Mazara del Vallo
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Still profoundly Arabic in its urban layout, Mazara del Vallo grew up and developed around its canal-harbour, which now contains the most imposing fishing fleet in Italy. From the cathedral, an authentic temple-museum, to the precious Diocesan Museum, not to mention Norman and baroque vestiges, the town has a history rich in monuments and works of art. From the geographical point of view, the town of Mazara del Vallo lies between Capo Feto and Capo Granitola and looks out on the Channel of Sicily. Its territory, which is highly interesting in terms of culture and nature, is crossed by the Mazaro river; this river and the Delia make up its hydrographic network.
Thanks to the variety of natural characteristics, on its agricultural surfaces we find many different crops, though there is a prevalence of vineyards and olive plantations, while there is not much woodland or Mediterranean scrub. The coast is not uniform. It is characterised by rocky sea beds, rich in marine biocoenosis, to the south-east of the town. By contrast, the south-western coast, to the right of the estuary of the Mazaro river, is of a sandy type, and thanks to a particularly favourable overall environmental situation, in it there is a "prairie" of Neptunegrass (Posidonia oceanica), which is luxuriant and big, accounting for the richness of the Mazara del Vallo sea environment.
THE BRONZE STATUE OF THE SATYR: Some have imagined in an attitude of sculptural defiance of the seas and the winds, on the prow or the mast of a ship which, while it furrowed the waters of the Sicilian Channel, lost in the abysses accidentally or in a shipwreck; others, instead have thought that it was war booty; lastly, some have thought it was part of the precious cargo of an "antiquarian" of the time that, on a commission or otherwise, was handling works of art for a rich gentleman of the day. If doubts wrap round its functional placing, as well as the dating and the artistic-cultural attribution, one thing that is certain is its identification in terms of imagery, even though, in the euphoria of the discovery, people hastily spoke about Aeolus. In fact, it is certain that the bronze statue "caught" in March 1998 by a Mazara fishing boat in the sea between Pantelleria and Africa represents a Satyr. It seems quit likely that the Satyr was part of the cargo of a ship that sank between Pantelleria and Cap Bon in the 3rd or 2nd century B.C. The rest of the precious cargo still lies at a depht of almost five hundred metres.
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