The Ionian coast of Siracusa has always been a passage for Bluefin tuna on their way back after the spawning period. Here, since Greek times, generations of "tonnaroti" (tuna fishermen), have faced shoals of tuna in epic trials that resembled cruel tuna fights. At sea, tuna and men dueled even twice a day each month of July. On the shore, the managers of the fisheries anxiously awaited the result of those battles.
This, and much more, we will share with you on this private tour of Vendicari’s Tuna Fishery, whose ruins are deeply connected to the history of the Modica di San Giovanni Munafò family, who managed the property during the first half of the 20th century.
Starting from the "camperia" (the tuna factory), whose remains still emanate the energy of those intense days of summer work, we will learn more about tuna fishing in Sicily and in the Mediterranean, from the Greek period to the present day. We’ll also speak about the role of powerful local families in the management of tuna fisheries in South East Sicily since the 17th century.
Then, we will move to the manor house of the Modica di San Giovanni family. The last heirs have given new life to this historical place by moving into the apartments of their ancestors, creating a museum dedicated to the family tuna fishery, and cultivating those lands giving work and hope to many local farmers.
Through the stories of the owners, we will revive the days when this estate was populated by farmers, fishermen, merchants, and lords, each of them gravitating around the charismatic figure of Antonino and his successors.
Finally, we will enjoy the best of the Sicilian family traditions. The owners will receive us in the private dining room and will share the delicacies of their farm during a friendly lunch, where past and present will intertwine among libraries and drawers full of historical documents, and the words and gestures of those who still animate this place.