An enchanting spot near Ragusa, Sicily, Punta Secca offers lovely landscapes and clear seas. As its name implies, it rests on a point, but it's anything but dry - there are beaches to both sides of the town and a marina that attracts cruising boats as well as the local fishing fleet. The setting is picture-perfect - so much so that the Italian network RAI uses Punta Secca as a film set for its popular Inspector Montalbano series. The town stands in for the fictional "Marinella" as Sicily's seaside setting for the detective books written by Andrea Camilleri that have been adapted into TV movies. If you watch the shows, you'll get a taste for the area and be able to easily locate the "casa di Montalbano" on the seafront.

Punta Secca has a long history as a fishing village and more recently as a beach destination. It is highlighted by its tall white lighthouse that anchors the point and stands guard over the port, defining the town's skyline. White washed buildings and splashes of pastel make it a pretty village. There are seafront restaurants and miles of beaches to walk along. Outside of towns, dunes of sand are sprinkled with a variety of broom that has white fragrant flowers, a type that arrived here on the wind from Tunisia. The marina also sees an influx of visiting pleasure boats moored alongside the fishing fleet. Come down early in the morning to see what the fishermen have caught and pick up some fresh seafood for the day's meals. The piazza nearby hosts concerts in the summer in the shadow of the lighthouse; year-round it is the primary gathering place for the townspeople.

While it's small, Punta Secca has enough shops, outdoor cafes and restaurants to enjoy. There is a tower from the 1500s, a remnant of the old coastal defense system that helped warn of possible pirate raids and Saracen attacks on the shores. Unfortunately, the historic Torre Scalambri has been covered by a drab cement but its easy to see its old features and the part it played in protecting Punta Secca.

Punta Secca is administratively part of the town of Santa Croce di Camerina, just five kilometers inland. The provincial capital of Ragusa is only about 30 kilometers away. You can visit the magnificent Greek ruins of Agrigento or Siracusa (Syracuse) from here while enjoying the old fishing town atmosphere and the clean water.

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