Marina di Caronia-Sicilia
|Caronia (Latin: Calacte or Cale Acte) is a town and comune on the north coast of Sicily, in the province of Messina, about half way between Tyndaris (modern Tindari) and Cephaloedium (modern Cefalù). The town has 3,555 inhabitants.
Calacte derived its name from the beauty of the neighboring country; the whole of this strip of coast between the Montes Heraei and the sea being called by the Greek settlers from an early period, the Fair Shore (? ???? ???? he Kale Akte).
Its beauty and fertility had attracted the particular attention of the Zanclaeans, who in consequence invited the Samians and Milesians (after the capture of Miletus by the Persians, 494 BCE) to establish themselves on this part of the Sicilian coast. Events, however, turned their attention elsewhere, and they ended with occupying Zancle itself. (Herod. vi. 22, 23.)
At a later period the project was resumed by the Sicilian chief Ducetius, who, after his expulsion from Sicily and his exile at Corinth, returned at the head of a body of colonists from the Peloponnese; and having obtained much support from the neighbouring Siculi, especially from Archonides, dynast of Herbita, founded a city on the coast, which appears to have been at first called, like the region itself, Cale Acte, a name afterwards contracted into Calacte. (Diod. xii. 8, 29.)
The new colony appears to have risen rapidly into a flourishing town; but we have no subsequent account of its fortunes. Its coins testify its continued existence as an independent city previous to the period of the Roman dominion; and it appears to have been in Cicero's time a considerable municipal town. (Cic. in Verr. iii. 4. 3, ad Fam. xiii. 37.) Silius Italicus speaks of it as abounding in fish, littus piscosa Calacte (xiv. 251); and its name, though omitted by Pliny, is found in Ptolemy, as well as in the Antonine Itineraries; but there is considerable difficulty in regard to its position. The distances given in the Tabula Peutingeriana, however (12 M. P. from Alaesa, and 30 M. P. from Cephaloedium), coincide with the site of the modern town of Caronia, on the shore below which Fazello tells us that ruins and vestiges of an ancient city were still visible in his time.
Cluverius, who visited Caronia, speaks with admiration of the beauty and pleasantness of this part of the coast, littoris excellens amoenitas et pulchritudo, which rendered it fully worthy of its ancient name. (Cluver. Sicil. p. 291; Fazell. i. p. 383; Tab. Peut.; Itin. Ant. p. 92; where the numbers, however, are certainly corrupt.)
The celebrated Greek rhetorician Caecilius of Calacte, who flourished in the time of Augustus, was a native of Calacte (or, as Athenaeus writes it, Cale Acte), whence he derived the surname of Calactinus. (Athen. vi. p. 272.)
Appliances, starting with a television and evidently including a cooker and vacuum cleaner, were reported to catch fire spontaneously. Fires also struck wedding presents and a piece of furniture, the type of which is unknown. One article also claimed that a water pipe caught fire, though this report seems dubious.
At least one person, either a police officer or, according to one report, a scientist, was said to have observed an unplugged electrical cable ignite while he was directly observing it. ENEL, the Italian power utility, cut off the town's power supply, but the outbreaks continued.
Authorities seemed to agree that some sort of electrical anomaly was responsible, and many experts traveled to Caronia to investigate. A few people have blamed volcanic oddities, others speculate that someone was intentionally creating an electrical phenomenon for nefarious ends, possibly including a con on the villagers, with a Tesla-type Magnifying Transmitter or similar device. (Although this raises the question of why the villagers have not heard the thunderous noise produced by it, unless it is very well hidden indeed, and the fact that no attempt at extortion has yet been reported seems odd.)
The phenomenon abated, but began again in April of 2004. By August, it appeared to be gone for good. The cause remains unknown, but some electrical improvements were apparently made to the village's power system.