The black pearl of the Mediterranean, as it is often called, has always generates mixed emotions. The volcanic origin of the island gave to the island an intense dark color and an edgy shape, all wrapped in the cobalt blue of the sea, immediately deep, so deep that it almost seems inaccessible. There are no golden beaches here, and the accesses to the sea are not always easy. Finally, the nightlife is almost inexistent. But it is precisely these characteristics of “not easy island” to be the strength of Pantelleria, the very different place, wild and intact, where nature is the protagonist also thanks to a clever administrative plan, which in the last decades has protected and bound the coast and the immediate hinterland. Favignana has attracted discreet and elitist tourists, driven by top names such as Giorgio Armani and the famous photographer Fabrizio Ferri. Great personalities as Madonna, Sting, Claudia Cardinale, Rupert Everett, stayed there seduced by the magnetism of this island. Pantelleria is closer to the coast of Africa than to those of Sicily. At the curious traveler cannot escape the touch of Middle Eastern inherited from two centuries of Arab domination which has left its mark in agriculture, in the names of many places, in the dialect, features and architecture. The dammusi, typical houses made with lava stone and camouflaged in the landscape, with their distinctive white dome roof, were mainly recovered by “foreigners” who turned them into holiday homes. The lava stone is also found in dry stone walls.
Nathalie’s tips: If you are not willing to stay for a long time on Pantelleria, it is possible to have a one day excursion on the island flying from Trapani airport. It takes 20 minutes only to fly from Trapani to Pantelleria. The first flight takes off at 07.45 am and the last flight will bring you back in Trapani at 6.40 pm . Once arrived, you can rent a very rustic Fiat Panda, the only car to be rented on the island as the roads are not always in a good state there. It is a very funny way to visit the island. I recommend you an extremely fresh fish cooked “alla Pantesca”, with local cappers, tomatoes and olive oil at the restaurant “La Vela”, a lovely place a few steps from the sea and with stunning panoramic views. Gerard Depardieu is a frequent client of the place!