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Tonnara Marzamemi

The Tonnara di Marzamemi: a magical place in a sea of ​​light
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Tonnara Marzamemi in Pachino

The origins of the historical Tonnara di Marzamemi they get lost in the mists of time, since when Arabi around the year one thousand they implanted what would become the most important Tonnara of Sicily Oriental: its name derives from the Arabic "marsa al hamem"That is, the road of tortors.

The current plant of the village It dates back to the period from the mid-seventeenth century to the mid-eighteenth century and the Palazzo del Principe is the work of the great architect Vermexio. The village is made up of the Prince's Palace, From Camperia (Loggia degli Scieri), from the church of St. Francis of Paola, of the old tuna processing plant and from about fifty fishermen's houses, all around the large Piazza Regina Margherita.

History

The origin of the name "Marzamemi" it is controversial: according to some it would derive from the Arabic words "Marza" (port) e "Memi" (small), while according to the glottologist netino Corrado Avolio the toponym derives from the Arabic "Marsà 'al hamam", namely "Bay of turtledoves", for the abundant pace of these birds in spring.

Simone Sultano, on the other hand, he notes that some people mistakenly derived it from "Marza e memi" namely "louse"because mothers used to say this word by searching for parasites in their children's hair.

Antonino Terranova, finally, in the volume "Pachino Pachynos Pachino stories and legends from Pachino to Capopassero", also cites another thesis, according to which "Memi" it would be referred to Eufemio, the former commander of the Byzantine fleet which, rebellious against Emperor Michael II Balbo, passed to the Arabs and with them began the conquest of the island: "Marza-Memi" therefore it would mean "Port of Eufemio", as well as Marsala mean "Port of Ali" or "Port of Allah".

The current plant of the village It dates back to the period from the mid-seventeenth century to the mid-eighteenth century and the Palazzo del Principe is the work of the great architect Vermexio. The village is made up of the Prince's Palace, From Camperia (Loggia degli Scieri