Pescespada, world champions

Fishing for swordfish is an activity that dates back to the end of the 18th century and began almost by chance. At that time in Bagnara an intense shipbuilding activity took place. The Bagnaresi were expert navigators because the only possibility they had to communicate with the rest of the world was by sea. They had, therefore, an experience that had made the ship built there among the best in the Kingdom.

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Among other things, the city was surrounded by chestnut and jasmine woods. The Bagnaresi, on the other hand, had been very careful to treat the forest to extract raw materials that were commercialized using wood to build houses and boats. The Napoleonic wars had given this type of activity a significant boost by making those that today we could define the industrialists of the place become very rich. It was at the end of the eighteenth century that the “Feluca” was launched from the shipyards of Bagnara, a 24-meter twin-shaft with 24 oars. The requests became numerous also because real masterpieces came out of those shipyards. The canals were built with equipment that varied according to the requests of customers, just as today the cars come out of the factory in different versions. Today’s passerella has its ancestor in the palamitare built in the Bagnaresi shipyards for passenger transport from Calabria to Messina. Soon they were also used for fishing together with the fishing boats. But the real turning point was the construction of the deck, a very fast boat driven by 4 very long oars, very light and resistant to the powerful arms of the fishermen. Today’s passerelle are 12 to 14 meters long, have a 22-meter overhang and a 32-meter-tall tree. Once the prey has been identified, it is hit by the man positioned on the footbridge. The lance must strike before the spine to the height of the eye. The hit fish sinks, pulling behind the top. Then, exhausted, he stops and is hoisted on the boat. At this point begins the procedure that will bring it on our tables.

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