HAMLET SAN GIORGIO
The hamlet of San Giorgio is situated to the east of Gioiosa Marea, beyond the Rock of Capo Calavà. In the past the economy was based on fishing, but today it is based on tourism, thanks to our beaches, sea and the natural characteristics of our place.
Tindari – Cefalù – Palermo – Messina –
Places close to San Giorgio
History and culture of San Giorgio are identified with the ones of the Tonnara, whose first information dates back to XII century. The Tonnara of San Giorgio extends towards Mar Tirreno, to the north-east of the city of Messina. On the 27 June 1407, according to a writing of the King Martino, the stretch of sea named Sancti Georgii was donated in Feudum to Berengario Orioles, who was famous for dropping the first Tonnara. Moreover, he kept the Tonnara until 1584, when Don Cesare Orioles – last baron of the family – died.
Events in San Giorgio
In 1600 Don Cesare’s daughter, Donna Flavia, married Don Mastro Paolo who inherited the barony and the Tonnara of San Giorgio. The last baron of the Mastro Paolo dinasty was Don Giovanni. In 1720 the Tonnara was donated to the Convent of Saint Francis of Assisi of Palermo and, hereinafter, it was given to different tenants, beause there weren’t any heirs. Anyway, the Tonnara was abandoned soon because the had not enough money and so it remained closed until 1751.
In this year the Tonnara was bought by Cesare Mariano D’Amico, who became Baron of San Giorgio and who died five years later. The firstborn of D’Amico family, Cesare Francesco Carlo, inherited the Tonnara.
During the years, Francesco Paolo – an expert in the tuna fishing sector – wrote a script called Osservazioni pratiche intorno alla pesca, corso e cammino dei tonni in 1816; this was the period of major prosperity for the Tonnara. Indeed, thanks to the cove of the Tonnara, the hamlet originates, since fishers and people coming from the surroundings reached it. Later, also the citizens of Gioiosa Guardia – the ancient city situated on the Mount Meliuso – established there and, consequently, San Giorgio was born.
Ruins of the ancient Tonnara
In 1783, after the end of the Saracen invasions, the most politically and economically powerful group of Gioiosa Guardia went to “Ciappe di Tono”, that is Gioiosa Marea; while a small group went to “Chiano Puntino”, that is San Giorgio. The richness of the nature of this hamlet favoured the development of a prosperous economy based on fishing and tuna processing, creating in this way several job opportunities.
In May tunas lay eggs in the gulf of Patti, which are protected by the mediterranean seagrass and our warm waters. For this reason the tuna fishing was the main source of sustenance for people of the new hamlet and for many years the Tonnara was leader in the fishing market. Over the years the economic and historic progress led to a change in the fishing sector and the town became a touristic destination with several places rich of nature, arts, story and culture. For this reason citizens created different B&B, hotels, restaurants to offer tipical products and orginize events which are inspired by our traditions and culture.