Activities, History and museums
Alcamo Marina is a seaside resort in the north-western part of Sicily and in the town territory of Alcamo. It is situated 6 km far from it, about 5 km from the small town of Castellammare del Golfo and 16 km from the village of Scopello. Alcamo Marina is characterized by a very fine, golden sand beach about 7 km long, absolutely free (except for some little tracts that people can cross near hotels, lidos, etc.).
During the summer season Alcamo Marina is very populated: in fact there are a lot of holiday houses (both near the beach and on the hills overlooking it), a hotel and various bed and breakfast.
From east towards west, the territory of Alcamo Marina is subdivided in different "zones":
Alcamo Marina is crossed by the railway Palermo-Trapani, which runs near the beach. The railway bounds a narrow strip more downhill, nearer to the sea which is called "sotto linea" (that is "below the railway"), while the biggest part of Alcamo Marina’s territory is situated above the railway and is called "sopra linea"(that is "above the railway"). Pedestrians can cross the railway through different flyovers and subways, while cars and motorbikes can cross it through level crossings and an underpass near the Battigia zone.
The construction of the first buildings there was related to its being a location for tuna fishing.
At first sight the area of Alcamo Marina looks like a huge "wood of houses" leaning on the long and near beach and on the fragile hills lying behind made of recent limestones and sandstones.
At the end of the fifties and beginning of the sixties, as happened with the "sack of Palermo", this area was actually sacrificed to a big property speculation and to unauthorized building, with consequences which did not delay to arrive. In fact, in addition to the damage done because of the non-exploitation of this area for touristic purposes, there were also the environmental deterioration produced by the striking urban migration and the structural damages arising for the existing buildings, above all in those which had been built on the slopes with a high risk of hydrogeological instability, already showing widespread signs of structural failure which oblige the owners to frequent and expensive works to make their houses safe.
Several criticisms have been moved at the time to the choice of lotting out the waterfront to build, because it would have been more correct to make a choice for a promenade serving the bathing area with a limited number of private houses in favour of hotel facilities which would have been more profitable (both on short and long term) and would have given a huge economic and occupational return thanks to the characteristics of the surrounding territory and the length of this beach.
Besides, owing to the absence of an adequate sewer system and to a large number of unauthorized sinks, the sewage effluents of the houses are discharged into the sea and, for this reason, it is one of the most polluted part in the area of the Gulf of Castellammare. As a consequence, some tracts of the beach are prohibited to bathing.
On 27 January 1976 it occurred the so-called "Alcamo Marina's slaughter": two carabinieris, the nineteen years old Carmine Apuzzo and the lance-corporal Salvatore Falcetta, were killed while sleeping in the small post.
In 2011 they inaugurated a long wooden platform in Alcamo Marina, built in order to give an access to the beach to disabled people too. However it was destroyed by the winter sea storms and it has become the subject of debates.
Since June 2014, the streets of Alcamo Marina were provided by toponyms.
At Alcamo Marina there is the church of Santa Maria della Stella (also called "Stella Maris"), with a central body with a poliedric plan; you can go inside it by passing through a portal which is surmounted by a mosaic representing Santa Maria della Stella.
There is also an old small church near the Tonnara (in the Battigia area).
Near contrada Magazinazzi, further to the excavations made between 2003 and 2005, they found the remains of old Roman furnaces which were used for the production of tiles and bricks.
The territory of Alcamo Marina is full of fossil shells dating back to the Inferior Pleistocene and belonging to the geologic formation called "Sintema of Marsala". Some of the present species are: Artica islandica, Chlamis multistriata and Ostrea.
For this purpose, on 15th July 2014 at Alcamo Marina (in the Calatubo zone) they created a geologic point and a paleontologic laboratory called "Fossilandia".
The sea lily, a plant belonging to the Amaryllidaceae family blooming in summer, grows on the dunes of Alcamo Marina.
Other plants naturally growing on the coastal dunes in Alcamo Marina are Cakile maritima and Agropyrum junceum. The seeds of these plants are transported here by the wind.
As Alcamo Marina is a seaside resort, the main economic activities are based on entertainments and restoration (rented holidays houses, pizzerias, restaurants and bars).
By car - Alcamo Marina is served by the A29 Motorway Palermo-Mazara del Vallo with two junctions: Alcamo Est (at about 3 Km. distance) and Castellammare del Golfo (at about 4 Km.).
Trains - The raiway station of Castellammare del Golfo (at about 3 Km. from the centre of Alcamo Marina) is situated on the railway line Palermo-Trapani and is connected to Alcamo Marina and Alcamo by buses in the summer season.
Buses - The town bus Alcamo-Alcamo Marina runs since 15 June until September with different stopsf including the railway station. Besides there are coaches for Palermo and San Vito stopping at Alcamo Marina.
Alcamo Marina is at about 40 km. far from the airport "Falcone and Borsellino" at Palermo-Punta Raisi and about 50 km. from the airport "Vincenzo Florio" at Trapani-Birgi.