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Pozzallo, Province of Ragusa, Sicily

This seaside resort and maritime port is the only commune on the sea in the province of Ragusa, and the most southern in Italy, excluding the islands of Lampedusa and Linosa. The town lies in a picturesque area of Sicily, with the Iblei plateau in the background and the blue Mediterranean in the front, with a coastline from Punta Raganzino to the sandy beaches of Marza. The economy is mainly based on tourism and on the port, which is the only outlet for the whole province, and offers transport facilities to Malta.

Info

  • Population: about 17,000 inhabitants
  • Zip/postal code: 97016
  • Dialing Area Code: +39 0932

History

The history of Pozzallo is connected to its position on the sea. The Chiaramonte, Counts of Modica from 1296 to 1392, started to develop the harbor as a commercial outpost towards Malta and other Mediterranean destinations, and established warehouses and docks known as "il Caricatore".

In the 15th century Count Bernardo of Modica of the Cabrera family ordered the construction of a tower as a protection against the frequent raids of the pirates, and the village rose around the fortress. It became an autonomous municipality in 1829.

What to see

  • 1926 Palazzo Musso, built in the Art Nouveau style.
  • The panoramic Lungomare Pietre Nere, leading to the old center of narrow lanes, into the Scaro quarter, where was once an old well, "pozzofèto", used by passing ships as a water supply.
  • The Torre Cabrera, the ancient fortress on the sea, built by count Berardo Cabrera as a defense for the warehouses of Il Caricatore, has a wonderful terrace on the sea at top. It included until 1715 a chapel to "Santa Maria della Pietà", represented in a still visible fresco. The underground locals wre used as prisons, and there was a place for death-row prisoners called "Pozzo della morte".
  • The church of Santa Maria di Portosalvo, built in 1746 on a rock facing the tower, whose facade was recently rebuilt around the original beautiful portal. Inside a baptismal fountain of 1770 by sculptor Stefano Calabrese and a fine 1858 altar decorated with chalk low-relief by Antonino Assenza.