There’s a place in Sicily where you can hear the sea breathing.
We discovered it by chance, after a day at the beach near Syracuse. Our friend Filippo took us there at sunset. He didn’t know about it. All he knew was that it was a beautiful place to visit during that time of the day.
So, after a good time of heat and salt at Arenella Beach, we headed to the Lighthouse of Capo Murro di Porco, part of Plemmiro Sea Reservation, still working even if abandoned.
The area is decadent, fascinating and wild.
Once you get to the lighthouse, where you can also visit an abandoned structure just on its right side, reach for the big cliff that separates this structures from the sea, about thirty metres high and made of white, sharp rock.
Apparently, beautiful sea caves characterise this cliff, as well as an amazing sea life, which populates the surrounding depths and offers a super show to scubadivers and snorkelers. A good thing to keep in mind for my next visit!
The cliff is also characterised by deep cracks, that allow water to come all the way up to the surface and create small pools on the plain, rocky top. The floor is irregular, full of natural steps, sharp points and fissures. During coastal storms or when the sea is particularly animated, you can see rocks sneeze out incredible spurts of water.
The colours of the sunset here are simply breathtaking. Shades of pink, orange and blue alter nature’s normal hues, making them perfect for passionate photographers, or simply for those who like sitting on the cliff and admire one of the most beautiful sunsets.
Where the sea breathes.
I was wandering around the cliff, to explore the surrounding area and look for some nice points of view for my camera, when something “roared” behind my back. It wasn’t an actual roar, but you know the sound that dragons make in films when they sigh very hard? Well, the atmosphere was so relaxing and calm that it really gave me a start.
I turned, but I couldn’t see anything behind me. Can you imagine how baffled I was at that point?
Then I hear it again in the air, but my eyes can’t see anything. The sound is so spread that I can’t identify any specific source and my moment of bewilderment gets even more intense. My hearing can’t really adjust, nor orientate.
And then I hear it again. And…WOAH! It’s like a huge animal is breathing. Wait a minute, it comes form underneath my feet and yes, it is the sea taking its breaths and then exhaling them away.
I drop my hear on the rocky floor and I start listening. I promise you, hearing something so huge and so full and so alive breathing in and out is absolutely moving and life-changing. It’s like having the quintessential proof that Planet Earth is alive and actually breaths, even more than we do.
It has lungs and life and great resilience and sensitivity.
You can see a whole forest thriving, animals running around, waves crashing against a cliff, wind blowing in tiny canyons and mountains raising high above everything. But when you hear them breathing, it’s a whole other effect. It reminds you of life. It reminds you of protection and care.
So I hurried to call the others. “Hurry up! You can’t imagine what I’m hearing”. Of course they couldn’t imagine, in fact they took their time, while I kept following that sound until it became so strong I could even feel air coming out of the rock, caressing my hand.
Eventually they all arrived. And a bit of the same reaction happened with them as well. We were all so incredulous of what we’d just discovered.
So there we sat, soaking in the last lights of the day and that beautiful event, with that beautiful sound. I sat exactly where the breath came out, I closed my eyes and I tried to breath with it. The see breaths deeper and longer than we humans do. I couldn’t keep up with it. So I just kept on breathing together with it, each of us at their own pace, but both at peace.
Sometimes I go back to that moment, then I think about magic and I feel like magic happened on that day. I feel like it’s weird how we don’t believe magic and miracles and extraordinary things exist, even though they’re under our very eyes every day.
We keep looking for amazing things, pushing our creations to incredible limits, inventing unbelievable devices just for the sake of inventing them, as if they could be more incredible than this. I’m not saying that we should stop inventing and creating, but maybe we should stop doing it so fiercely. We can experience magic anytime we want, if we just wish for it. After all, nature is charming.
How to find the spot.
Of course, there is no sign of this spot and unfortunately I can’t be overly precise on how to find it. The directions I can give you are the following:
- Giving your back to the lighthouse, it’s on the left.
- It’s about three metres from the end of the cliff.
- Before the cliff ends, there’s a big step down, big enough to sit there.
- The point of view of the sport is roughly this one you can see in the photos below.
When you think you are close, open your ears and let them lead you!