Monday, August 20, 2012

Memories of Pantelleria - part 1

Pantelleria is a small volcanic island in the Mediterranean sea half way between Tunisia and Sicily, my husband and I spent summer holidays there twice and we fell in love of this fantastic spot in the middle of the sea.

Pantelleria really remains in our memory as one of the greatest places we ever been since now, where you feel detached from the rest of the world, where nature provides so much richness, from the green covered volcanic hills, planted with grapes, to the open bays with warm thermals from this naturally volcanic island.

The first time we stayed for a week in a dammuso (typical house of the isle) not far from the main village. Not worth renting a car, better a moped due to the roads, to reach the best spots most of them are small off roads. I will never forget the answer of an old man when we were in desperate search of a petrol station to refuel our empty moped while being on the wrong side of the island, he replied "don't worry the road is going down now" the only thing was we didn't know how far we still had to go to get to the only petrol pump, but that comment gave us the idea how relaxing the place was.

Everyday we would go out and discover new corners of the isle, we really fell in love with the island and each other. There are the ancient dammusi, or the perfectly conceived giardino pantesco, a real house built just to protect citrus trees from the strength of winter sea winds, creating a little oasis of peace from the constant sea breeze's on the isle of winds.

Only the other day and ten years later we opened a bottle of Moscato di Pantelleria that we brought back with us. After many years we tasted the same rich, sweet and dense flavors that struck us when we tasted it first in one of the very good restaurants we found on the island.

And that wine brought back to mind the work of hardworking men who cultivate the vineyard creating small crates around each plant, which is no more than the size of a small bush, and work every day to produce wines as valuable as what we drank after so many years but which preserves aroma and flavor of the sun in Pantelleria.

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