#21 Marettimo – Departure

Marettimo is a place of disarming beauty. If it is true that all the islands are beautiful places, without exception, Marettimo is probably more beautiful than many others – because it is remote at the right point, because its morphology is impressive and wild, because the small village is cute and because underwater it hides real marvels.

It is an island of seamen (which is rare, given that most islands had a predominantly agricultural economy), and this can be felt immediately. Its people are used to emigrate and to greet in return. They are passionate and smiling, open. I met nice guys like Francesco, willing to share his wonders beyond a mere tourist logic, spontaneously and professionally. It is a pity that from next year even primary school will not reopen …

I interviewed Vito Vaccaro, historical memory of the island’s identity from which we should start seeking an idea of future. He told us, for example, the story of the salmon fishermen, who still today go to, and come back from, Alaska to fish for one or two months every year.

Then Leonardo, the beekeeper of Isola Del Miele (the Bee’s Island), who produces here tons (it is not a joke) of honey – he has even won several national prizes. He told us that here there is no mortality of bees issue, because there is no agriculture that pollutes the air with pesticides that damage the insects.

And finally my friends from Blu Tek Diving – MarettimoDavide and Diletta, who out of love for Marettimo and its sea bought a diving center a few years ago and even got married here. After some dives, for the first time the absolute primacy that the sea of Ustica has in my diving experience started to tremble. A very special thanks to you, guys.

The bow is pointed to Levanzo, now, just 12 km away while the Scirocco blows …

(The picture is by Ferdinando Meli, whom I thank a lot. That guy is me next to a wonderful colony of Leptogorgia sarmentosa.)

 


Posted on: 2.Jul.2018   Leave a comment

Island People – Procida – Nicola Scotto Di Carlo

Procida is Elsa Morante’s “Arturo’s island”. “Ah, I would not ask to be a seagull or a dolphin; I would settle for being a scorpionfish, which is the ugliest fish in the sea, to be there, to have a good time in that water”.

When I was working in CNR (Italian National Research Center)’s oceanographic vessels, all sailors were from Procida. All of them! True and modern seamen, they would tell us how hard it was to make a proper living spending 3 months onboard and 3 on the ground. Plus, the cooks, amazing!!!

Procida is also a truly extraordinary person’s island. Here’s how Nicola Scotto Di Carlo defines himself:

“I’d say I’m a comebacker to Procida. I returned to the island 12 years ago after the birth of my second son. After living in Manfredonia, Bari, Rome, Fiumicino, Pavia, Milan, Zurich, Naples, Procida recalled. Many places, many lives, many passions and deep experiences. Today I can say that living on a Mediterranean “atoll” compared to the metropolitan dimension of large cities, the poor quality of life, and the complexity of everyday life, has allowed me to identify the golden rule necessary to perfectly control the space and time variables. All of which results in being well.”
“I’m 44 years old, I am a designer / technologist, and I was educated at Politecnico di Bari, at the Higher Institute of Design, as well as at the school of the great designer AG Fronzoni. I am an educational coordinator in a 3-year degree in Communication Design, I deal with 3D underwater surveys, I am IT director of a company that manages a wide network of travel agencies, and I am part of an active research group on representation systems for underwater museums.”
“See, I try not to get bored. And in order to avoid that risk, since 2008 I have been committing to society trying to transfer some of the experiences and benefits of the metropolitan cultural dimension to the small island context. In this direction, with friends and institutions we were able to create an exhibition area called TERRA (EARTH) in which finally people from Procida could learn the scientific truth of their “own” archaeological as well as geological history. Today, TERRA has become a virtual civic museum and I am actively involved as its curator. I hope I can open its doors soon to all 33 Isole and Lucio’s friends.”

And me, Nicola, I just can’t wait for you to be my cicero in your Procida. I will leave enriched, wiser perhaps, and full of wonder.

Posted on: 5.Mar.2018   Leave a comment