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The Isca Rocks

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SURROUNDINGS

The Isca Rocks

The Isca Rocks are home to seagulls, Spanish dancers and sometimes herons too. And during the migratory seasons, you can also see dolphins swimming by.

The two Isca Rocks rise up from the water in the enchanting stretch of sea between Amantea and Belmonte Calabro, just a few hundred metres from the coast. The smaller of the two, that furthest south, is called Isca Piccolo (Little Isca), while the larger, to the north, is Isca Grande (Big Isca).

Already famous in the days of Homer, the two rocks, the remains of an ancient promontory which formed the north side of the Gulf of Amantea, give their name to a Regional Marine Park managed by a specially appointed Park Authority, set up by the Region of Calabria under regional law no. 12/2008, with the aim of preserving one of the most beautiful marine environments on the Tyrrhenian coast, and with the particular intent of making people aware of the nature that lives there and ensuring that it is respected.

The fascinating reserve stretches all around these rocks, which stand on the seabed twenty metres below the surface.

The perfect destination for those who love diving between Mediterranean reefs and rocks, the Isca Rocks were known by many names in ancient times: Insule Oenotrides or Pietre Planete in the works of Homer, as well as Tillesii Scopuli or the Lea Rocks. Evidence of their existence is found in the oldest of all Calabrese maps and prints, created by Prospero Parisi from Cosenza, as well as in 17 th century publications by Italian cartographer Giovanni Antonio Magini, and in the late 18 th century Maritime Atlas of the Kingdom of Naples.

The Isca Rocks are home to seagulls, Spanish dancers and sometimes herons too. And during the migratory seasons, you can also see dolphins swimming by.

The meeting between submerged rocks and a stretch of sand has given life to very varied marine flora and fauna. Lots of different animals can be found here: the dusky grouper (symbol of the Park), the common hermit crab, sea anemones, the red scorpion fish, the sea urchin, starfish, moray eel and many more. The sand provides home to a large stretch of oceanic seagrasses, subject to progressive regression due to the extensive deposit of detritus, as well as meadows of sea daisies, spirographs and sponges. Beyond the reserve, faraway in the distance, frequent glimpses of the island of Stromboli create a landscape of rare beauty and atmosphere.

To reach the area, take the SS18 Tirrenica inferior, driving in from the north and, when you reach Belmonte Calabro, follow the road signs. When arriving from the south, take the motorway and exit at Falerna (CZ), continuing to drive on the northbound road for 18 km until you reach Belmonte Calabro.

Or more information, visit the official website of the Isca Rock Regional Marine Park.

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THE AMANTEA SEASIDE

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