Discovering Borgo Cusenza in the heart of the Riserva dello Zingaro in San Vito lo Capo

Walking in San Vito lo Capo can reserve incredible surprises.

On a pleasant winter Sunday, we started from the entrance of the Riserva dello Zingaroabove Macari. A demanding climb took our breath away but it was really worth it, because when we reached the top, above the pass, we were able to admire the two seas that stood out in front: the Gulf of Macari below us and on the opposite side the Gulf of Castellammare with a view of the blue waters of the reserve.

Panorama Towards Monte Cofano and the Gulf of Macari

Only this breathtaking landscape was worth all the effort already made and discovering some small orchid gave us a further reason for joy.

Panorama on the Gulf of Castellammare

Our destination was a timeless place, of which we have long heard, but it has not yet been revealed to our eyes.

Borgo Cusenza

In fact, in the Zingaro reserve there is an ancient and very fascinating baglio: the Borgo Cusenza.
Its peculiarity consists in having been a very isolated Baglio, being in the high part of the mountain at about 400 meters above sea level and being remembered as a place inhabited by a totally self-sufficient community where, until the end of 1800, they lived in autonomously 14 families. They cultivated cereals, timilia (tumminia), olives, grapes and vegetables. Internally a small cellar for the production of wine with a press dated 1876, an oil mill and a mill for cereals. In addition, the community was dedicated to raising animals that gave them meat, milk and means of transport. Another ancient art, handed down to them, was to make baskets and ropes with native plants.

Borgo Cusenza

A nice descent led us to this grouping of very well preserved and maintained houses, but today totally silent. We were greeted by idle ovens in front of closed doors and a small museum of this precious peasant civilization. The scent of the many aromatic plants with closed eyes led us to many years ago when this village was full of voices of children and many people at work. It is a small jewel that makes us understand how difficult and hard life was in places like this only 100 years ago.

Mastro Peppe Siino Cave

After having lived this enchantment we went down to the sea by a path along a very steep and steep but extremely fascinating gully. Cork trees with fantastic shapes stood out on our left, while on our right we admired prehistoric caves that still bore traces of the man who had inhabited them.

Among these enchanted views we have reached the sea below us. In a flash, between tales of old books and photos of a landscape that never tires of amazement.

Cala Tonnarella dell'Uzzo

Our beautiful excursion ends with a stop in front of the blue waters of the Tonnarella dell'Uzzo cove.

by Roberta Zaccarini Fazio

Technical notes:

  • about 400 meters in altitude
  • about 650 meters downhill
  • length about 12 km
  • duration: 6 hours of which 4 of actual walking
  • Departure: Riserva entrance above the village of Macari - Arrival: exit Riserva dello Zingaro San Vito Lo Capo side
  • Difficulty: demanding - Suitable for well trained people
The route marked on the map

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