Traditional fishing Experience
One of the most ancient activities is surely the fishing of the swordfish in the Strait of Messina.
Still today, fishermen take advantage of the traditional fishing techniques practicing, in the end, the original rituals linked with this experience; it is for this reason that assisting firsthand at the swordfish's capture aboard the Feluca, the typical boat, is a very strong emotion.
- Early boarding in the morning, at about 07:00a.m. from Scilla port. The swordfish fishing takes place aboard of a particular boat, the “Passerella”, about 25-30 metre-long and characterized by a high sighting mast. It is useful to know that, like other hunting actvity, not always the capture of the "prey" is guarantee; sometimes, it happens not to fish anything for several days.
- Disembarkation at about 12:30 a.m. and lunch in a typical Chianalea restaurant.
- In the afternoon, guided tour of the famous and characteristic small village of Chianalea, also known as "the small Venice of the South". Here the inhabitants still make their living through fishing, with their boats moored in the port between Chianalea and Marina Grande.
- From Chianalea we will continue the walk until reaching the bottom of Ruffo's Castle, set on the Scilleo promontory, dividing the beaches of Marina Grande and Chianalea.
Myths and Legends
There are several legends where the main character is the swordfish. We have some reports in the Greek mythology; it is said that Achilles' warriors, the Myrmidons, after his death decided to drown: the goddess Tethys chose to transform them in fish with a long sword as a representation of their warrior origin for the eternity.
A weird and rather particular behaviour seems the one linking the destiny of the male swordfish and his female mate. Once the female swordfish is harpooned, the male continues swimming next to her trying to save her ending, however, in the harpooners tools that, well knowing this practice, take advantage of it in the best possible way for their fishing strategies.
At the time when the swordfish is caught and brought on boat, fishermen practice a very ancient ritual on the animal: the "cardata ra cruci", act in which, with the fingernails of the hand, they cut a rhombus on the fish's right cheek as sign of fisheries prosperity.