Ganzirri Lake, located in Sicily, is a picturesque coastal lake also known as Pantano Grande. The name seems to derive from the Arabic gadir, meaning ‘swamp, quagmire’, or from the Arabic khanzir, meaning ‘swine’, in reference to places for wild boar that existed in antiquity.
It is is fed by groundwater and several streams that flow into it, so the salinity level varies greatly between summer and winter. Two canals allow the entry of water from the sea and are kept open or closed according to the need to oxygenate the water, which tends to become eutrophic.
In the lake in recent years there have often been large fish die-offs due to the sulphur dioxide present developed by a bacterium that emerges when the water is stirred up by opening and closing the channels.
The lake has been declared an asset of ethno-anthropological interest as it is the historical site of traditional production activities related to mussel farming and telliniculture.
Today it is entirely surrounded by a densely urbanised area, but it is equally a place of extraordinary beauty.