Chris Caravella's Virtual Tour of Ustica

The Marine Reserve

The Marine Reserve is an organization which maintains the coast and sub-acqueous park much like the Park Service here in the U.S.  They provide general information, run daily boat excursions for tourists and maintain the acquarium and swimming areas. 

The acquarium has a great collection of local species.  It's a must see if you plan to snorkel or scuba dive.  The entrance fee is $2.75.

The acquarium and swimming area across from the Spalmatore tower.  The scoglie here also form a protected area great for snorkeling.  The water is refreshingly cool but not too cold.  The pebbly beach and paved areas warm you right up when you get out of the water.   This is a typical European beach with topless women sunbathers, men in tiny bikinis and young children running naked.  When in Rome ....


Millions of tiny fish is the best way to describe the underwater scene here again at the acquarium swimming area.  The fish have no fear of humans so they are right up against your body.  I counted about 5 species, some of which were very colorful.  Also, there were lots of sea anemones, sea urchins and small snails.  The water does get deep in some areas but there are plenty of shallows where you can scurry along the bottom by hand.  Yes, I am a snorkel whimp.


The sub-acqueous park contains many archeological remains which are tagged and mapped for easy touring.

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