|Welcome, today is May 22 2013|
Private Prague Guide
Private guided tours in Prague and the Czech Republic. Recommended by Fodorīs.
The S. Vito area is rich of history and culture, some monuments deserve a visit.
Downtown at the main square is the Main Church "Santuario" (picture right). The legend tells us that was built around 1450 when an hermit that had found peace in religion gathered thousands of believers at the small church. After several construction the fortress was completed. It is 106 mt. base wide, 16 mt. in height and with a thickness of the walls from 20cm. to a maximum of 2.50mt. The tower was built in 1600 after all the other towers that the florentine architect Camillani built under the order of the vice-king Colonna for the defense plan of the coast. From the origianl construction remains only the old apse, now Chapel of S. Vito where there is a marble statue of San Vito as youngster. The statue was done by Gagini in 1500. The altar has been beautifully restored around 1780 in marble and the exterior of the Church has been recently restored, at the beginning of 1998.
The Chapel of Santa Crescenzia, on the provincial road that takes to S. Vito was built from the people of Erice in the XVI century. It was built in the same place where, the legend tells, Crescenzia was standing and looking over the town of Conturrana while the town was being destroyed by a landslip. It is use or superstition to throw rocks at the chapel in order to drive away fears ( u’scantu), as Crescenzia was known to have the power to help people with fears. The chapel has been recently restored after the damage done by the rocks and at night under powerful lights creates around it a special atmosphere.
At East of San Vito is located the “Tonnara del Secco” various buildings where the fishing and the preparation of the tuna was done. In spring when the tunas were passing by and directed to Castellamare del Golfo, the nets were laying down few meters from the shore. From the terrace of the building the owner of the “Tonnara” used to gather friends and guests to watch the “Mattanza” the tuna fishing event. The Tonnara del Secco is not in use since 1969. Various relics and old machinery (300 a.c.) used for the preparation of the tuna are still there.
The importance of San Vito lo Capo comes from the various evidences of past civilizations such as, amphorae and anchors from IV century a.c and V century a.c found on the sea floor. An Arab, Norman wreckage (800 a.c.) was found at 25 mt. depth of the sea and recovered between 1993 and 1995 by the Department of Cultural Property. Some of these evidences are exhibit at the Museum of the Sea in San Vito lo Capo by the Main Church.
A visit to the Towers is well deserved. Some of these towers have been restored by the Department of Cultural Property. Not far from the “Grotta dell’Uzzo” (Uzzo’s Cave) is the homonymous tower, going on from east to west the towers “Mpisu or Impisu” - the hanged- (picture left), “Sceri or Usceri”, “Torrazzo” and “Isulidda” deserve a visit.
Uzzo, Mpisu (called originally Jazzolino), Sceri, Isulidda and Cofano towers were built in 1583 by Camillo Camillani, a florentine architect, as look-out towers for the the defense plan of the coast of Sicily. All the towers except for Tower Mpisu have an identical building structure, square base, few and simple internal rooms and a large tank to store rain. Usually, the towers were guarded by three men in each one. Isulidda and Cofano towers have been recently recovered. Camillani built also a new tower “Roccazzo” that was destroyed in 1935 in order to built a military installation.
Close by the harbour of San Vito is “Torrazzo” tower, it has been beautifully restored and may become an archeological museum in a near future. Because of its cilindric structure and the architectural design different from the other towers is assumed to be of Arab construction.
The “Grotta dell’Uzzo” (Uzzo’s Cave), situated at 60 mt. a.s.l at the center of the “Riserva dello Zingaro” is a place that deserves a visit. Raymond Vaufrey a french antrophologyst in 1920 waa the first one to recoignize the importance of this discovery. In 1970 various excursions and studied were done, discovering that the cave was inhabitated 8-10 thousand years ago in the Mesolitic period by the Homo Sapiens.
Various evidences have been found picturing the life of a community, fossils of fish, funerary objects, sharpened stones and knives used for hunting and different graffitis on the walss of the cave.
The entire territory offers a nice tour of the caves, which in most of them graffitis and incision on the walls arre still visible. By the Isulidda tower, in three of the five caves, incisions and graffitis of the Paleolityc period (40,000 to 10,000 years ago) picturing deers. In the”Grotta dei Cavalli” (horses cave) and “Cala Mancina” (Mancina bay) graffitis representing humans, the sun and a ship. It has been found flint inside the “Grotta dei Ciaraveddi” and the “Grotta del Racchio” by Macari. The “Grotta di Zubbia” is and underground cave long about 100 mt. interesting to visit.