At the foot of the Tindari promontory is the characteristic lagoon of the “Laghetti di Marinello” which together with the lakes of Ganzirri (me) constitute the last examples of brackish coastal environment in north-eastern Sicily.
It is believed that the formation of the lagoon area dates back to about 100 years ago, between 1865 and 1895, due to particular tectonic processes and also to the singular meteo-marine conditions present along this strip of coast. The lagoon area is located within the “Laghetti di Marinello Oriented Natural Reserve” established in 1998 and managed by the Regional Province of Messina.
Inside the Reserve, which extends for about 380 hectares, there is a remarkable variety of environments: it goes from the brackish lake environments to the coastal marine sands, to the steep slopes and to the areas overlooking the sea.
There is also an enchanting natural cavity: the Cave of Donna Villa, difficult to reach because it overhangs the sea, inside which there are formations of stalactites, stalagmites and columns.
An ancient legend tells that in this cave lived a sorceress enchantress (like the sorceress circe of Homer) who, after attracting the sailors to herself with her sublime song, freed them by devouring them. If a prey escaped her, the sorceress vented her immense anger against the walls of the cave, sinking her fingers with all her strength. The sorceress’s name was Donna Villa and only a few could have escaped them!