Marzamemi is a tiny village in the province of Siracusa and in the municipality of Pachino, the Sicilian town famous for its tomato variety. Discover this little fisherman village where time goes slowly and the truest flavours of Sicily can be unveiled.
A bit of History
The name Marzamemi seems to come from the Arabic language and recalls the name of another small fishers’ village: Mars Alam, however, the meaning remains uncertain. It could be “little port” “port of the flag” or “bay of the turtle doves”. What is certain is that the area had an Arabic domination and it is still a little village with its own port.
But it was only in the mid of 1600 that it became a fortified village, thanks to the rich Prince of Villadorata, who had a lot of properties here.
The Tuna commerce
The village started to become an important centre for commerce when its “tonnara”, tuna-fishing nets, was opened. Therefore, the two ports, Fossa and Balata, became important for the merchant vessels that used to leave from here.
Today, it is still possible to visit the little centre. It develops around the square that gathers a few restaurants, the Church dedicated to the village patron San Francesco da Paola, and a couple of shops.
Although Marzamemi can also boast a beach, I do not recommend it for the sea. I suggest coming here for dinner in the evening. In fact, it is at night that this dorf releases all its ancient charm.
Be aware that in August it can be really crowded. If you arrive here, you must leave the car outside the village. The parking lot on the right side of Main Street ends right at the beginning of the pedestrian main street.
If you want to eat some fish, you can try the Coppo.
San Lorenzo is a close beach I suggest if you want to have a bath. Another option could be Vendicari and Calamosche, near Noto. All these areas have free and public beaches. You do not need to spend money to rent beach umbrellas and chairs. My tip is to buy a beach umbrella in a local supermarket for 10 euros and use it on the free beaches if you need some shade as I do.