PUNTA SECCA: INSPECTOR MONTALBANO’S HOUSE.

The beach of Punta Secca is located 6 km from Santa Croce Camerina, along the coast of south east Sicily. At the edges there are some very suggestive rocks where the water, already crystalline, becomes even clearer and transparent. At sunset this beach has a very special charm. The fame of the place, which has become famous thanks to the television series “Inspector Montalbano”, makes the beach very crowded in the summer, especially on weekends.

 Punta Secca, a seaside resort and a hamlet of Santa Croce Camerina, rises in the south of Sicily. The name “Punta Secca” comes from the conformation of the territory: the fine sand alternates with rocky areas emerging from the sea with the so-called “shoals” (secche).

Due to its strategic position, overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, it has always been inhabited by peope who needed to control the territory. In ancient times, Punta Secca was part of a terrritory called “Le Kaucanae”, very close to the Bysantine anchorage of Kaukana, an important landing place for many centuries. Already in Roman times, in 536 a.d., the Byzantine general Belisarius had his fleet stationed in the port of Kaucana, near the current Punta secca, waiting to set sail for the siege of Cartage which was in the hands of the Vandals.

 After XIV century, Punta Secca was abandoned because of the depopulation of the area, so over the centuries, the ancient port was covered with large sand dunes. In 1140, the fiefdom of Santa Croce Camerina was donated to the Abbey of Santa Maria la Latina in Jerusalem, under the administration of San Filippo d’Argirò (Agira): Punta Secca was also included in this fief. Then it began to have its own organization,but being at the mercy of pirate raids, it needed a defense, so Giovanni Cosimo Bellomo had a defense tower and two warehouses built. Between 1746 and 1747 the tower, built with rock blocks, was completely renovated. It served as a coastal defense from various Arab raids and it was in visual connection with the Torre di Mezzo, the Vigliena tower of Punta Braccetto and the Cabrera tower of Mazzarelli.

In 1814 the Bourbon governor had three lodgings built to house the very first customs officers. Punta Secca, therefore, began to have its own structure, highlighted above all by the construction of the Lighthouse in 1857.

Between 1950 and 1960 the small village developed from year to year due to the growing demand for building plots for holiday homes, up to today’s configuration.

Punta secca overlooks the Mediterranean and consists of two beaches: “the beach of the lighthouse”, famous for the lighthouse located in the centre of its square; and “ Montalbano’s beach”, in which Montalbano’s tv series was shot.

The history of Punta Secca lighthouse, also called Punta Scalambri Lighthouse, is quite ancient. Commissioned by the Bourbon government and designed in 1857 by Eng. Nicolò Diliberto D’Anna, this 36-meter high cylindrical tower was built at the end of the 1850s. A single-storey building owned by the Navy is attached to the lighthouse Much of the fame of Punta Secca is due to the fiction “Il commissario Montalbano”, by Andrea Camilleri.

The television drama has showed the world this enchanting corner of Sicily where many travellers want to spend a few days because of the mild climate throughout the year. There are large free beaches and equipped lidos. The many restaurants along the seafront create the right atmosphere for those who want to relax at the beach or want to walk and admire beautiful sunsets. In these restaurants you can taste the typical dishes of the fiction “Il Commissario Montalbano”, like arancine (o arancini); aubergine caponata, the basic ingredients of which are aubergines, tomatoes and basil, with a sweet and sour note, moving from city to city you can find different variations of this dish; the “pasta ‘ncasciata”, which is a particular type of baked pasta typical of Messina tradition; Spaghetti with cuttlefish ink,the black color is given by the addition of ink from the cuttlefish bags at the beginning and at the end of cooking; “sarde a beccafico”,which belongs to the popular tradition especially from Palermo; Cannoli and brioche with granita are the delicious desserts. These are just some of the many dishes that can be found in Punta Secca.

So what are you waiting for visiting and enjoying this beautiful location?!

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Autore:

Ilaria Stimolo

Classe:

3° B RIM
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