The colours of Pantelleria

In this post we are presenting the beautiful book that Banca Nuova choose to dedicate to Pantelleria.

“Closer to the African cost than to the Sicilian, the so called black pearl of the Mediterranean- due to its volcanic rocks-, is a unique island with alternating landscapes”

In the middle of it Montagna Grande (big mountain) majestically erects, while the Lake of Venus, formed in an ancient volcano and with many thermal springs, stands out as a precious turquoise stone encrusted into a luxury garden.

The coast line is rough and jagged, there are few harbours and they are dangerous, but in return the water of the sea is crystal clear and the seabed full of colours. Mankind has added its own skills to the natural elements and now characterise the island: the dry stone walls that surround the properties to protect Zibibbo golden grapes from the imperious winds; the pantescan gardens to protect the citrus trees from the wind and the dammusi, rural homes characterised by its typical domed roof.

Pantelleria was colonised by many civilisations, first among them the Phoenicians, that called it Yrnm, the ostriches island; then Cossyra, then the Romans came and following, the Byzantine; the Arabs then, called it Bent-el-Riha: the daughter of the wind. Then the Normans went and it was time for Swabian, Angevin, Aragonese and Bourbons until 1860, when it was annexed to the Italian Kingdom.

The photographer Pucci Scafidi from Palermo began its path throughout the beauties of Italy exactly from this incredible island.

He took more than two-thousand shots, going around the island for two years during all the seasons, with all its lights, during normal days and holidays, catching up the expressions and the peculiar people, interesting faces and working man.

There are no glossy pictures for touristic purposes, but only black rocks, raging waters and the grey colour of the obsidian stones: because Pantelleria is an island where nature is disrupting.

It has a desert climate, but the strong currents and winds nurture the plants and also make the island fresher during the hot summer season…

As a corollary of the beautiful pictures, the author published 40 short essays on the island of as many lovers of Pantelleria, that are true love declarations; some of them are well-known people that decided to move to “the island of the wind” and make here their “buen retiro”.

No mundanity, no agglomeration of houses, no parties but only well-distanced homes, far from each other, scattered across the contrade, as if searching for your inner self in the silence of the island; your inner voice in the noise of the wind and your route in the starry sky

The definition that Scafidi himself gives to the island, “a volcanic tranquiliser”, is an oxymoron that perfectly and fully represents the spirit of the volume of its enchanting images”.

Mario Breganze
Chairman of Banca Nuova SpA
Find the book at

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