Earth : Europe : Italy : Sicily : Pantelleria
Pantelleria is an island lying between Sicily, Italy and Tunisia. Although Italian it is proud of its Arab influence. It has a very rich history and the main engineers of the islands gardens and architecture was the Arabic culture. However mixed the culture is, it is in this time a very Sicilian culture in every way. there is a great emphasis on the art of hospitality. It is becoming quite a chic destination. It is striking and hilly, with the countryside dotted with white Dammuso houses. There are no beaches - people swim off the black rocks.
The main centre is Pantelleria Town, along with the much smaller Scauri, Tracino & Kamma and Rekale.
Direct Flights from Rome and Milan. A new agreement with the hotels on Pantelleria has created a long period of direct flights to Pantelleria from Rome and Milan. These flights are on big jets (300 seats or more), only on weekends, 3 or 4 times each weekend day. Usually AllItalia. Tel 0923 913 283 seems to be the only resource for booking these flights. April to October. This is very new.
There is quite a good bus service around the island. See Pantelleria Council
An excellent way to see the island is to hire a moped for a few days - it is small enough to do a circuit in 4 hours or so. Beware - there are only two petrol station on the island - both in Pantelleria Town.
Boat Tours. For a moderate fee, usually around Euro 35 per person, you can take a slow boat tour around the island. This can be very entertaining depending on who comes along. Usually there is abundant food and wine served on board, swimming stops and a photographic adventure of a very rich volcanic island. From the sea you can see the homes of Armani and many of Italy's most famous people.
Trekking. There are many maintained trails into the complex geology of Pantelleria. Each little region is very different and unique from all the others. For a small island, there is tremendous diversity to Pantelleria.
Thermal Pools and the Sauna Cave. There are many thermal pools on Pantelleria. One of the best places is a large natural sauna cave in the mountains near the region called Monestero. One of the most beautiful vistas on the island can be seen from here. There is also Santaria, a hot thermal pool inside a cave. This is according to legend the love nest of Calypso and Ulysses. All the thermal pools are free and maintained by the community members.
Art: There are two famous sculptors on the island. One is a local man, a Pantesce Native (Kaku). He has a shop near the old castle in the main village, Pantelleria. The other is a Native American who lives in Rekhale (Turtle Heart).
Ceramics of DiSimone. DiSimone is a very famous ceramics artist who atarted his career on Pantelleria. Now his work is sold in shops in many countries. He still has his "home" gallery on Pantelleria. Great objects for the household and fancy objects of ceramic art. Very colourful and vivid scenes of the traditional life of Pantelleria.
CiCCi's Bar. A favorite place in Pantelleria village, right near the central square. Generous snacks. Great atmosphere. Cicci is a force on Pantelleria and this bar has great ambience and personality. A must visit bar and cafe in the true Sicilian style.
Passito. You must drink the famous wine of Pantelleria, called Passito. Pantelleria is an island of farmers, not fishermen. The ancient wine is unique in all the world and the best Passito is generally only available locally. If you make friends with local people you can have the adventure of tasting home made Passito. Passito is a rich meditation wine, sometimes called a dessert wine. Passito and Capers are the island's two best known products.