Imagine an ancient island with the Castle watching over it on the one
side, a triangle of land moving towards the dark blue Jonian Sea on the
other side, and in the middle, the natural Great Harbor, which has
always been object of dispute and ancient battles at sea. A
mythological scenery? I don't think so; on the contrary, it is so real
that it has become the natural proscenium for the creation and
establishment of Plemmirio Marine Protected Area.
Siracusa is a town with a very ancient seafaring tradition, a cultural reference point for the Mediterranean area, dominated since ancient times by history and nature. Plemmirio is an ancient sea, where the Carthaginian belligerent fleets sailed together with the Greek and Roman trade boats. Still today there are clear evidences of this past, of which this sea is a jealous keeper: it offers us the opportunity to discover an underwater archaeological itinerary with fragments of pottery and amphora necks, wooden finds and anchors of various size. Another interesting underwater aspect is represented by the several caves dug in time in the bare white and calcareous rock. With spectacular sceneries and with their several inhabitants, they make our diving more evocative and magic. The extraordinary submerged seabed is very rich in any marine species populating the Mediterranean.
However, the Protected Area does not only mean sea. All around it, in a Mediterranean maquis dominated by the presence of the fan palm, life flourishes. Not far, in the wet and brackish area of the muddy lands, once saltpans, in spring and autumn we might admire the elegant and sinuous flight of the Greater Flamingo. And finally Siracusa, motherland and cradle of the Magna Graecia culture, present everywhere: in architecture, theater, gastronomy, people. Nature, culture, myths and tales find here their natural source and setting.
Geography and Geomorphology
The coastal strip between Punta Castellucio and Capo Murro di Porco is in the east of I.G.M. table, called Siracusa. This stretch of coast represents the eastern side of Penisola Maddalena, in the south of the town of Siracusa.
Archeology and Human Landscape
The eastern coast of Penisola Maddalena, well-known by local people as "Isola", has always been characterized, because of its proximity to Siracusa, by human interventions carried out for different purposes and showing the close relationship between this strip of coast and the Greek town.
Flora and Fauna
The flora in this area is typical of the rocky, arid sub-tropical areas and is characterized by characteristic essences of the Mediterranean basin. The area is dominated by halophile-rocky vegetation and fan palm garigue (a protected species), here represented by the largest palm grove of the province (almost one square kilometer).
In spite of its proximity to Siracusa, the sea of Penisola Maddalena still offers several biological surprises and wonderful seabed to sea-lovers and experts in the field.
From Capo Castelluccio to Punta Tavernara, the seabed is low and regular for several hundred meters, then it suddenly falls to reach greater depths. From Punta Tavernara to Capo Murro di Porco, the seabed reaches over 30-40 meters of depth even close to the shore.