Dammusi of Pantelleria, When ingenuity meets nature

 

On the halfway between Italy and Africa, lost amid the blue warm waters of the Mediterranean sea , Pantelleria is a unique natural treasure, one of the most magnificent of all the Belpaese. The delicious scents of the Mediterranean fauna color every corner of the 80 square kilometers of the island, on which, however, is scarce the presence of dense vegetation, while abound underground rocks and quarries, which make the earth constantly beaten by the harsh sun.

Among the centuries locals  have had to adapt to the barren and windy climate, and for this reason rushed out to build homes that can overcome these problems. Thus were born the Dammusi, cubic houses of typical Pantelleria stone. In their archaic design while the inhabitants wisely kept account the peculiarities of the island: the wind whipping, the perennial hot, the lack of rain and the wealth of lava material. Just as lava stone was used to build the first Dammusi, which is why often seem to be born directly from the earth, as if they were natural outgrowths of the land. In addition all the elements that characterize these buildings have a specific function: domed roofs are used to collect rainwater in cisterns; the thick walls, up to one meter and forty thick, provide the insulation against heat in summer and cold in winter, as well as the small size of windows and doors.

Almost always next to a dammuso there is then a circular building made of lava stone, called "jardinu", inside which there are cultivated fruit trees to protect them from the incessant wind that blows on the island. Even today in Pantelleria are built Dammusi which obey this wise and practical tradition, combined with the creativity of a few talented architects who has transformed these farm buildings in homes equipped with a very special charm Made in Italy: no doors between the rooms, but a succession of alcoves and winding corridors, dominated by soft ceilings while the penumbra keeps the house cool.

Outside, however are usually prepared elegant terraces where vineyards are green space and olive groves, surrounded by palm trees and magnificent gardens that enhance the already spectacular panorama of the most beautiful sunsets in the Mediterranean, idyllic frames for a pearl among the most valuable of Italy.