Pachino tomatoes may be more familiar to most of us as a type of tomato, but it is Italy's and Europe's most southern town, located in the province of Siracusa, Sicily.
It was founded in 1760 when Don Gaetano Starrabba, Prince of Giardinelli, obtained permission to build in the feudal zone of Scibini, then owned by Ferdinand IV, King of then Two Sicilies.
The first modern inhabitants came from Greece and later from Malta, but 'promontorium pachyni' was known to Homer and Virgilio and later as 'pachini portus' to the Romans.
The climate is dry and sunny and ideal for the production of wines, melons and, of course tomatoes.
The pachino tomato is crunchier, tastier and sweeter than most varieties and is the most important resource for the economy. There are, in fact, three strains.
The dried tomatoes of the area are known as 'pummaroru salatu' and the homemade concentrate 'strattu', both worth bringing home.
Also of note are the 'casereccio' bread, almond cookies, sesame seed 'torrone' and focaccia ''mpanate'.
Do visit the Oasi di Vendicari, a natural paradise and unique eco-system which has remained untouched for centuries. It was declared a nature reserve in 1984 and is a salty marshland of rocks and sand stretching all the way to Portopalo and Capo Passero.
From November it attracts thousands of migratory birds as they cross to Africa and throughout the winter the Oasi remains at its best thanks rising water levels.
The flora includes orchids and irises which transform to mirtle and dwarf palms away from the sea shores.
See also Sfinciune recipe