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Pantelleria, Italy
Fast Facts
ACTIVITIES
Boating & Sailing
Snorkeling
Walking
Birding
 
 
Kid-Friendly Hotels
SELF-CATERING
RESORT
 
Family Travel Tips
HEALTH & SAFETY
IT'S ALL IN THE ACTIVITY
 

Dammuso, Pantelleria

 

Photo by Alfredo De Simone

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Pantelleria may be overlooked by guidebooks but family travelers shouldn't do the same. This small, volcanic island - closer to Tunisia than Sicily - is one of the Mediterranean's few true pearls. But take note, beaches aren't the reason for a trek here. Pantelleria's shoreline is, for the most part, lava rock not sand. So why take the kids? The island's blue-green waters offer some of Italy's best snorkeling. Inlets and caves, some as grand as cathedrals, make boat trips interesting. Sesi - circular cairns - and Phoenician tombs, at Mursia and Monastero respectively, provide families with a chance to play archaeologist for the day. The hot springs at Grotta di NicĂ , in the village of Scauri, a chance to take a Roman bath. And that's not all! Hike Monte Grande, the island's highest peak, and take in the views of North Africa and the Straight of Sicily. Walk the circumference of Lago Specchio di Venere (Venus' Mirror) and, in addition to taking in the volcanic lake's incredible color, watch migratory birds in spring and fall. Follow the trail to Girlanda Valley and discover how modern day islanders survive. Nothing is wasted on Pantelleria.
History & Culture
 
While it might be tempting to limit one's inquiry to the island's culinary delights - Zibibbo grapes and capers come to mind - a trip through the history of Pantelleria might reveal one or two things new. A volcanic island to the core, Pantelleria has nearly 40 cones and domes. While the Late Mesolithic Period brought this island's first visitors, Pantelleria wasn't settled until centuries later. The shiny, black glass called Obsidian attracted Pantelleria's first inhabitants, the island's rich volcanic soil kept them here. Pantelleria was an important stopping point on the Phoenician trade route and it was contended by the Romans in the First Punic War. The Allied Forces captured Pantelleria in Operation Corkscrew and from there went on to liberate Sicily.
Maps
 
Online maps are a great family travel planning resource and a great way to get the kids involved in a family holiday. Use online maps to plot your route to Pantelleria and pinpoint points of interest. Find coves, caves, trails and towns. Learn about the island's geology while you find your way around the Pantelleria.
Books
 
Books are a great way to introduce young children to a new adventure and get teens and tweens ready for a family trip. We've compiled a list of books about Italy and books by Italian authors for children of various ages and with varying interests. What better why to begin a journey that a trip through literature?
Music & Sound
 
Italy has a rich tradition in music that goes beyond folk song and opera. Learn about Italian popular music as well as Italian singer-songwriters. Listen to Italian music online from Valle d'Aosta to Sicily. And when you've completed your musical inquiry and extend your exploration to sound. Hear the hum of a vespa, take in the sound of a local festival and picture the scene. Family travel to Italy is as much as sights as it is about sounds.
News
 
English language dailies, such as the Herald Tribune, Financial Times and USA Today, and weekly magazines, including The Economist, are sold at newsstands throughout Italy. While they keep readers up to date on world events and happenings at home they provide little insight to the Italian psyche and lack detail on local affairs. Corriere della Sera, Italy's best selling daily, provides extensive coverage of local, Italian and world news. The newspaper voices the opinions of Italy's industrial north yet is one of the country's most balanced news sources. The English version of the Italian-language newspaper includes the day's tops stories. The left-leaning La Repubblica is Italy's second national newspaper. The daily favored the country's intellectual elite doesn't have an English language version but boasts a top online format. Il Sole 24 Ore is Italy's leading daily financial newspaper. ANSA, Italy's leading newswire, makes national and international news stories available in five languages - Italian, English, Spanish, Portuguese and Arabic.
Kids' Stuff
 
Online resources make learning fun. Learn about the Phoenicians and Romans, two ancient cultures that once lived on Pantelleria. Read about the Roman army. Discover the Phoenicians seafaring ways. And find out why they fought each other in the Punic Wars.
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Travel Trivia
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