Travel tips - Experiences

Let’s take a trip to Scopello to discover the tonnara

Written by Eliana Iorfida, 14/02/24

La Tonnara di Scopello is one of the most important and most ancient towns located throughout all of Italy and Sicily on the whole. It dates back to the 13th century with its first buildings. It is set on a bay which is strikingly beautiful, and is bordered by two medieval towers and two imposing stacks.

La Tonnara di Scopello today is a monumental and residential complex that offers a dream trip to Scopello - faithful to the ancient history of the sea, to Sicily, and to its traditions.

Let’s take a trip to Scopello to discover the tonnara

Scopello and its historic tonnara are located in a small corner of paradise, specifically in the municipality of Castellammare del Golfo which is located in the province of Trapani. You can find it at the foot of Mount Inici, which gives its name to the homonymous gulf overlooking the castle.

The creation of the little township and one of the most beautiful beaches in Italy where La Tonnara di Scopello is located dates back to the 17th century and includes a baglio adapted from the Nor-man era and the square where the Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie and a few other houses are located.

The area of Scopello was chosen by Ferdinand II of Borbone as a royal reserve for hunting due to the incomparable charm of nature, the nearby woods, history and tradition, and visited by the king twice in 1830 and in 1859.

The Scopello hunting reserve was then assigned to a state company and acquired from Castellammare del Golfo.

Storia della Tonnara di Scopello

La Tonnara di Scopello: a dream place to live

Today the ancient La Tonnara di Scopello is an important ecomuseum of the territory. It overlooks a crystalline sea and one of the most beautiful beaches in Italy, and is located not too far from the Zingaro Nature Reserve.

It maintains a historical testimony of a traditional economy which for centuries represented one of the main sources of income for the local community of Scopello. Today, it still preserves all of the equipment and tools used for tuna fishing.

La Tonnara di Scopello is also a residential infrastructure that is immersed in beauty that invigor-ates the mind and body. It is located within a complex conceived as an ancient fishing village: it consists of fourteen housing units immersed in nature, localised with respect to their original history. This is the perfect place for those who want to get away from the frenzy of everyday life and spend their stay in absolute enjoyment and relaxation while being immersed in a magical atmosphere -  a combination of both history and nature.

History of La Tonnara di Scopello

Today La Tonnara di Scopello is a monumental complex and guardian of history, traditions and ancient knowledge. It proposes the history of the sea and of Sicily in an authentic and completely faithful way to the tourists who stay there.

Taking a trip to Scopello and visiting the tonnara means discovering the history that makes this pla-ce a truly unique reservation of the tuna fishing tradition.

The first activities of the tonnara date back to the 13th century, near the first housing complex -  that is the houses leaning against the rock on which the watchtower stands. Between the XV and the XVI century, after the acquisition by the Sanclemente family, La Tonnara di Scopello under-went remarkable transformations: in fact the Trapani family ordered a series of work to be done that enlarged the spaces. Subsequently, the entire complex was left to the Jesuits who made further im-provements to the church, to the warehouses for the shelter of the boats, and to the body of the building destined to host the fishermen.

In 1874 the Florio family won the ownership of the Tonnara, and increased the fishing productivity thanks to the use of new work tools. La Tonnara di Scopello thus became known as the "Palazzina Florio", and was integrated with a new premises to house the administration. 

How to plan your stay at La Tonnara Scopello 

Planning a trip to Scopello and spending a holiday immersed in the wonders of this area located di-rectly within La Tonnara di Scopello is a unique trip and quite simple to organize.

The apartments are located in the various buildings of the tonnara: the seaside village which is sur-rounded by nature and isolated from the urban context, is a small treasure that testifies to the history of tuna fishing. The ancient fishermen's houses were restructured in order to accommodate tou-rists. They still maintain their Spartan appearance and don’t provide all of the modern comforts in order to stay true to their origins and to respect the place and its precious history.

In the proximity we can find  the Riserva dello Zingaro and the monumental sea stacks that are an added plus to your stay and which can be classified as an immersive experience of nature. You can do so in absolute tranquility.

The Palazzina Florio located within La Tonnara di Scopello is the main building that now houses six housing units, all having a sea view, independent access, and every reserved service. These are suitable for both couples and families.

Events at La Tonnara di Scopello

La Tonnara di Scopello and its splendid natural setting represent the ideal place to host exclusive events, as well as being the set location for various film and photo shoots.
In fact, there is the possibility to organize ceremonies within the old fishermen's beam by making a reservation. On request, it is also possible to reserve the spaces of the tonnara.

The Museum of La Tonnara di Scopello

Inside the monumental complex we can find the Museum of La Tonnara of Scopello, which tells us about the story of Sicily and the ancient tuna fishing ritual by using simple and authentic man-ners. This stretch of sea which is considered a stage in the migration of tuna, means that La Tonnara di Scopello is one of the main tuna traps along with Milazzo, Tindari and Favignana. It is in these places where fishing was practiced through a complex system of networks:

an island composed of several rooms that represented the barrier along the tuna route, whose fishing  traditions are full of fascinating stories and traditions. This is still evident in the instruments di-splayed at the Museum of Tonnara di Scopello where the original boats are housed and where the the processing environment is located after the slaughter of the tunas is completed.

Useful information

Once you enter the monumental complex of La Tonnara di Scopello upon payment of a ticket , it permits you to use the common spaces which are full of historical goods. With an additional contri-bution, a guided tour is provided.

Opening hours: from 9.30am to 6.30pm
Email: [email protected]
Telephone: +39 3888299472 / +39 3924955002

Immagine descrittiva - CC BY-SA Di Patrice78500 - Opera propria, CC BY-SA 3.0, c
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