Pozzallo (33km from Ragusa; 18,000 inhabitants; 20m a.s.l.; zip code 97016, area code 0932) is the only coastal city of the province. It nestles in a beautiful and much frequented bay.
The importance of Pozzallo goes back to the 14th century, when it was a strategic military and commercial outpost for the County of Modica. The Count had a harbor built there, the so-called caricatore, around which the Scaro, the earliest quarter, soon grew up. This is one the most picturesque sides in town, thanks to its narrow, cosy streets. The modern city has grown on a modern orthogonal urban grid.
The origins of Pozzallo are mostly unknown. The recovery of ancient coins ranging in date from the 3rd through the 1st century BC provided evidence for the Byzantine and Roman presence in the area. Its fresh water reserves made it an important and obliged stop for vessels in the Mediterranean. The term Pozzallo right means “a well at the seaside”. During the Arab domination it became a refuge for Arabian warships, the so-called Dromoni. Because of continued raids by pirates, Giovanni Cabrera ordered the construction of a lookout tower alongside the Caricatore, that would be then called the Torre Cabrera. The works started in 1429; bathed by the sea and built with two metres’ thick walls, loop-holes and over thirty metres tall, the tower was fundamental to the protect the area. Over the years, both the Torre Cabrera and the Caricatore grew in importance, as far as the terrible earthquake that in 1693 razed Pozzallo to the ground. On 12 June 1829 Francis of Bourbon, King of the Two Sicilies, proclaimed Pozzallo’s autonomy from the Modica county. The importance of the Torre and the Caricatore would decline in the 19th century; the former was used as a military outpost during the World War I and is, today, regarded as a symbol of the city.
Pozzallo economy mainly relies on the summer tourism, fishing and agriculture; the carob output is particularly important, Pozzallo being a major National producer and exporter. Industry has much developed in recent years; many factories have grown across the area.
Pozzallo offers many attractions. The Torre Cabrera, built by Giovanni Bernardo Cabrera in 1429, is especially worth-seeing. Recently restored, it is now equipped to receive tourists. Rigth behind it, stands the Palazzo Musso, a beautiful building in the liberty-style, dating from 1926. The Villa Tedeschi, rising in the very town centre, is also worth-mentioning. A group of salty ponds, in the environs of Pozzallo, are a must-see for bird-watchers.