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  • Writer's pictureOscar Soletto

Cala del Cuore, our Marine protected area. Three swimming pools.

The cove of the three swimming pools is one of the most beautiful accesses to the sea in Bagheria and Santa Flavia, in the province of Palermo. It is a wonderful rocky coast located at the foot of the majestic Capo Zafferano. It is said that the popular name attributed to what on nautical maps is called Cala dell’Osta, is due to the fact that Cala dell’Osta is divided into three coves, which, due to the calm of the waters and the green-blue color, are reminiscent of swimming pools.

Others argue that the name derives from real lakes, which form on the rocks in winter. The more recent name Cala del Cuore is due to a red heart affixed to the rocks. Whatever the origin of the name, the cove is among the most popular with citizens and visitors, who use it as a beach and for sunbathing, also because in summer it is illuminated until sunset. The rocky bottom is relatively shallow in the first few meters and gradually reaches about ten meters, making it a perfect place for snorkeling and diving. The lower area is made up of rocks, among which several paths wind up that climb high on a limestone cliff of about 15 meters. The cliff protects the area from the wind on three sides, leaving it exposed only to the north-west. Above the cove, separating it from the entrance and from Via Perez, a large expanse of wind dunes: a wild Mediterranean landscape, populated with plants that bloom all year round, coloring it red in summer and yellow in winter. For some years the Next association of Bagheria has adopted the cove, and is developing projects for the protection and enhancement of this natural treasure. The slightest of the problems in the area is that of the signs, there is no signage that signals the entrance, directions, provides information on the routes and the conduct to be adopted, there are no danger signs to delimit the safety spaces. The path is interspersed with walls, steps and mud, despite the slight slopes that would allow people with wheelchairs to frequent at least the area of ​​the dunes, in total safety. The concrete paths close to the cliff were built more than 40 years ago, many steps have been skipped and the concrete path at the top has shrunk to the point of becoming dangerous. The same state of decay is obviously common to the entire area of ​​the platforms, which despite repeated cleaning by associations and volunteers is soiled by the incivility of a few, who forget to take their waste away.

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