Stagnone Reserve - Marsala
The Stagnone Reserve of the Marsala Lagoon is a magical place, out of time. A wonderful natural landscape, splendid, uncommon beauty for its colours, smells, for the fishing boats cradled by the calm waves, for aroused emotions of the sunsets, for its white salt pans with windmills. For its history. The Stagnone Reserve is a extended lagoon, from Punta Alga to San Teodoro and it also includes four islands: Mozia, Isola Grande, Schola and Santa Maria. It is the largest of Sicily and is characterized by very shallow water.
The Natural Stagnone Reserve spreads across the northern coast of Marsala, overlooking the Aegadian Islands, it continues to Trapani. In very old times (especially in Phoenician time) Stagnone was a important and strategic place for the presence of Motya, important and protected l Phoenician trade centre between East and West. The splendour period of Stagnone ended with the Roman conquest and it remained silent until the beginning of the modern age. In fact, with a great century jump, Stagnone had again an important function in the times of the Spanish domination, in the fifteenth century, when along its coast, they built salt pains and when they increased fishing activity.
Today the salt pans are still one of the peculiarities of the Stagnone Reserve and they can be visited. As well as the great windmills that they were and are used for the water pumping and the salt grinding. Among the features that make it unique as reserve there is lso the presence of various species of fish (orata, bass, mullet, eel, sea bream, cuttlefish, octopus, crustaceans and so on). The warm lagoon waters and the shallowness of its waters make, in fact, the Stagnone an ideal habitat for laying eggs and for restocking with fishes, protected by the Reserve rule which it forbids hunting and diving fishing and nets. Sport fishing (by lines and fish traps) is even regulated appropriately, even if it is permitted.
But the Stagnone is also a paradise for keens of birds. At certain times, several species of migratory birds, cavalieri d’Italia, wild ducks, herons and pink or white flamingos, they nest or stop here during their migration. The Stagnone Reserve also had a luxuriant typical vegetation of the Mediterranean salt marshes: the dwarf Palm, rushes and salicornia. (marsalaturismo.com)