The Trabucchi of the Gargano

Trabucchi, very ancient fishing tools, are widespread along the entire coast from Vieste to Peschici (where there is no promontory on which one of these gigantic fishing machines does not rise). They are protected by the Gargano National Park and have returned to activity thanks to the enhancement of some institutions, individuals and associations that have adopted them to safeguard this aspect of the Gargano tradition.

Unfortunately many trebuchets have been destroyed over time, but some remain in good condition (see map). Born in ancient times for the need to get a living in safety from a sea source of livelihood but also of danger, between shipwrecks, storm surges and pirate raids that characterized the life of the inhabitants of the seaside villages in past centuries, the trebuchet of the Gargano it has become one of the symbols of the Gargano coastal civilization and a perfect subject for local artists and craftsmen.
These rudimentary and atypical fishing tools, built with empirical techniques by simple men, today seem to want to tell us modern men the atavistic poetry of a time now dissolved.
The structure of a trebuchet consists of an imposing construction made of structural wood which consists of a platform jutting out into the sea anchored to the rock by large Aleppo pine trunks, from which two (or more) ) long arms, called antennas, which support an enormous narrow-mesh net called a trap, which exploits the confluence of sea currents to trap the fish and from a table, a wooden surface in the center of which stands the hut, the actual heart where the fisherman goes early in the morning and waits to retrieve the net with the fruit of the peach.

The term “Trabucco” is perfectly dialectal, but has followed a certain Italianization; it is thought to derive from the Latin “Trabs – Trabis” which means wood, beam or tree. The affinity to the Latin term is acceptable since the Trabucco is a system almost entirely built of wood, therefore of trees and beams. One of the most fascinating Trabucchi, due to its position, is located on the rocks of Punta San Francesco, going down the stairs to the right of the church.


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