Sky and earth, a new balance
This is what the dammuso give: a balance between sky and earth.In Pantelleria the natural elements are very strong: the force of the land, the energy of the water and the clear blue sky: you can only live it to understand it.
A staying in a dammuso, the typical home, changes completely the quality of your holiday.
They are unique homes, their origin dates back to VI- VII a.C., during the Arab domination of the Island of Pantelleria. The verb “mdamnes” means building in Arabic, “ndammusare” in pantescan means the same.
Some achademics believe that dammuso comes from the latin word “domus”, which means home, and that was then modified by the Arabs into “dammus”. In both cases, it doesn’t change its meaning: a rural home. There are two kinds of dammusi: one built with “rutta” stones (raw stones) and the other built with “taddiata” stones.
The dammuso with squared stones have 40-90cm thick walls and they can be found in Khamma, Tracino, Scauri, etc and have an external pastel or are just white colour painted.
In rural dammuso, the thickness of the walls is between 1 and 2mts; the height can reach 4mts, excluding the domes.
The dammuso has as many domes as the rooms found inside. They have few openings and they are quite small in order to fight the cold winds and the hot weather, even if it’s a thermo-regulated construction and acoustically protected with its lavic materials and width of the walls and vaults.
If during the summer temperatures reach 40*C, indside the dammuso you will have 28-30*C. During winter, if outside is cold, the moment you enter you will feel warmer.
Normally, you will reach the entrance of the dammuso walking through a path, reaching a terrace ("u passiaturi, u pirterra") made with balata or with shard tiles, with comfortable “ducchene”, stone made seats and backs.
The kitchen was the heart of the house; it would just gather everyone around the table at dinner after a long working day. Just beside the kitchen, you would find a cupboard with or withour door (u stipu a muro) and a storage room (u macaseno) with pork meat, winter provisions and wine. A significant data: in ancient times, the pavement of the dammuso was made of terracotta with 20x20cms dimension, and in the less ancient of earthenware. Above the door, between the arch and the wooden board, you´ll find the “sardetta”, a small storage room for groceries and tools. In the dammuso, in a secret place, local people would hide their money and gold objects. It was common to hide money under the stones of the pavement.
“L’arkova”, another typical room of the dammuso, will serve as a small love nest with only a double bed. Just beside, “il cammarino”, a second bed room.
In rural dammusi, you would find a beautiful pergola that would decorate the entrance with grapes hanging from them. They would have an old hoe bricked in, leaving the button hole uncovered, serving as a holder for the donkey.