Pozzallo was the favourite landing place of Roman and Byzantine ships. The ships used to draw in to the pier and take fresh water from the numerous wells in the town. This was the town of the V century B.C, but Pozzallo is still today one of the most important landing places in East Sicily. Its harbour is a big facility used by the whole province, thousands of visitors land in this harbour, every year tons of raw materials and goods from the industrious Hyblaean land are shipped from here. It is the only Municipality of the province which stands on the seabord, in a coast between the Mediterranean sea and the valleys of the Hyblaean plateau. The coast spreads out from Punta Raganzino to the shores of Marza. The etymology of Marza comes from the name which the Arab Historian Edrisi, who lived in the XII century choose for Pusalo: Marsa As Deramini, that is "harbour of Dromons ". The dromons were the Christian galleys which threw Greek fire: a mixture of saltpetre, sulphur and pitch against the Muslim ships which raided the Mediterranean sea.
It was the archaeologist Paolo Orsi, a great discoverer of prehistoric Sicily, who brought to light the findings proving the Roman and Byzantine presence in the territory. The inviting geographical position of this nucleus encouraged settlements since the most remote ages. Burial grounds and Roman coins have been discovered. "Pozzallo" means " a well at the seaside" but the most ancient name is Pausis alos which means "landing at the sea" which was then changed to Pussalo. After the Saracens domination the ancient etymology was kept until the fifteenth century when in a document was mentioned the name "Alpusalli" which all over the centuries has undergone various phonetic transformations up to the final term sanctioned by the Chart of the Reign of Sicily in 1721.
The Cabrera Tower: " The petrified Sentry"
This terrace sloping down to the
sea, called the "petrified sentry" of the
Mediterranean is the symbol of Pozzallo and it is the
only architectural trace of the fifteenth century which
is proudly standing. Among all the ramparts built to
contrast the Saracens invasions of the Hyblaean
territory the Cabrera tower was the most imposing and the
one. It was built in 1492 by the Earl of Modica Don
Giovanni Bernardo Cabrera who put into practise his
fathers idea to erect a military tower to protect
the inhabitants; the King of Sicily Alphonso V of Aragon
gave his assent for this project Nearby the tower there
was once a landing place for merchant ships about which
the Sicilian historian Tommaso Fazello writes:
a very big tower made by Bernardo Incaprera,
which is called Pozzallu and is lapped on by the sea, a
lot of wheat is shipped from here and only sixty miles
separate this land from Malta". The tower keeper was
the Master of the Port, hard and merciless when he
carried out his administrative duties; he separated the
wheat destined to people from the wheat destined to the
tax payment for the county; but he could even be generous
with the lords of the manors. The severe structure of the
tower and the landing place reflected the atmosphere of
fear and resignation but were also the symbol of economic
progress and a spur to increase trade and cultural and
"Pozzallo is a town full of terraces Terraces! With tile or cement floors and iron railings, silent and modest witnesses of summer and country blazes, witnesses of the joy of bystanders and the looks of passers-by "(Raffaele Poidomani, 1954)
The most beautiful place of the town planning scheme is Piazza delle Rimembranze, with its Mediterranean palm-trees drawing the perimeter of the square and decorating the twentieth century palaces that look on to it. We can see the beautiful Liberty buildings and the 1845 Palazzo Musso, with its arcades, that opens on the square on the one side and to the the Tower on the other side, Palazzo Giunta with a balustraded terrace and the 1868 Palazzo Pandolfi.