On Tuesday, after classes had ended, we traveled to the coast to visit a traditional trabocco. Trabocchi date back to the 1700s. They are complex structures made of pine logs, designed to allow fishermen to catch fish even in rough seas. A large net is suspended from the antennae of the trabocco. The fishermen would lower the antennae to drop the empty net into the water. When the timing was right, they would then raise it filled with their catch. These days, the trabocchi are no longer used for commercial fishing, but have been restored because of their historical importance. Some have been converted into restaurants.
When we got to the trabocco the owner, Rinaldo, spoke to us about the history of the coast and these amazing fishing machines. He then lowered the net into the water. As we waited for the fish to swim past, we were served fresh bread, lemon infused olive oil, and orange marmalade on waffles. Not a bad afternoon.
After 30 minutes had past, Rinaldo and one of our students pulled our catch out of the water.
Once the net is elevated, the sardines are pulled onto the trabocco with a small net attached to a rope.