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Trip Planner Europe  /  Italy  /  Sicily  /  Islands of Sicily  /  Pantelleria

Pantelleria

3.8
Pantelleria, the ancient Cossyra, is an Italian island in the Strait of Sicily in the Mediterranean Sea, 100km southwest of Sicily and 60km east of the Tunisian coast. Tunisia is visible on clear days. Administratively Pantelleria is a comune belonging to the Sicilian province of Trapani.With an area of 83km2, it is the largest volcanic satellite island of Sicily. The last eruption occurred in 1891 below sea level, and today phenomena related to volcanic activity can be observed, such as hot springs and fumaroles.The highest peak, called Montagna Grande, reaches 836m above sea level.HistoryArchaeological exploration has unearthed dwellings and artifacts 35,000 years old.The original population of Pantelleria did not come from Sicily, and was of Iberian or Ibero-Ligurian stock. After a considerable interval, during which the island probably remained uninhabited, the Carthaginians took possession of it (no doubt owing to its importance as a station on the way to Sicily) probably around the beginning of the 7th century BC, occupying as their acropolis the twin hill of San Marco and Santa Teresa, 2km south of the town of Pantelleria. The town has considerable remains of walls made of rectangular blocks of masonry, and also of a number of cisterns. Punic tombs have been discovered, and the votive terra-cottas of a small sanctuary of the Punic period were found near the north coast.
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