Today we are going to discover the wonders of the ‘Parco Naturale dello Zingaro‘ (Gipsy Natural Park), located in Sicily, between Palermo and Trapani. During the summer, Sicily is a favorite place for Italian and foreign tourists, because it offers unspoiled nature, ancient history, beautiful landscapes and many tourist-related services.
Reaching Sicily by plane is easy, you have various options. the main airlines which are operating flights are Alitalia, Airone and Air Sicily. The main airports are the ‘Falcone and Borsellino‘, Punta Raisi site, 30 km away from the city of Palermo and in Catania, ‘Fontanarossa‘, near the city.
In order to reach the Zingaro Park, the best option is the airport of Palermo. Trapani also has been recently equipped with new low cost airlines. The two largest town close to the park are Castellammare del Golfo and San Vito Lo Capo, known worldwide for the funny Couscous festival, held annually in September.
Zingaro Park is 1650 hectares large and spreads over a coastline 7 km long. It is a protected area where abundant marine species and rare plants live. Once the area was full of tuna-fishing buildings (now transformed in museums), where people fished and worked the delicious bluefin tuna, today regrettably not always present in the waters of the Mediterranean, due to a wicked fishing policy.
The sea can be visited renting a small boat or taking a guided tour, but it is also very nice to discover the trails in the park by foot, there are many small bays and coves that lead quickly to the sea. The morphology of the landscape presents unique colors and special shapes. It changes from red to white to pink within a few meters. The land constituting the reserve are the result of the plot and the evolution of human nature, in fact, until recently, every surface, though small, was cultivated for agricultural purposes. The whole area is dominated by Mount Speziale, from its 900 meters of altitude.
The Zingaro enchants for its rugged beauty and vibrant colors in every season, the white coves, set in a turquoise sea, the ubiquitous dwarf palms, the lush Mediterranean vegetation, the olive trees and imposing tough carob where you glimpse the harmonious forms of farmhouses.
Riserva Naturale dello Zingaro, closely linked to the sea, is an alternation of high coastal cliffs that plunge into the blue bays and sloping gently towards the sea. Entering from the south side you will find the wonderful Scopello with its emerging cliffs. Going north you will find Cala Capreria, Cala del Varo, Cala della Disa or Zingaro, Cala Beretta, Cala Marinella, Cala Torre Uzzo whose calcareous enhances the transparency of the water just like a tropical environment.
The underwater landscape is a continuous display of colors and shapes. Flower-looking animals like sea anemones, sea roses, corals are endemic species. Octopus coral lights up the sides of colors from orange to red. Fishes are mainly represented by the wrasse and blennies colorful liveries.
Don’t miss the opportunity to visit a special area, one hour away from the best archeological sites in Sicily!
Image Flickr creative commons license, courtesy by: Dom Dada