Unusual Scopello

Unusual ScopelloScopello is an ancient village, full of history, legends and mysteries, such as the portrayals in Santa Margherita cave – Santa Margherita and Holy Mary with child.
A lot of speculation was made through time trying to explain how and why these portraits were realized. One of these conjectures explains Santa Margherita's presence as a tribute by sailors from Liguria (where the saint is particularly worshipped) who survived from sinking.
These two paintings were realized upon a former representation of a shark, maybe by sailors or fishers who wanted to ward off an attack by these animals. The fact that the cave is nowadays reachable only from the sea contributes in feeding the air of mystery surrounding the place.
Lots of legends and stories were told about the tonnara and its activities, especially the “mattanza” - the slaughter of tuna fishes. During your holidays in Scopello, you may learn something more about these traditions and legends by approaching and talking to its inhabitants, who still keep a lot of stories and still remind “cialome”, ancient propitiating “tonnaroti” (tuna fishermen) songs.
Diving enthusiasts will be able to find two “treasures” kept by the sea: the Capua and the Kent shipwrecks, laying on the seabed not far from Scopello coast. The Kent's skeleton lies close to the San Vito lo Capo area; this shipwreck is also known as “the Koran ship”, since the most part of the load were these holy books. The Kent, nowadays still in good conditions, sank in July 1978 as it was sailing towards Nigeria, because of a fire in the engine room, and is now the house of a lot of different fish species.

Unusual ScopelloThe Capua transported weapons during World War II, and sank because of fire in April 1943 as it was sailing from Trapani to Palermo. It lies 800 meters far from the beach, in front of the Zingaro Nature Reserve entrance; it is still well-preserved and hosts a lot of different marine fauna and flora species. Legends were born in order to explain the sinking – one of them states that the ship was set on fire by its own crew members, tired of the war, who saved themselves from drowning by reaching the tonnara on their lifeboats. The uniqueness of this tiny little spot made it a perfect scenography for a lot of TV and film productions.
The most famous one is “Ocean's twelve”, a blockbuster Hollywood 2004 production with a stellar cast. Scopello was also the scenery of the TV adaptation of Sicilian writer Andrea Camilleri's book series “Montalbano”, which gave birth to a very successful TV series from 1999 on. Moreover, the first episode of 2002 series about Vigata cop, “Sense of touch”, as well as the first and third episodes of “Mafia origins” 1974 miniseries, were shot in Scopello. Another evidence is the 1946 movie “Malacarne”, shot by Palermo film-makers. All these success have made that buying a villa especially near the sea is quite impossible, Scopello remain a hot spot for real estate in Sicily.

credits photo: merci à Françoise