke of Noto (1406-1438). This fortification was required to report and repel attacks of Saracen pirates and Barbary, which with their constant raids systematically ransacked the inhabited centres and countryside of the island. During the centuries, the structure was reinforced and rebuilt, until it took the current form.The Sveva Tower was used until the 19th century, time of invention of the telegraph that made obsolete these defence systems. Learn more about Sveva Tower >>>

Sveva Tower Landscape
Sveva Tower Landscape
Sveva Tower
Sveva Tower
Sveva Tower
Sveva Tower

Modern Age

 

Of “recent” construction, but no less charming, is the Tonnara of Vendicari: also called Bafatu, that was built in the 18th century following the large increase of concessions of tuna-fishing nets.
The activities of fishing tunas were facilitated by the presence of saltmines, the first dating back to the Greek era. Alternating between flourishing periods and closure ones, the tuna fishing system was completely renovated in 1914, thanks to the financial support of Antonino Modica Munafò, noble of Avola.
In 1943, after the landing of the allies, and because of insufficient economic performance of trading tunas, the tuna fishing closed its activities.

Today it remains a fascinating and unique proof of the traditional Sicilian Fisheries. Learn more about the Tonnara of Vendicari.

Learn more about the Tonnara of Vendicari >>>

Tonnara of Vendicari
Tonnara of Vendicari
Tonnara of Vendicari
Tonnara of Vendicari
Tonnara of Vendicari
Tonnara of Vendicari
Tonnara of Vendicari
Tonnara of Vendicari

 
 
 
Riserva Vendicari