The beaches on the Ionian sea, where the Caretta Caretta sea turtle nest
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The Caretta Caretta turtles

The Riviera degli Angeli is immersed in a natural setting unlike any other, characterised by large expanses of wild nature imbued with a perfume of bergamot, by the steep cliffs that plunge into a deep and crystalline sea, and by its alternation of pebbly bays and long stretches of fine sand. These sites, in addition to being much loved by locals and tourists alike, are also the favourite nesting place for the “Caretta Caretta” turtles, commonly known as the loggerhead and the most common sea turtle species in the Mediterranean Sea, today being at risk of extinction.

The “Caretta Caretta” females, after having swum continuously for months and guided by their own instinct, emerge from the water to lay their eggs on the same beach on which they were born. They proceed to prepare a deep hole to contain a hundred white and perfectly-round eggs, piled in on top of each other. Once the eggs have been deposited, the mamma turtle covers the nest carefully, hiding all traces of her efforts. After about 45-50 days, warmed by the summer sun, the eggs hatch and the tiny turtles come out from the nest. An innate instinct pushes them towards the waters of the same sea that will guide them once more towards their beach birthplace to lay their own eggs some years later.

Today, several associations safeguard the Caretta Caretta sea turtle species – being environmentalists and biologists who patrol over 40 km of coastline looking for any traces left behind by the mother turtle, so as to identify and signal the nest. Those who frequent the beaches in this area have the opportunity to witness the hatching, a unique and thrilling event.

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