Lake Arancio is an unusual piece in the landscape of freshwater Sicily. It is an artificial basin built in the late ’40s of the previous century. More than 30 million cubic meters of water cover what remains of Fort Mazzallakkar, built by the Arabs in 830 AD, that reappears when the water level in the lake drops. It has a recent history of water skiing and speed boating races, abandoned in favor of peace and quiet. In 2000, in fact, is was turned into a nature reserve by the state, to be run by Lipu, the Italian League for Bird Protection. In this 400 hectare-wide reservoir, different species of migratory birds stop in spring and autumn, and grey herons and cormorants take refuge in winter. West of the lake lies the Risinata Forest, created at the same time of the dam, where the flora is typically Mediterranean: pines, cypresses, eucalyptuses, but also dwarf palms, holm and durmast oak trees. On the rocky cliffs, where the woodland has not taken root, you can find capers and wild asparagus. All around the basin there are the vineyards of the local wineries and from there, from the rows at the highest point beside the lake, you can see the sea which is just a stone’s throw away. Here one can also find fog, like nowhere else in Sicily.