Published on May 27, 2011 | by Andrea Guerriero


A Total Experience in Sicily – The Nature Reserve of Vendicari

The Oasis of Vendicari is an Oriented Nature Reserve located in the province of Syracuse, precisely between Noto – renowned for its Baroque architecture and declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO – and Marzamemi – a small fishing village in strong growth from a tourist point of view.

Vendicari was officially established in 1984, when the 1450 hectares of land that it comprises were proclaimed as “wetland of international importance,” according to the Ramsar Convention of 1971.

Within its perimeter, the Reserve contains many archaeological gems. From prehistoric times, to the Greek and Roman age – the Eloro, via Elorina, the Hellenistic establishment – and the Byzantine age – the Catacombs and the remains of the city of Trigona; from the Arabs – with the fortifications of the Cittadella – to the Middle Ages – with the Swabian Tower, up to the eighteenth century with the ruins of the famous Tonnara – which has been working until World War II.

But the real spectacle in Vendicari is offered by nature. The reserve is a coastal wetland of high biological value, for the presence of different habitats: rocky shores, sandy shores, marshes (brackish and freshwater), saltpans, scrubland and cultivated areas. But mostly, Vendicari is one of the few places where it is still possible to observe the typical Mediterranean scrub in all its vigor.

The Pantano Piccolo, Pantano Grande and Pantano Roveto are at the heart of the reserve. Among these three marshes, only the Pantano Piccolo never runs dry, even during periods of drought, thanks to the presence of salty water sources. The presence of vast salt marshes has contributed to the creation of a reference ecosystem for many birds who, migrating from Africa (just 350 Km away as the crow flies), stand here before reaching their goals of migration across Europe.

In addition to birds, Vendicari hosts some species of amphibians and reptiles – including the Emys orbicularis, a marsh turtle, but also mammals such as foxes, porcupines and wild rabbits.

The reserve is accessible by 4 entrances: one in the area of Eloro (to the north), one in the area of Cava delle Mosche, the main entrance at the Swabian Tower and, lastly, that of Cittadella dei Maccari.

In addition to the great natural show, in this Reserve you can spend days in close contact with nature, enjoying also bright sunshine days on the beach having fun with family and friends. In this corner of paradise in south-eastern Sicily, sandy beaches and crystal clear sea await tourists starting from May!

Photo by Gabriele Iuvara

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About the Author

Hi, I'm Andrea, a travel blogger, web programmer, seo apprentice and amateur photographer based in Milan. I love reading, I love music. I love to travel but only if I leave on a mission! I've been traveling through most of Europe and I love writing about it. I love photography, especially as a way to document experiences, places, events. My Nikon D300 camera is always with me, and it helps me in sharing my life with the rest of the world. Getting in touch with new people, different life styles and foreign traditions, and write about it, is all I can ask for.

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