There are places where history seems to exhale and evoke ancient glories, where unspoilt nature stands out, where the sea meets the sky and forms a unique view. These places belong to the privileged and evocative spots of the Mediterranean Sea and strips of land to discover and love. This is the Marine Protected Area "Capo Rizzuto", whose establishment is intended to preserve a distinctive section of coast that from an environmental point of view, is characterized by a 40 km stretch of small coves, and a seabed to be protected for its vast and rich archaeological heritage.
Inside, three areas of Integral Reserve have been identified, and classified as the A Zone, corresponding to stretches of sea surrounding Capo Colonna, Capo Cimiti, and Capo Bianco, where there is a very rigid protection regime.
The B Zone, the General Reserve, which includes the stretch of sea from Capo Donato up to the eastern limit of Vercillo Barco. Here, swimming, guided underwater tours, scuba diving regulated by the managing authority, navigation with sailing and motor boats are allowed.
Finally, there is the C Zone, the Partial Reserve, comprising the remaining part of the sea within the perimeter of the AMP, where the activities planned for the B Zone are permitted.
The AMP is a place to love and respect, but also to live. The beauty of its flora and fauna can be admired at the Aquarium Capo Rizzuto. Tourists must visit the twenty tanks containing fish and marine organisms in order to discover their habits and some curiosities regarding the marine environment. Glances, salps, sea anemones, sea breams, groupers are the guests of the Aquarium, which is equipped with a multimedia room, where it is possible to follow educational courses and specific studies, with the help of projections and movies.
The Aquarium is also the Marine Environmental Education Centre (CEAM) Centro di Educazione all'Ambiente Marino (CEAM), the place where environmental education initiatives for young people, which aim at creating a renewed eco-friendly consciousness are held, and the centre of recovery and rescue of the Caretta caretta turtle.
On board of glass bottom boats or with underwater viewing, it is possible to observe the seabed life, admire the fish and the variegated algae, and come across shoals of barracudas. Relying on the professionalism of the local divers, visitors can go diving and appreciate the seabed full of life, colours and shapes. Worth visiting is the imposing Aragonese Castle in Le Castella, one of the most representative monuments of Calabria, built on the sea during the 13th century.
The seabed is characterized by large expanses of Poseidonia Oceanica, an ideal refuge for many marine species: groupers, barracudas and parrotfishes. Often dolphins and Caretta Caretta turtles are spotted, which have increased after the construction of the marine area.