Friday, February 16, 2007

Pantelleria Sicily – The Pearls of Sicily

Sicily is a marvelous vacation destination. It is an amalgamation of cultures, foods and savage landscapes. Sicily is well known around the world as a great place to visit but there is a little known pearl just off the coast of Sicily that is a favorite among Italians. A few European visitors make it to this hidden gem but mostly it is the Italians most often found in Pantelleria. Pantelleria is located near Trapani, about 56 km. off the coast. Interestingly it is only about 45 km from the African coast. It is an Italian favorite because of the sun, natural hot springs, sea, beautiful beaches and the incredible marine life.

There are two ways to get to the little island in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea. From Trapani a ferry makes the trip several times a day in about four hours. Airlines also fly into Pantelleria from Milan, Rome, Trapani and Palermo but the boat ride is pretty cool. Pantelleria is located in the Malta Channel and the wind can be extremely strong. If the wind is up your flight will be cancelled and in extreme cases of wind the ferry will not transit so plan an extra day for a connecting flight.

Pantelleria is called the Black Pearl of Sicily because of its volcanic composition and while the last seismic activity was recorded in 1891 there are numerous signs of the volcanic activity just underneath the surface. There are deep blue hot springs with temperatures around 120 degrees and geysers popping off from time to time. The natural grotte or sea caves are spectacular and can be visited by small motorboats or just swimming around the coast. The island is truly unique because of the rich forests, the fresh water lakes created in ancient eruption points, and the marine blue seas.

Pantelleria has been inhabited since the times of the Greek Empire. In 273 AD it became a customs port between Sicily and Africa. Since that time its geographical importance has kept Pantelleria on the forefront of Mediterranean expansion. While the island has a deep and ancient culture only one building predates World War II. In 1943 Pantelleria was bombed, destroying everything standing, prior to the Allied invasion of Sicily.

Pantelleria is a dream destination. The lodging infrastructures on the island are designed to pamper the traveler. Great food and service are part of every hotel’s experience. Choosing a hotel is important. The hotels on the beach will cost just a bit more but a room with a view is well worth the price.


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Blogger Lexcen said...

I always enjoy you're post but especially on Sicily. This is one destination that fascinates me, it's been many years since I was in Italy and I deeply regret not being aware of and missing out on seeing the delights of Sicily. Sicily is the No1 destination if I ever get the opportunity to travel o/s again.

12:06 PM

Blogger Travel Italy said...

Lexcen Sicily is a place of great contrasts, of beautiful but rugid landscapes, hotels of both great and poor quality. It is also very well known but not often chosen as a vacation destination. I think you are making a wise choice!

2:49 PM

Blogger ChickyBabe said...

Sicily is a place that has always fascinated me because I have a love affair with the Mediterranean. Have you seen the TV Show Il Commissario Montalbano? I love the imagery and the way it is photographed, always makes me want to visit.

6:49 PM

Blogger ChickyBabe said...

I meant to add that I love the photos in this post!

6:50 PM

Anonymous Jennifer said...

Those pictures are just gorgeous. I've certainly heard that Sicily is a nice place to vacation, but I don't think I ever realized how beautiful it is.

4:30 AM

Blogger Tracie B. said... can you go to the sea and not see the sea?

6:02 AM

Blogger Travel Italy said...

Chickybabe Tall, dark and passionate Sicilian, I wonder why you like the Commissario.

Jennifer Sicily and the surrounding islands are uncontaminated, savage beauty. Definitely worth a trip.

Tracie b. Well, there are rooms that do not have an ocean view. They cost less. On a tight budget you could sleep in the room and spend the rest of the day in the restaurants and bars on the beach! But your own balcony view is something special.

10:06 AM

Anonymous Carlo said...

I am a Sicilian living abroad. You made me homesick thinking about Pantelleria. I will be there this coming summer. I cannot wait.


8:14 AM

Blogger Travel Italy said...

Carlo I am glad you appreciated the articles. Carlo is part of a great site for information about Sicily.

11:21 AM


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