Pantelleria is an Italian island, 44 miles from North Africa, and 53 from Sicily.
After having been subjected for many centuries of often violent invasions by a lot of different people, the inhabitants of the Pantelleria island (Panteschi) have developed a certain aversion to the sea. There are very few professional fishermen on the island, whilst, on the other hand, the locals have developed a strong link with the land, which is cultivated with great passion and care. It is indeed the inland of the island that hides the true marvels of Pantelleria, wild and often uncontaminated natural sceneries well worth exploring.
Pantescan gastronomy derives from this land heritage and reveals the traces and tastes of the various people who have inhabited the island and includes several absolute musts.
From the island itself comes the delicately flavored ricotta and mint ravioli and the aromatic ‘pesto pantesco’. This sauce, composed of olive oil, tomatoes, garlic, basil and peppers, accompanies equally happily spaghetti, meat or fish.
The justifiably famous Pantescan capers from Pantelleria are to be found everywhere, and along with the heady local oregano give the cuisine its very particular touch. Don’t miss the Bruschetta ai Capperi di Pantelleria – Pantelleria Capers Bruschetta.
From nearby Africa comes the Couscous con pesce – Fish Stew Couscous, always served with a variety of vegetables and usually as a main dish. ‘Sciakisciuka’ is a hot, spicy Mediterranean vegetable stew; the dominant ingredient of ‘Cuccurumma’ is local zucchini.
From the sea of Pantelleria comes fish so fresh and tasty as to merit the simplest of preparations; it is either grilled or baked. These fish go by the evocative local names of ‘Ricciole’, ‘Dentici’, ‘Cernie’, ‘Saraghi’, ‘Pesce Spada’, ‘Aragoste’, and along with the reefs’ abundance of lobster, crabs, sea urchins, anemones and so on enrich even further the local cuisine.
From the Orient comes to Pantelleria the ‘Cannateddro’ the traditional Easter sweet, whereas the Arab tradition has contributed delights like the lacy ‘Mustazzola’, as beautiful as they are delicious, perfect with a glass of Passito. The vineries of Pantelleria are grown low on the ground, to protect them from the wind and the strong summer sunshine and heat.
The Dammusi are the peculiar buildings of Pantelleria, built using the abundant materials of the island (black volcanic stones). They are capable of keeping the interiors cold during the summers and dry during the winters. Moreover the characteristic dune-shaped roofs of the Dammusi perform the important function of collecting the rain water, the essential element for life. Renting a Dammuso for a short-term rental for your vacation in Pantelleria will make you feel the experience of a real Pantelleria lifestyle: to find your ideal Dammuso rental just Google “Dammuso Pantelleria“, you will have available a lot of alternative proposals to chose from.
How to get to Pantelleria by sea:
An all year round a ferry service supplied by Siremar S.p.a. links Pantelleria to Trapani (service may very according to weather conditions). This service takes 5-6 hours each way: www.siremar.it.
An high speed www.siremar.it hydrofoil connects also Trapani in 2 hours 1/2, with a second boat operated by www.usticalines.it in the high season summer months. In summer there is also a 2 hours www.siremar.it high speed boat service from Mazara del Vallo. Check for the most updated schedules, and reserve in advance if you are planning to get there in the summer season.
How to get to Pantelleria by airplane:
Air service connects the Pantelleria island to Palermo all year round. In the summer period, direct flights from the main Italians airports are also in service. For additional detailed information visit Pantelleria’s airport website or check with the travel agency La Cossira, they organize weekly charter flights.
Where to stay in Pantelleria
There are hotels, B&Bs, villas and apartments available, check them out and make a reservation here.