island of Lampedusa consists of a flat limestone platform which
culminates, at the northern end, in a series of dramatic cliffs.
The south coast, on the other hand, is jaggedly rugged as headlands
alternate with small, precipitous creeks sheltering sandy beaches.
to Africa than it is to Italy, the island is surrounded by a spectacular
seascape, with incredible colors ranging from transparent-blue,
to turquoise and emerald-green. On the island there is no farming
activity, its soil being white, dry and stony, much alike a desert.
The residents mostly live on tourism and fishing, as a considerable
flight anchored at its sheltered harbor will testify. Discoveries
across the territory attest to human settlements on Lampedusa dating
from the Bronze Age. In 1843, the island belonged to the aristocratic
Lampedusa family (one of its members, Giuseppe Tomasi, was the author
of the celebrated novel The Leopard) and was successively acquired
by King Ferdinand who had a penitentiary built and sent a handful
of people to reside there.
is a paradise for snorkelers and divers who can enjoy a rich and
unspoiled submerged world inhabited by corals, sponges, madrepores,
the colored parrot-fish and, by Capo Grecale at only 50m depth,
the lobster. Its mostly sandy sea-ground suddenly turns into a dark-green
due to the posidonia, a marine plant that is known as the Mediterranean
lung for its releasing oxygen in the water, giving life to beautiful
only city on Lampedusa, bearing the island’s same name, develops
around the main Roma street, notably crowded at breakfast time and
at night, it hosting a cluster of shops and cafés with outdoor
tables, where, in the summer, live music or entertainment shows
of the Island
boat tour of the island can be easily reserved at the harbor where
lots of boats are available at cheap prices. The tour usually departs
at 10.00am and returns at 5.00pm.
low and jagged coast of Lampedusa is rich in inlets and bays; among
these, is the Tabaccara, a splendid bay bathed by turquoise waters.
The northern shore features a high cliff with plenty of impressing
caves. Past the Baia della Madonnina (that got its name because
of a rock that resembles the Virgin Mary) is the Sacramento Cliff,
with a deepest grotto. In the North-Eastern end, known as Capo Grecale,
is a lighthouse visible from up to 60 miles away, where extends
a beautiful view of the coastal landscape. Then is the Grotta del
Teschio (the Skull Grotto), hiding a 15m long sandy-beach, reachable
by boat or along a rough path at right. Tourists are advised to
hire a bike or a mini-truck for a driving tour since roads of the
island are partly unpaved. From the centre of Lampedusa head eastwards
for the airport. The unpaved road running alongside the landing
strip passes by the many bays on the Southern side of the Island.
del Sole – (the Sun Tree) So is called the highest point on
Lampedusa (about 133m a.s.l.), where stands a circular structure
preserving a wooden crucifix. There, from a stone wall at the edge
of a steep slope, you can enjoy a dramatic sight of the sea. Tourists
are recommended to be extremely careful when near the edge. Returning
to the semi-asphalted road you will see an area of recent reafforestation.
At the end of the enclosing wall, follow the path soon leading to
a small iron cross. On your right, a promontory offers an enchanting
view of the Sacramento Cliff. From here, the small Lampione Island
is visible, on the left, in the distance. Return to the main road
and continue southward to the Rabbit Island’s Bay.
of the Isola dei Conigli – This broad bay is petticoated with
white cliffs and the most beautiful beach on the island; few metres
offshore nestles a little islet. The beach, with its finest sand,
gently slopes to transparent waters that splendidly turn to turquoise
and emerald green. Here the Caretta-Caretta turtle lays her eggs
during the breeding season, an event today threatened by the big
influx of tourists staying late at night when she usually comes
ashore for nesting.
here is the only habitat in Italy for the psammodromus algarus,
a particular type of striped lizard native to North-Western Africa,
namely Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco.
di Porto Salvo – It is a small shrine of ancient unknown date
and origin surrounded by a beautiful garden.
to reach Lampedusa – The simplest way to reach Lampedusa is
by plane, it being well-served by connections from Palermo and,
in the summer months, by directs flights from Milan, Bergamo, Rome,
Venice and Verona. A ferry service is also available from Agrigento.
Since this arrives late at night, tourists may encounter problems
to overnight, unless they have or hire a vehicle.
to buy – The island’s natural sponges are a favorite
souvenir for tourists. Whiter sponges, albeit attracting, may result
from a chemical treatment that shortens their life span. The darker
ones will definitely last longer. Linosa is especially renowned
for food “souvenirs”, like lentils and pomodorini, and
for its reed-baskets, much appreciated by tourists.
for dinner? – On the island are many small restaurants and
trattorias specialized in fish dishes, among which is a not-to-miss
couscous. The Trattoria-Pizzeria Da Nicola, by the Rabbit Islands’s
Bay is especially recommended.
Guide of Sicily
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