Blue, so deep it will make you feel dizzy
“This is Pantelleria: a small paradise in the middle of the blue, so deep it will make you feel dizzy”Pantelleria is the daughter of the wind and with it, it has to come to terms every day: zibibbo grapes trees grow low on the lava land; olive trees might reach only a meter high but are full of fruits that will become a yellow gold liquid; citrus trees find it hard to grow but when they do they’re immediately surrounded by a stone wall, usually built in a circle but I even saw squared shaped ones; they are the “Pantescan Gardens”, geometrical constructions with a unique elegance, made to protect the plants that otherwise wouldn’t be alive.
Pantelleria is an island and as such it has always has water problems. Even in this case, men had to find to a creative answer, taking advantage from one of the few water supplies: the rain.
The rain: a bless or a curse. In any way, it has to be stored and kept. How? You just have to have a look at the dammuso for an answer. Small, square-shaped, beautiful, with dome roofs designed for collecting rain and to convey it through the waterways surrounding the perimeter of the roofs, to the water tanks built besides or underneath the dammuso.
You will find this kind of buildings everywhere; there are old and new ones, normally located in enviable positions such as over a cliff, overlooking the Plains of Monastero or Ghirlanda, at Cala Levante with its sunrise, or at Scauri, towards the sunset; overlooking the African coast. Yes, in clear blues days you can spot the African coastline and in the evening, you can watch the light of the two lighthouses chatting with its counterparts in Sicily.
Pantelleria is an island, but its inhabitants are farmers, not seafarers. You will find everywhere people with Sicilian-like features, sometimes Viking-like, that work every single piece of land, with terraces starting from the sea and reaching the inland to the Mount Gibele and Montagna Grande, where each piece of land is surrounded by dry lava stone walls.
Pantelleria is a live island: in the inside you’ll find the volcanic forces, they transform and they mix together with other elements: with the water they form natural pools of warm water; with the earth, they give life to the whirl mud of the favare; with the wind for its breathing. Pantelleria is an island where the four elements have the same rights. Wind, Water, Earth and Fire.
The Wind never stops blowing, bending and lashing but also a gentle stroke;
The Water, from the deep, mysterious, creepy and ever-present sea; but also the missing water and all the work of men in order to collect it;
The Earth, rich, black, green, yellow and white;
The Fire; you can feel it under your feet, in the air and in the water. It’s there even if you can’t see it.
Source: drawn from a review from Tripadvisor of the 9th of November 2009