Recently, CNN’s “Searching for Italy” by Stanley Tucci visited the mussels Farms in the la Spezia Bay of Poets, and tried the delicious seafood with local wine.
In La Spezia, mussels are called “Muscoli,”; a local word for the Italian “Cozze”. The story of the many mussels plants in the La Spezia seascape is one very tied to the local history.
La Spezia mussels breeding is one of the top activities in the La Spezia sea, drawing its borders with the farming awns and the stakes that emerge from the water near the dam and in the Portovenere channel.
In local enginery, taste, and economy, mussels and “muscolai” – the farms – are the most local La Spezia feature ever. Yet all was set off with Emmanuel Albano, an oyster farmer from Apulia.
From Taranto to Spezia, how Emanuele Albano chased the perfect “Cozza” and found the “Muscoli”.
In the late nineteenth century, Emanuele Albano was an oyster farmer in the Apulia town of Taranto (another city where mussel farming is classic).
Following the directions of two biologists and naturists (Professor Arturo Issel and Professor D. Carazzi), Albano tried to expand his business in the Gulf of La Spezia. The two researchers’ observations pointed at La Spezia as the ideal place for shellfish farming on the map.
In 1887, Mr. Albano set off the first mussels breeding in the Gulf of La Spezia. He obtained good results, so in 1890, he founded his new company, S.a.S. Albano & C.
The company went on, with ups and downs, for 15 years. Still, according to the chronicles, the production turned out being better than the Taranto one, especially for the specimen’s size and solidity of the shell.
THE MUSCOLI ARE A SUCCESS; THE TARANTINOS FOLLOW THE ALBANO, AND THEN … THERE CAME LA SPEZIA’S FARMERS
In the wake of what had been obtained from Albano, other oyster farmers from Taranto moved into the Gulf, creating a flourishing craft industry and a significant local business.
The success encountered by the mussels led to the creation of new nurseries, inside and outside La Spezia’s breakwater and the Portovenere channel.
Soon entered the La Spezia anglers in the field with the Carozzos, the Borios, the Guidis, Di Francescos, Godanis, Majolis, all names now widely spread in the local registers.
THE MUSSELS, BLACK GOLD IN THE LA SPEZIA BAY
Today, mussels farming is among the most established businesses in the local economy.
Recently joined by oysters, mussels farms stretch over 90 thousand square meters in the Gulf’s waters.