Pantelleria

Pantelleria is known as the black pearl of the Mediterranean.

It is full of colors and contrasts. There are cobalt blue seas, rocky landscapes, black cliffs of volcanic rock, and lush vineyards that have conquered the country side. And the food is an explosion of African flavors veiled in middle-eastern atmospheres.

The island was conquered many times throughout the centuries, but it was the Arabs, who lived there between 800a.c and 1000a.c, that left the most noticeable signs of their presence. You find it from the names of the towns like Khamma, Karuscia, Bukkuram to the architecture of the typical home constructions called dammusi to the introduction of new crops such as cotton and sugar cane. Their influence is still present today, in the life of the islanders.

Pantelleria is 14 Km long and 9 Km wide, and it is the 5thlargest Italian island. It is 110 Km away from Sicily and only 70 Km away from Tunisia.

The volcanic earth is very dark but greenery can be found very easily. In fact, Montagna Grande, which is the volcano’s main crater, is covered with a pine forest. It is a great place for trekking and a cool shady place for a picnic.

Another wonder of this island can be found in the several caves along the coast that have sulfurous thermal waters in them. Each cave has a different temperature. Then there is the very special ‘’ Grotta Bagnoasciutto’’ that is a natural sauna with hot steam coming out of the rocks.

And don’t forget, ‘’il Lago di Venere.’’ This is a lake with many color gradations. It is the basis of the original caldera and thanks to the hot sulphurous spring waters, it is a bed of rich therapeutic mud that can be used as abeauty treatment. If you cover yourself in mud, your skin will feel smooth and toned. This mud also has therapeutic properties and minerals that fight rheumatism.

Moving east of the main town (also called Pantelleria), is Campobello. Here you have easy access to the sea, are close to Lago di Venere and going in the same direction, you will reach Punta Spadillo. This location reminds you very much of a lunar landscape due to the volcanic rocks. Not very far from here is Lago delle Ondine. If you keep going south you will reach the coast and a fisherman’s town, Gadir. This place is blessed with hot thermal water ponds along the shore. Cala Lavante is one of the most beautiful bays of this island. It is overlooked by a natural arch that looks like an elephant, thus the name “Arco dell’Elefante.”

If you travel south west of Pantelleria, you will reach “Grotta di Sataria” where you will find natural thermal baths. Further south along the coast is Punta Tre Pietre , a great place to admire a sunset, and from here Scauri, the second seaport of the island. If you would like to walk through a quaint little town with dammusi along the road and minimarkets, Scauri is just the place.

Some consider the inland part of Pantelleria the most charming, with its pine and coniferous forests, the flourishing vineyard, the green valleys and the caper crops. Muegen is where you can find the oldest dammusi. And let’s not forget Sibà which is very much like a south American village with its white church.

For a breathtaking panorama all you have to do is look down from Monte Grande and Monte Gibello.

All together this is a magical place gifted with enchanting beauty. “Il Lago di Venere or Lake Venus is the basis of the original caldera and thanks to the hot upphurus spring waters, it is a bed of rich therapeutic mud that can be used…”