Near the mouth of the Cassibile River, between Avola and Syracuse, along the east coast of Sicily, lies the Spiaggia della Marchesa (Beach of the Marquise), best known as the Spiaggia del Gelsomineto or ‘A Marchisa’, as this area was the seaside resort of the Marquises of Cassibile.
This bay of fine white sand, bathed by a crystal-clear sea, is an unspoilt and picturesque oasis surrounded by the Pineta del Gelsomineto, so called because jasmine trees also grow there. The dense maritime pine forest lies directly on the edge of the beach and also offers a picnic area and a pay car park. At the ends of the small gulf, green limestone cliffs rise up. The beach is therefore protected from the winds and the sea is almost always calm.
North of the pine forest is the Mouth of the Cassibile River, which marks the border between the municipalities of Avola and Siracusa. The area has a rich marine fauna consisting of bass, eels and mullet, as well as hosting migratory birds such as herons, ducks and flamingos in certain seasons.
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