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coat of arms
Pantelleria (Italy)
Country Italy
region Sicily
Free community consortium Trapani  (TP)
Local name Pantiddirìa
Coordinates 36 ° 50 ′  N , 11 ° 57 ′  E Coordinates: 36 ° 50 ′ 0 ″  N , 11 ° 57 ′ 0 ″  E
height m slm
surface 83 km²
Residents 7,683 (Dec 31, 2019)
Population density 93 inhabitants / km²
Factions 25th
Post Code 91017
prefix 0923
ISTAT number 081014
Popular name Panteschi
Patron saint San Fortunato
Website Pantelleria
Monte Gibelè seen from the Montagna Grande
Monte Gibelè seen from the Montagna Grande
Waters Mediterranean Sea ( Strait of Sicily )
Geographical location 36 ° 50 '  N , 11 ° 57'  E
Pantelleria (Sicily)
length 13.7 km
width 8.4 km
surface 83 km²
Highest elevation Montagna Grande
836  m slm
Residents 7649 (2007)
92 inhabitants / km²
main place Pantelleria
Lighthouse on the north coast
Lighthouse on the north coast

Pantelleria is an Italian island in the Mediterranean . Together with some offshore rocks, it forms the municipality of Pantelleria with 7683 inhabitants (as of December 31, 2019) in the Sicilian Free Municipal Consortium Trapani . The Phoenicians named the island Hiranin, the Punians Cossyra . The name Pantelleria comes from Arabic and means "daughter of the winds" (بنت الأرياح / Bint al-aryāḥ ).


Geologically, the volcanic island of Pantelleria belongs to the African continent. It is located about 60 km east of the Tunisian Cape Bon peninsula and 100 km southwest of Sicily , in the middle of the Strait of Sicily . It has an area of ​​approx. 83 km² with a maximum length of 14 km and a width of 8 km. Their submarine base has a diameter of about 20 km.

The highest point on the island is the Montagna Grande (836 m).

In the east there are some tiny side islands and rocks, mostly less than 100 meters from the coast, including (from north to south):

  • Faraglione Tracino
  • Scoglio di Punta del Duce
  • Scogli del Formaggio
  • Faraglione Dietro l'Isola

The island of Ferdinandea (Nerita) was formed by a volcanic eruption in 1831, but soon disappeared again. It was about 60 km from the southwest coast of Sicily and was between Pantelleria and the Sicilian city of Sciacca . According to the latest research, it was part of the submarine volcano Empedocle (Empedocles) .


The volcanic origin of the island and its exposed rock that is related to the formation of the Pantelleria- Riftes that from the Miocene of an elongated system of as part of trenches and nests in the wake of shifts of the African and European continental plates in the shelf area between Sicily and Africa was . At the northwestern end of this Riftes came in a pool just above the grave axis for about 300,000 years repeatedly Magma up and formed the volcanic island of Pantelleria.

Years ago, about 50,000 came in a series of eruptions surface deposited green tuffs , which covered the entire island and are now spreading even into disrepair. More recent eruptions around 35,000 years ago built several volcanic cones over these tuffs and in the craters assigned to them , the largest of which is the 700 meter high Monte Gibelè . Its northern part was later raised by about 275 meters and, together with the now 836 meter high Montagna Grande, forms the highest point on the island.

In the flat north of the island, basaltic eruption centers lined up along fracture zones from NW-SE . The basalts of Punta San Leonardo are around 29,000 years old, those of Mursia a few thousand years.

The formation of rifts and the volcanism associated with it continued even in recent times. This is shown, for example, by a submarine volcano that formed a few kilometers west of Pantelleria in 1831 and created the island of Ferdinandea , which however disappeared again a few decades later. To the east is the submarine volcano Empedocles . Post-volcanic phenomena are the low-temperature fumaroles and warm springs of Pantelleria that are still widespread today .

The island is also given as the type locality of the mineral anorthoclase .


Pantelleria has a subtropical climate with hot, dry summers and moderately warm, humid winters. The temperature maximum is with a daily average of 25 ° C in August, the maximum rainfall with 80 mm in December. The annual average temperature is 17.5 ° C. The annual precipitation has a height of 485 mm. There is almost always a wind, mostly either the cool Mistral from the northwest or the hot Scirocco from the south.


Above all, the volcanic soils of the mountainous island and the aridity of the Mediterranean climate, which is moderated by the high humidity of the marine zone, determine the plant communities that have developed on Pantelleria:

  • In the highest zones, for example on the south-facing slopes of Montagna Grande and Monte Gibele, there is a holm oak forest ( Quercus ilex ) interspersed with tree heather ( Erica arborea ).
  • A pine forest ( Pinus pinaster ) with gorse ( Genista aspalathoides ) in the bushy undergrowth is more common. A warmth-loving variant of this forest, in which rosemary ( Rosmarinus officinalis ) and heady thyme ( Thymbra capitata ) can be found as key plants , is limited to the slopes in the delimited western coastal zones.
  • Where the repopulation of lava rocks is still in progress, a very warmth- loving maquis developed , for which tree spurge ( Euphorbia dendroides ) and narrow-leaved tree snare ( Periploca angustifolia ) are characteristic.
  • On marine cliffs, the endemic Pantelleria sea ​​lavender ( Limonium cosyrense ) is a characteristic plant of a low-growing plant community, which is replaced further in the interior of the island by a society reminiscent of the undergrowth of the holm oak forest, in which everlasting flowers ( Helichrysum rupestre var. Errarae , endemic Variety) and Levkojen ( Matthiola incana subsp. Pulchella ) are aspect-forming.
  • Less permanent, herbaceous plants companies are, for example, from an endemic variety of the black becoming, clover ( Trifolium nigrescens var. Dolychodon ,) dominated Prairie some of succulents certain dryness loving associations, also uncommon, moisture-loving associations with Durieus quillwort ( Isoetes durieui ) and Wenigblütigem Buttercup ( Ranunculus parviflorus ) and as a special feature an association with the fumaroles of the island, for which the screwy cirruswort ( Kickxia cirrhosa ) appears typical.
  • The Bagno dell'Acqua and its banks have special vegetation , where special chemical conditions prevail due to the thermal water. For example, an endemic sea ​​lavender ( Limonium secundirameum ) grows on the shore . Smooth cypergrass ( Cyperus laevigatus ) and a Mediterranean subspecies of beach pond ridge ( Schoenoplectus litoralis subsp. Thermalis ) form larger populations in brackish water .
  • Only particularly resistant species such as a subspecies of beard grass ( Hyparrhenia hirta subsp. Pubescens ) can survive on the degraded rocks of the arid seashore .
  • A rarity are sand-loving plant communities with key plants such as potash saltwort ( Salsola kali ) and beach spurge ( Euphorbia paralias ) on a few suitable, short stretches of coast .
  • A special vegetation dynamic arises on abandoned vine and caper terraces. There are five age groups of fallow land . After 50 to 80 years the vegetation will already consist of dense macchia communities . At the end of the succession there will probably be a holm oak forest. In some places, some plant species prevent rapid succession and form monospecific aspects, such as various rockrose ( Cistus ), Mediterranean blackberry ( Rubus ulmifolius ), two-year bearded grass ( Andropogon distachyos ) and hairy bearded grass ( Hyparrhenia hirta ).


Stone Hut (Dammuso)

The obsidian from Pantelleria was already a sought-after raw material in the Neolithic and found its way to nearby Sicily and Tunisia, but also to southern Italy, Malta and the Gulf of Lion .

You can find tower-like structures, called Sesi , which were probably Neolithic tombs (5th millennium BC). The ruins of a Bronze Age settlement were discovered near Mursia .

The island was from the 6th century BC. BC one of the earliest and most important bases of the Phoenicians and Carthage , before they were in the First Punic War in 255 BC. From Rome first and 217 BC. Was finally conquered. In the 5th century BC The area of ​​power of Carthage included the coasts of North Africa, southern Spain, western Sicily and large parts of Sardinia and Malta. Cisterns and terraces from Punic times can be found on the island, which is poor in fresh water. Under the Dammuso on the highest peak of Mount San Marco there are three completely preserved, monumental oval cisterns that are of Punic origin. Further cisterns can be found in the entire hill area. What is striking are the remains of several monumental terrace and fortification walls made of carefully hewn trachyte ashlars that surround the upper area of ​​the San Marco and Santa Teresa hills. Numerous ancient structural members were found in a modern wall, presumably from a monumental building on the Acropolis. Mosaic floors and other finds attest to the presence of the Romans on the island, which they named Cossyra . In late summer 2003, three marble busts from the 1st century were found on the San Marco hill. The portraits are assigned to Caesar, Titus and Antonia Minor.

The island was conquered by the Vandals during the Great Migration and recaptured by the troops of Emperor Justinian as part of his restauratio imperii . Byzantine rule was ended by the Arabs in 806 . They abducted Christian monks into slavery, and Charlemagne himself tried to get them released. Eventually the Normans took over the island in the 11th century . In 1550 it was conquered and plundered by the Saracens and in 1553 by the Ottomans .

During World War II , Pantelleria was the first target of the Allied invasion of Italy . Mussolini had the island expanded into a fortress. Between May 18 and June 11, 1943, 6,200 tons of bombs were dropped during Operation Corkscrew (more than the 3,900 tons during the attacks on Dresden ). At noon on June 11, 1943, the garrison surrendered, the Allies landed on the island and 78 German and 11,621 Italian soldiers were taken prisoner.

The number of boat refugees from Tunisia to Europe has been increasing every year since 1998. There are frequent ship accidents with fatalities in the sea area around the island.

Around 300 labor migrants from Romania make up around 4% of the population .

Structure of the community

The municipality of Pantelleria is divided into 25 districts ( frazioni ): Balata dei Turchi, Buccuram, Bugeber, Campobello, Contrada Venedise, Cufurá, Gadir, Garitte Karuscia, Kamma, Karuscia, Khaddiuggia, Khamma di Fuori, Madonna delle Grazie, Martingana, Reckhale, San Michele, Santa Chiara, San Vito, Scauri, Scauri Basso, Sciuvechi, Sibà, Sopra Gadir, Tracino and Villaggio Tre Pietre.

BUGEBER 115 126
KAMMA 1164 163
SCAURI 957 101
SIBA - RONCONE 144 323
Bonsulton 11 202
Buccaram di Sopra 30th 205
Contrada Venice 8th 165
Cufurà 27 256
Gadir 12 10
Garitte Karuscia 24 40
Khaddiuggia 14th 50
Khamma Fuori 11 120
Località Cimillia 1) 7th 70
Località Mursia 17th 55
Località Punta Fram 1) 2 35
Località Roncone - Salerno 1) 1 13
Località Ziton 21st 170
Martingana 1) 5 25th
Mordomo 60 30th
Penna 15th 48
San Michele 13 173
Santa Chiara 53 30th
San Vito 33 242
Scauri I 13 40
Villaggio Tre Pietre 1) 0 15th
scattered residential buildings 1010 -
Pantelleria municipality 7224 0 to 836

1) residential complex


Two ferry lines connect the island with Trapani in Sicily every day . From Pantelleria airport there are connections to Trapani, Palermo and Rome and (summer 2014 weekly with Volotea) Venice .


Panorama Specchio di Venere

The Specchio di Venere ( Mirror of Venus ) is an inland lake of volcanic origin that was formed 16,000 years ago. It is the only major natural freshwater body on the island. The lake is fed by hot springs (34 to 56 ° C) and only loses its water through evaporation. There are six species of dragonflies ( Odonata ) and eight species of water beetles on the approximately 20 hectare large and 12 m deep lake ; there are no fish. The lake is the only known location of the African oasis pitch dragonfly ( Ischnura fountaineae ) in Europe.

The Parco Archeologico delle antiche Capitali di Pantelleria is located near Pantelleria . The city and acropolis on the double hill of San Marco e Santa Teresa can be visited. The Castello Barbacane is a fortress whose origin is unknown.

The Grotta della Storto sea caves can only be reached by boat.

Setting in literature and film

The island of Pantelleria is the setting for the short story The Happy Summer of Mrs. Forbes by Gabriel García Márquez . A Colombian family spends their holidays there. In the absence of their parents, a drama develops between the two children and the German educator, Ms. Forbes. The island also served as the setting for the film A Bigger Splash .


  • Vicenzo Francaviglia: Ancient obsidian sources on Pantelleria (Italy). In: Journal of Archaeological Science. Vol. 15, No. 2, 1988, pp. 109-122, DOI: 10.1016 / 0305-4403 (88) 90001-5 .
  • John E. Guest, Paul Cole, Angus Duncan, David Chester: Volcanoes of southern Italy . Geological Society, London 2003, ISBN 1-86239-138-6 .
  • Claus-Dieter Reuther: The Pantelleria Rift: Kinematics of Miocene to recent crustal expansion processes in convergent intraplate tectonics in the central Mediterranean . Karlsruhe 1985 DNB 930854195 (Habilitation Universität Karlsruhe 1985, [2], 124 sheets: Illustrated).
  • Alwyn Scarth, Jean-Claude Tanguy: Volcanoes of Europe . Oxford University Press, Oxford u. a. 2001, ISBN 0-19-521754-3 .
  • Massimo Osanna, Thomas Schäfer, Rainer-Maria Weiss (ed.): Caesar in the city. The newly discovered marble portraits from Pantelleria. In: Publications of the Helms Museum. Volume 90, 2004, ISBN 3-931429-08-3 , 55 pages (exhibition catalog Helms-Museum Hamburg and Museum Schloss Hohentübingen).
  • Otto Steinfatt: Bird life and bird migration on the island of Pantelleria. At the same time part V of "Bird Migration in the Mediterranean Area". In: Journal of Ornithology. Volume 82, No. 3, 1934, pp. 409-419, DOI: 10.1007 / BF01905415 .
  • David A. Neave, Gareth Fabbro, Richard A. Herd, Chiara M. Petrone, Marie Edmonds: Melting, Differentiation and Degassing at the Pantelleria Volcano, Italy. In: Journal of Petrology. Volume 53, No. 3, 2012, pp. 637-663, DOI: 10.1093 / petrology / egr074 (English).

Web links

Commons : Pantelleria  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Statistiche demografiche ISTAT. Monthly population statistics of the Istituto Nazionale di Statistica , as of December 31 of 2019.
  2. John Guest 2003, p. 225
  3. Annette Haas: The alkali volcanism in the Pantelleria rift system (Central Mediterranean) - a petrological study . Dissertation University of Karlsruhe 1985, pp. 4-9 and 50-56.
  4. Claus-Dieter Reuther, Karlsruhe 1985, pp. 1f, 29-31, 61-63 and 88f
  5. Mindat - Anorthoclase
  6. Bernd Mühr: Climate diagram Pantelleria (2002), measurements at 170 meters above sea level, accessed on November 23, 2009.
  7. ^ Salvatore Brullo, Andrea Martino, Cosimo Marcenò: La vegetazione di Pantelleria (studio fitosociologico). Istituto di Botanica dell'Universitá, Catania 1977, 110 pp.
  8. F. Conti, G. Abbate, A. Alessandrini (Eds.): An annotated checklist of the Italian vascular flora. 420 p. Roma: Palombi, 2005. ISBN 88-7621-458-5 . (PDF file; 9.2 MB) (taxonomic classification).
  9. Juliane Rühl, Salvatore Pasta, Martin Schnittler: A chronosequence study of vegetation dynamics on abandoned vine and caper terraces of Pantelleria Island (Sicily). In: Archives for nature conservation and landscape research. Volume 45, No. 1, 2006, pp. 71-90, available online (PDF).
  10. ^ Alfred Schlicht: The Arabs and Europe. Kohlhammer, Stuttgart 2008, ISBN 978-3-17-019906-4 , p. 42.
  11. Gisela Graichen: Schliemann's heirs - From the Romans in the Orient to the Inca gold route. Hoffmann and Campe, Hamburg 2003, ISBN 3-455-09403-1 , p. 55.
  12. ^ European Sailing Information System - Emergencies at Sea ( Memento of October 30, 2007 in the Internet Archive ) ( ESYS ).
  13. ^ Municipality of Pantelleria: Demography, Foreigners (2017). UrbiStat, accessed June 15, 2019.
  14. dawinciMD - Consultazione dati del 14 ° Censimento Generale della Popolazione e delle Abitazioni.
  15. Hannah Pilarczyk: How to Love and Die 2016 - erotic thriller “A Bigger Splash” (2016) Spiegel Online, accessed on August 4, 2020.