The delicious sea village of Marinucchio
is a quite classic fishermen village, even if nobody of the inhabitants
never went to sea fishing, since they are frightened by water
and nobody of them can swim.
Marinucchio has however a flourishing fish market, dealing in particular with anchovies, based on an ingenious activity of the villagers, who buy canned anchovies in oil, then drain and dry them, and they sell them as fresh ones.
Anyway the huge exchanges' level in the market does not generate high yields because both the vendors and the purchasers are villagers, and the anchovies which are exchanged are always the same ones, until they disintegrate themselves.
What to see
In the central square of the village can be admired the monument to the local hero, Marino Pinna, the first Marinucchiese who dared to defy the sea walking barefoot on the water line.
On the square rises also the parochial church dedicated to Saint Alice, patron of Marinucchio; inside the church is sheltered the sacred image of the "Virgin of the scales", venerated by the villagers as a protector of the fishermen, in the case that someone would decide to undertake this activity.
Miraculous powers are attributed to the sacred image, like the healing of a villager who in the 1908 had an thumb wounded by a can-opener.
In the right aisle of the church rises the statue of Saint Peter the fisherman, erected to thank for the liberation of the village from a insidious representative of canned tunny, who tried to corrupt the sound customs of Marinucchio, but thanks to the miraculous intervention of the Saint was unmasked and sent away.
The most important Marinucchiese popular festivity is the feast of Saint Alice, that culminates with the traditional ceremony of "Wedding of the sea", similar to the homonymous Venetian festivity. The doyen of the village, Felice Pesce, also known as "Magellan", the only one of the villagers who is not frightened by the water (even if it give him some trouble), goes at the end of Marinucchio pier, and drops into the sea one by one all the empty anchovy cans which have been opened in the past year, as a pledge of alliance with the sea.
Another popular feast of the village is April 1st, when jokes are played with anchovy cans, which are emptied out, and then filled up again with mackerels, delighting then in the astonishment of the victims of the joke as they open the cans.
For Easter the village celebrates the end of the Lent period, with its abstinence from meat, and the villagers exchange the Easter eggs with surprise, that have the particularity to be opened with the key.
For Christmas, instead, the families gather around the traditional tree, with its characteristic fish-bone shape, and gifts are exchanged.
The Marinucchiese handicraft is famous in the region for its jewels (necklaces, earrings, rings, bracelets), made with anchovy-bones.
Other likeable objects are the fancy boxes made with empty anchovy cans, the lovely tiny plush anchovies and the funny T-shirts bearing writings like "Herrings? No, thanks!" or "Fish you were here".
In Marinucchio the availability of fish gastronomic specialties is limited to the periods in which the boats re-enter from the fishings, and therefore it is extremely improbable.
The main course of the Marinucchiese cooking are cakes: in particular anchovy meringues, anchovy tiramisù, anchovy pudding and strawberries and anchovies tart.
Other specialty of the country, famous in the world, is the Acciughello, an anchovy liqueur, with miraculous digestive properties.
In Marinucchio takes place the most important world-wide fair for collectors of canned anchovies in oil, and moreover the annual trade-fair "Fieralice" to which the most important cannery industries of the fishery sector take part.
The Marinucchiese hospitality is some improved as the villagers began to use tooth-paste for their dental hygiene, instead of anchovy paste. To organize boat trips it's however advisable to address to the other villages of the coast.