A Room with a view: the dammusi
Dammuso is a local term, of Sicilian origin, that is also found in some Italian dictionaries thanks to the increasing notoriety of the type of house that the term outlines. Not only summer tourism promotes the spread of local terminology even outside local context.
The first time that was certified In Italian language was in 1965. It reflects the term in local dialect dammusu, “the vault in a building”, “jail”, that in turn reflects the Arab term dāmūs, “the vault in a building”. It’s the architectural element of the vault, typical of the stone houses, that characterises the dammuso of Pantelleria.
From Treccani web site, www.treccani.it …
“If the word is not present in the Treccani Vocabulary and in other Italian dictionaries is not a big deal: the compilation of a vocabulary does not pretend to include every single word used by Italian speakers. In order to decide a priori and coherently which words have to be included and whose not, there are series of criteria to select that a lexicographer establishes before creating a dictionary. In any case, it is possible that personal criteria prevails on single words- first included and then excluded- but is only in few and limited cases. Like in the case of the word dammuso: is a word of local dialectal origins, linked to local culture, in use only if talking about a holiday in Pantelleria”.
If for you is common to use the word dammuso or not, if you know it or you don’t, or you just discover it while looking a tour site… well, you might want to know that a holiday in a dammuso is an unforgettable experience.
You may find the best dammusi in Pantelleria here: