Trabucchi Gargano

Bulding techniques of a traditional Trabucco

The Desk

Rectangular-shaped, desk of a traditional Trabucco is the space where the big net is stored and from where is lowered into the sea. It's also the place where, waiting for fish coming, old fishermen of trabucco meditate on life and discuss with some good glass of wine.

It has a specific dimension (7 meters width and 7,50 meters lenght) and the longest side is always parallel to the costline.

To support it there are from 16 to 25 timbers, rigorously of Aleppo Pine wood, cutted and then axed during waning moon periods to reduce quantity of water in them and in order to make them more resistant to sea water.

Associazione Trabucchi

“Sepponde” (that's how they are called in local dialect) are then inserted in holes previously made in to the rocky ground close to the edge.

The desk is then equiped with “ciucce” (two special wooden made capstans that lift and lower the big nets of a Trabucco), “casotto” (a shed where nets and fishing equipment are stored) and “vracir” (a barbecue where to grill some fresh fish waiting for the next hunt).


Every traditional Trabucco has two special captans called, in local dialect, “Ciucce”.

They are side by side and are placed, entering in a Trabucco, in the first half of the desk area (the half directely on the rocky ground).

Probably, between the many components of a traditional trabucco, Ciucce are not the most eye-catching but, on the other hand, they are for sure the most essential.

Associazione Trabucchi

Ciucce, indeed, trough the long “Antennas” suspended on the sea, lift up the big net (that is 600 square meters and can weigh up to several tons when the fish is catched. That is also why natural tree trunk poles for making Ciucce have to be of large diameter.

During a Trabucco building, poles for Ciucce are shaped and prepared down on the rocky ground and, only once finished, lifted on the desk by at least four men.

Once on the desk, poles are fixed vertically to the ground on handcrafted wood bearings, are equipped with 2 or 4 arms (depending on the “school of thought” of the master craftsmen building the Trabucco) and wraped up with ropes that will lift the net.


Every Trabucco in Gargano has two big masts on wich the two long antennas are fixed and that support the weight of the big square net.

Because they support a heavy weight, they have to be of pitch-pine wood, 15 to 18 meters high, and, preferably, made of only one unique big trunk. If it's not possible to find such high tree, it is common to attache to the final part of the main mast a second part of the same wood.

Associazione Trabucchi

As the “sepponde” (vertical poles that support the desk), also masts are inserted in big holes directely in the rocky ground. To lift them to vertical position using “Ciucce”, an elaborate system of ropes and pulleys is used.

Perfect uprightness of the masts is essential for the proper working of the whole fishing machine and that's why, only the most expert master craftsmen are allowed to literally climb along the masts to correct their right tilt angles.

Associazione Trabucchi

To the masts, as already wrote, antennas are fixed at the same height of the desk. Iron wires are fixed in to the ground, passed over the masts and fixed again at 1/3, 2/3 and at the final part of antennas.

For obvious reasons (see pictures), also in this case only the most experienced (and bravest) master craftsmen are allowed to climb up to the top of the masts.

Please note: We are working to complete the contents of this page up to a complete explanation on how a traditional Trabucco is builded.

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