Capo di Milazzo and the Venus poolMarch 16, 2017 in Italy ⋅ 🌙 12 °C
The Cape of Milazzo, a long finger of rock projecting out near the North East corner of Sicily, was the final place we had planned to visit on the island. Vicky had read that the Venus Pool, at the very tip of the finger, was good for snorkeling.
We took the road as far as it went then set off on foot with our wetsuits and snorkeling gear. The walk took us through an olive grove carpeted with wildflowers before the floral display led us down a narrow path, past exotic plants, lizards and stunning views of the sea on three sides.
The Venus Pool was a shallow pebbly haven, separated from the sea by a natural low wall and protected from the wind on either side by vertical projections of hard rock. It felt cold as we got in but we soon acclimatised as we explored the underwater world of rock hugging weeds, fish shoals and the interesting stripy loaners that drifted between the groups. On closer inspection we found sea urchins, see-through shrimps, bottom feeders and even an eel hiding under a large smooth stone.
Towards the boundary wall the pool became deeper and outside in the sea, it became so deep in places that we couldn't see the bottom, despite the incredible clarity of the water. It was colder and the waves sizeable as we swam to a rocky outcrop. On our return to the pool we met a man feeding the fish. We got chatting and found out he was a poet called Franco Cambria who came here every day for inspiration. He gave some bits of bread to Vicky to feed the fish who swarmed up on top of each other and out of the water to get their share. He said Vicky looked 'as happy as a child' sitting on the rock and watching the fish eat. He also cried out jokingly 'una balena' (a whale) as Will enthusiastically plunged into the pool for a second dip!
We took the longer walk back to the van, along the side of the cliff and watched a huge orange sun set over the water, while further round to the south large plumes of smoke were rising from Mount Etna, once again in silhouette 60km away. Later that evening we got a government notification that the volcano was erupting more frequently and the next day we read that 10 people, including BBC journalists had been injured in an eruption of hot rocks and grit just an hour before we saw it.
We found a large layby, not far away, to stay the night. We could see the sea far below on both sides and spent the rest of the evening trying to digest the fantastic experiences we'd had that day.Read more