The cast was exclusively composed of non-professional actors. They were genuine fishermen and inhabitants of Aci Trezza (Sicily). The credits do not name any of the actors, who are collectively listed as "Pescatori Siciliani" (Sicilian Fishermen).
All places mentioned in the film are real, as would be expected. Aci Trezza is a village on the western coast of Sicily, just north of the larger city of Catania (capital of Catania province). It is part of the Cyclops coast area. The rocks seen in the harbour were reputedly thrown by the Cyclops, Polyphemus, at Ulysses as he fled. Cannizzaro is an inland village midway between Aci Trezza and Catania. Capo Mulini is north of Aci Trezza. Siracusa is the capital of the Siracusa Province and is south of Aci Trezza. Bari, Taranto and La Spezia are coastal cities on mainland Italy, and Antonio would be familiar with them from his service as a sailor; in particular, La Spezia which is a major naval port.