Marzamemi is a small village about 3 km way from Pachino. Marzamemi comes from the Arab phrase “Marsà al hamen,” meaning “Harbour of Turtle Doves”. It is said that the name derives from Marza=Porto (Harbour), Memi=Piccolo (Little): Little Harbour, referring to the amazing migration of these birds during the spring. The village is almost entirely washed by the Ionian Sea and the level is below the sea. On the Ionian Sea, you can find the two islands of MARZAMEMI: on the small one lies an elegant little villa, property of Professor R. Brancati's family; the big one forms a curved entrance which leads to a recent harbour, built with strong walls and concrete, and extending into the sea.
The inhabitants of this small village are all devoted to fishing: fishing was common after the advent of tuna-fishing nets, the second in Sicily after the Favignana (in Trapani).
Festivities: Every year in Marzamemi on August 20th, the “Saint Francis of Paola” festival is held. This is undoubtedly the most beautiful festival held in the territory of Pachino, and one of the most important maritime activities in the Province of Siracusa and all of Sicily. Participants come from all over Siracusa and other places around the world.
The International Frontier Film Festival
There are some places which evoke much more than what they concretely represent. This is the case of the ancient maritime little village, location of the International Frontier Film Festival since 2001.
This little village, which gathers the fishermen's houses around the big square, seems to plunge its prow into the heart of the Mediterranean, delimiting the unmarked boundaries of the three continents: Asia, Europe and Africa. A geography reproducing an imagery rich in stories, which has become in few years a place that many directors have chosen to shoot their films, both for the big screen and for the TV. From Salvatores to the Taviani brothers, from Tornatore to Brandauer.