Something’s Fishy in Senigallia

Fresh Catch of the Day - Senigallia, Italy | ©Tom Palladio Images

It’s barely past first light and the fishing boats and trawlers are already returning home safely from their overnight runs far out in the Adriatic Sea. Maneuvering into their assigned spots, engines are cut, anchors dropped and the start of another fish market morning gets underway around a small back harbor of Senigallia’s larger seaport along central Italy’s coastline that fronts the Marche region. ALL HANDS ON DECK!

Pitbull’s signature mega-hit Don’t Stop The Party clashes with the rising sun as the decibel level screams out from a large speaker tied to the mast of either the Vulcano, Zodiaco or one of the other weather-beaten pescherecci. It’s hard to tell as the music is so fill-in-the-blank LOUD.

Sea-fairin’ skippers hand over the fruits of their crews’ overnight labors to fish mongers ready to sell the saltwater bounty from their stands to eager customers just a mooring-line toss away.

Second mates stay busy on deck inspecting the nets, cleaning and repairing as they go, readying one of the primary tools of the pescatori trade for yet another tour-of-duty out in the pitch-black darkness.

Seagulls flock to the marketplace, grab their vantage point and await the meager leftovers to be tossed overboard. Then, they pounce.

With so many levels of participation involved in getting the fresh catch-of-the day to market, it’s no wonder why “chicken of the sea” costs so much.

©The Palladian Traveler

Borsalino w/ props SMALL | ©Tom Palladio Images




  1. Tom, I like the way to often have somehow hong on the foreground of your photo as a focal point. And you always capture the rich colors that are around you.


  2. I really appreciated this story as I am doing a documentary on it (yes….on the pescatori of Senigallia with a particular focus on gap between the old generation of fishermen and the new one) . Your pictures are very inspiring!!

    1. Isa — Interesting. What I can tell you is that the older fisherman enjoy the peace and quiet of the morning to tend to the repairing of the nets when the boats are docked, while the younger generation of pescatori, at least those that I observed, like it loud around the harbor as the rap music blaring out from the speakers drowned everything else out. Good luck with your documentary.

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