Milazzo’s natural pools

Nicknamed ‘Piscina di Venere’ by the locals, this natural pool enjoys a privileged position by Cape Milazzo’s northernmost tip. A must-see on a visit to this enchanting natural reserve.

Milazzo’s natural pools

Nicknamed ‘Piscina di Venere’ by the locals, this natural pool enjoys a privileged position by Cape Milazzo’s northernmost tip. A must-see on a visit to this enchanting natural reserve.

STORY BY TOMMASO RAGONESE

PHOTOGRAPHS BY MARCO CRUPI

Amidst old noblemen’s estates and villas, olive groves ending on the edge of rocky cliffs and prickly pears competing bitterly with bramble bushes for countryside corners of little interest to men, Cape Milazzo’s natural reserve is an ideal late-afternoon promenade destination.

What better way to end the stroll with a dip in a natural pool located at the Cape’s tip, the perfect spot to enjoy a lavish sunset on the Aeolian Islands? Venus’ Pool, or Piscina di Venere, as it is commonly referred to by the locals, is a must-see for ambitious hikers, aspiring naturalists and sunset lovers alike.

Take us at our word: we were there during our Around Sicily in Eighty Days project, and we could not help but being beguiled by the Cape’s atmosphere.

How to get to Venus’ Pool

Head northwest on Via Francesco Crispi and take a right at the intersection with Via Sant’Antonio. Keep going straight on the SP72 until Piazza Belvedere. Park here (parking is free) and enjoy a view of the western shores of Cape Milazzo. You may also want to visit the nearby Saint Anthony’s Sanctuary, a cave turned church in 1575, before heading towards Venus’ Pool. Below you will find a GPS track from Piazza Belvedere to the pool.

On the trail snaking through Cape Milazzo’s natural reserve you will find yourself surrounded by mediterranean shrubland. The lighthouse towers over a magnificent olive grove: find your way to the eastern edge of the grove for a great view of the rocky cliffs beneath the lighthouse. Further down the trail there is another panoramic point overlooking the Bay of Saint Anthony; in the distance, you can still catch sight of the Castle.

The stairway leading to Venus’ Pool stretches down for about 250 metres. It’s an easy descent for adults and children alike, though caution must be taken as barriers are in place in the first section only.

As you begin the descent, you will notice an old tower: it was part of one of Milazzo’s numerous tuna fisheries, now abandoned.

Venus’ Pool will be waiting at the bottom of the stairs, surrounded by rocks and crags. Water seeps in at high tide and is retained at low tide, thus avoiding stagnation. The pool is shallow and the water warm: an ideal spot for a quick dip.

Arriving here in the late afternoon will set you up for an unforgettable sunset on the Aeolian Islands. From West to East, Alicudi, Filicudi, Vulcano, Lipari and Salina will lure you into taking a ferry over. On your way back to Piazza Belvedere, we suggest you take the coastal trail through the old fishermen settlement instead of walking back the same way: it’s only about 1km long and not steep at all.

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