The Pelagie Islands and Pantelleria

 

The Pelagie islands are on the southernmost tip of Italy in the Mediterranean, more than 200 kilometers away from the coast of Agrigento, between Tunisia and Malta, Sicily and the North African coast. The two islands are totally different. Lampedusa‘s limestone rocks are now arid and barren as if in anticipation of the deserts of North Africa. Linosa, by contrast, is black from its lava flows and clearly volcanic in origin.

Pantelleria is the biggest island in Sicily. Less than 100 kilometers from the coast of Tunisia, it is a volcanic island, called “the black pearl”  because of its volcanic soil which sprang up from the sea and the core of the earth. But it is also a reference to its beauty. Pantelleria is an island of unusual landscapes made of lava flows and rock stacks, natural architectural formations in a crystal clear sea. It is a green island, protected by the Montagna Grande Nature Park, and ideal for trekking in the hilly forests. Pantelleria has developed its own original architecture over the centuries as a way of co-existing with its natural environment. The dammusi (traditional houses) and the Giardini Panteschi are emblematic of this . Towers which would have had a defensive function elsewhere, they are actually raised lemon orchards built to gather the morning dew and protect the trees from the ever present wind.