Torrefano

At Portopalo of Capo Passero the sea becomes the Mediterranean sea. We are at the same latitude as the Tunisian coast. The sea, the colours and the heat bring feelings of the "Mal d'Africa", due to our proximity to the African continental shores.

Beaches of fine-grained sand extend for tens of kilometres and delicately perfumed sea-lilies grow.

As you gaze at the sea, your eyes settle on the scorched land with skeletons of dry stone, low walls dividing little plots of land, planted with twisted carob trees with brown leaves which can only grow in these lands.

The village is filled with quaint white houses where we find sone of the most popular tuna fishing industries of the Mediterranean sea. Today, it is a memorial of industrial archaeology. The name “Capo Passero” comes from the outcry “passarù” (they passed by) announcing the passage of the tuna fishes.

The sea, a resource very rich in fish, which was used in the past to produce 'Garum', an all purpose, spicy sauce, with a strong flavour usually added by Romans to many dishes.

Fish are not the only food and income source of Portopalo. We must also mention the delicious cherry tomatoes of Pachino and the exceptional wine of the “Eloro” winery.

Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, Arabs: So many cultures have crossed this sea and this countryside, so many adventures to tell. Myths, legends, and folktales chase and interweave each other mixing with true stories.

At Portopalo it is said, that during the stormy nights, when wind and sea fight, you can hear the voices of the poor wretches who crashed on the Capopassero isle with their ships.

Torrefano is the name of an ancient signal tower located in the surroundings of Portopalo. It was part of a watch tower system ordered by Charles V in 1535 to defend the island against the many pirates raids and the Saracen’s assaults.