Retoni at Boccadarno | Marina di Pisa

A few kilometres from Pisa and the central Piazza dei Miracoli, towards the sea, we find small palafittes that could be considered another icon of the Terre di Pisa: the “Retoni di Boccadarno”. These are characteristic wooden structures – designed and built by fishermen after the Second World War – that offer a unique panorama to those who live in and pass through Marina di Pisa.

©Guglielmo Giambartolomei

An amazing scenery

The Retoni are visible along Viale Gabriele D’Annunzio, arriving at the mouth of the River Arno (hence the name ‘Boccadarno’), with the pine forest of the Migliarino San Rossore Massaciuccoli Park on the right and the Port of Pisa on the left. The Apuan Alps complete the splendid scenery in the background.

Why we call them “Retoni”

Elsewhere in Italy they are called bilance or trabucchi: ‘Retoni’ is a Pisan dialect name.

These structures adopt a fishing system whereby the nets are immersed down to the seabed and then pulled up again after a few minutes. There are smaller 10×10 metre nets, but also larger 22×22 metre nets. It is no coincidence that they are called ‘Retoni’…

In the post-war years, fishing was an important source of income for the locals. Even today, some of these structures belong to fishermen who allow them to try their hand at this method of fishing.

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