Printed words are an essential part of the journey since the moment when I start thinking about a new destination. They can either be travel magazines, photography books or newspaper articles but also novels, essays or travel guides.
Hereafter you find some books that according to me are a good way to know the island, you can choose to read them before, during or after the journey.
PANTELLERIA THE LAST ISLAND
By Giosuè Calaciura, Edizioni Laterza
A collection of twelve chapters that can’t be missed “on the island there wasn’t before but there is now”, on its identity so different from the Egadi islands, between Tunisia and Italy. An island that will never become a destination of mass tourism, since for example there is no beach even if it has 51 km coasts.
A very interesting excursus on the people who live on the island, on the constant work of archeologists both of earth and sea who still have the humanity to stop the researches, some historical information of great interest and some digs at the consequences of the elite tourism that has partially changed the island.
I loved the description of the relation between Nature and man, based on balance and respect, on naturalness and artificiality, the way the author can dignify the hard work of the farmer that makes it possible for us to taste some unique products such as the caper and the Passito. It is thanks to this part that I understood I had to meet Mr Rosario Cappadona.
Calaciura’s style is heartfelt, rich in images, capable of being at the same time precise and analytical as the one of a historian but also refined and musical as the one of a poet, both styles share one feature: the elegance. As I said this book CAN’T BE MISSED! According to me this could be read before and during the journey!
From my point of view all guide books should be like this!
THE BLACK PEARL. Literary Guide of Pantelleria.
By Luigi Olivetti. Guerrini Associati
For the first time I haven’t left with a traditional guide book but with a literary one.
“In our phantasy Pantelleria is the far and mysterious island where the natural elements rage” […]. A place from where you would like to escape from or never leave again, the Omeric Ogigia that wraps you in its appeal, a land where the rhythm of the modern man expands blending in a primordial breath.”
A very wide choise of extracts not always by famous authors but of undiscussable “literary value” both ancient and contemporary ones that narrate different aspects of the island starting from The Odyssey. It is thought that Homer used the tales by seamen, that at that time might have seen the island to write the masterpiece up to Gabriel Garcia Marquez who landed on the island with his family invited by the translator of his books to escape fame.
I was really impressed by the impressions collected about the “moon landing” on the island both from the sea and from the air, the description of the ancient village of Pantelleria Centre called Oppidolo, before its destruction happened during 35 days of air raid of the Allied in 1943 and the phase of the slow reconstruction.
I felt the urge to read again and again the description made by Folco Quilici of his immersion to the Ferdinandea Island.
A guide that can be read also after the journey to prolonge the pleasure of the journey itself.
THE DAMMUSO OF THE KITE
By Stefano Ruggeri e Franca Zona. Schena Editore
This is a pleasant novel that is both a romantic story and a thriller I read on the couch of the dammuso where I stayed or lying on the ducchena surrounded by the bougainvilleas. I felt no place would be more suitable than that, Pantelleria is not an island where you can read lying under the beach umbrella.
Paola, an antiquarian from Genoa, buys together with her husband the dammuso once belonged to the family of Domenico Rodo, a notary from Pantelleria. A block of letters is found during the renovation works in a niche. The letters were actually found and tell a love story that was intentionally hidden.
The content of the letters upsets the quiet life of Paola till she understands her role. In all this Paola is not alone: “ My dear Kite, man, dammuso or raptor, anything you may be… I accept the challange: we will deal with it”.
I would like to thank Centro D’Arte Bookshop Valenza in Pantelleria Centro for recommending it.
Photographs by Pucci Scafidi, SilvanaEditoriale
Stunning photography book by Pucci Scafidi, professional photographer based in Palermo. With his art he also tries to give Sicily possibilities for a business and cultural development.
The pics are enriched by thoughts and impressions on the island of more or less famous people. Their truest and deepest side emerges first because Pantelleria undresses of any wishful thinking, position, fame.
The wind in Pantelleria has thought me to feel and follow the true scents of the island. I spent months smelling true, wild, sensual and significant products. I fell asleep among bushes of blossoming capers protected by dwalf palm trees. I woke up with the scent of tomatoes drying in the sun. I fed on zibibbo honey, and I drank its sacred juice. I admired and loved the philosophy of the fisherman and the farmer from Pantelleria. I tried to ask not using words but glances. I cooked, fed and digested, trying to take this process as far as possible. I tried to give my palate the most pleasure possible and my mind a lot of energy, I lived inside Pantelleria and ,now, She lives inside me foreverFilippo La Mantia
I hope you enjoyed the post! Leave me some advice on books you loved about destinations you visited!