Vendicari natural reserve: the paradise in Sicily

09 Feb 2019

The true essence of life

Vendicari natural reserve is a strip almost 10 kilometers long, completely into the sea, along the east coast of Sicily.

It is a place of a disarming beauty, breathtaking, divine I would say.

There is not a time I go to Vendicari without having the same reflection always enveloping my thoughts.

A reflection that leads in a certain sense to God’s beauty, harmony and pleasure.

It is the force of nature that here in Vendicari has a sort of his own supreme kingdom.

The pantani (bogs)

The sea, here in Vendicari, occasionally appears imprisoned in a sort of salty ponds called pantani and which are the real home of birds from all over the world.

Alongside these Pantani there are birdwatching houses.

The harmony reaches its maximum splendor.

Bottleneck

Vendicari natural reserve is a charming paradise, one of the most important in Europe, for many species of migratory birds that choose this wetland near the sea, as a stopover during their fascinating and mysterious long journey.

These areas are called bottle neck, these sort of hotels for birds during the migration.

Sicily is crammed with these rest areas for these beautiful creatures.

Thanks to the special birdwatching cabins you can observe the birds and enjoy the spectacle.

Vendicari is a show that airs from October to June when flamingos, herons, storks, cormorants, coots, seagulls, knight of Italy, etc… stay here.

The picture shows two flamingos in a typical bog of Vendicari natural reserve.

Here there are about 200 different species of birds that have allowed the place to deserve the nickname “Paradise of Birds”.

Running Vendicari

I feel the need to pass along a unique experience: run the whole reserve, from one end to the other and culminate the experience with a dip in the sea, of course.

I did it during all the months of the year.

Yes, you got it right: December and January included.

And I felt a God on earth.

Indeed: a God in heaven.

History

As if so much nature was not enough the area, between a bog and the other, presents a series of archaeological remains such as: a Greek city named Eloro; tanks for the protection of the beloved Garum (typical seasoning of the Greek age obtained with the drying of the fishes); a Byzantine church (La Trigona); and various constructions such as towers, prefabricated blocks, and various ruins of every epoch.

Calamosche is tucked into a bay, surrounded by two headstone that frame it magically.

The saline in Vendicari date back to 1400: today there are traces of the great Pantano. Another human presence is in the tower Bufatu, a fortress construction of the eighteenth century.

Calamosche

This is the name of the most famous beach of Vendicari, a cove of paradise (excuse the continuous repetition of this word but it is the one that I still find more suitable to describe the place in question) that appears suddenly, among the low vegetation of palms and an extraordinary panorama of the Ionian coast.

The image shows Calamosche beach in Vendicari natural reserve. The sky is blue and the water is crystal clear. There is also a rocky wall at the end of the beach.
Calamosche beach

Però, sti Sicelioti! (But, this Sicelioti)

The Sicelioti were the Greeks of Sicily or, I would say better, the Sicilians of Greek origin.

Long story short, when the Greeks came to Sicily, in the eighth century B.C., they were all males.

By its nature the male is a predatory and the woman a prey and so the Greeks took the females of the indigenous Sicilian.

From their union was born the Siceliota, of Greek father and Sicilian mother and from the same native land.

The Siceliota erected cities from the left and right and among these was also Eloro, right here in Vendicari.

At Eloro, I believe, even if the ruins are less than very few, there is a panorama and a vision that leaves without words.

If you stretch your eye, among the few stones left, you can glimpse  at two seats of what was the theater…