Other Islands - Sicily

Sicily is the great mother of several small isles that join the above mentioned groups of islands: the isles of the Asinelli and the isle of Colombaia in the sea of Trapani; the isle of the Femmine north-west of Palermo; the isles of the Ciclopi (Lachea or Aci, Faraglione Grande and Faraglioni Piccoli) north of Catania; the isle of Vendicari south of Noto; the isle of Capo Passero near the Cape bearing the same name, and the isle of the Correnti with the nearby Formiche and Porri.

However, the most important and the biggest islands are Ustica (province of Palermo) and Pantelleria (province of Trapani).


This is both Sicily's biggest and most outlying island (situated 55 miles from the Sicilian Capo Granitola and 46 miles from the Tunisian Cape Bon). There is only one village and some small built-up areas with names that recall the past Arab presence: Bugheber, Bukkuram, Gelkhamar, Khamma, Rekhale and Siba'. Other built-up areas have typical Italian names such as Scauri, Tracino, San Vito, Grazia, Campobello. This 14-kilometre-long and 8-kilometre-wide island reaches a maximum altitude of 836 meters with Montagna Grande. The mountain is surrounded by 24 "cuddle" (small craters that recall the volcanic origins of this islands), lava flows, residues of pumice-stone, basalts, fumaroles and thermal sources (Gadir, Nicà, Satana). There are many grottos where it is possible to take healthy steam baths; one of the most famous ones is the 'Stufa' (stove) del Bagno di Arturo near Sibà. The island was Phoenician (Hirani), Greek (Cossyra), Arab in the IX century (Bent el Rhion, "Daughter of the wind'), Swabian, Angevin, Aragonese and Bourbon. The famous donkeys of Pantelleria are still bred inland.


This is a solitary island (36 miles from Palermo), but it is not the isle of solitude. Ustica has recovered its priceless nature resources thanks to the Marine Reserve that protects its extraordinary seabeds. The under-water flora and fauna are multiplying their species and they can all be visited with guided tours. That is why it seems contradictory (as some do) to link the name of this vital and animated world to the Greek word "Osteodes" which means ossuary. Others link the name of the island to "Utica", the ancient name of the city of Algier or to "Usta" (burned by the volcano). This island appears scorched, lava-black and iron-ore-red in the few spots where it is not covered by the green scrub. Ustica has a surface of little more than 9 km2 and a maximum altitude of 244 metres (Monte Guardia dei Turchi). This island has been visited by different peoples since ancient times and has fallen into the hands of Normans, Arabs, Spaniards and Neapolitans. Its fate in modern times has always been that of being a prison and place of exile until the end of the Second World War. Today it is a symbol of freedom for sea and land nature.

Food & Wine

The zibibbo grapes and a strong, fragrant spiced wine are produced from its vineyards. The gastronomy offers choice dishes such as bitter ravioli stuffed with ricotta-cheese and mint, stuffed aubergines, Fish-cuscus, the famous capers and the very small and tasty lentils.

Its gastronomy includes all the typical Sicilian dishes: pasta with sardines, the famous caponata (selection of vegetables and other ingredients all fried together), spaghetti with lobster and many other delicacies.

For more information    
for Ustica:   for Pantelleria:
Palermo - Local Tourist Board
Piazza Castelnuovo 34
90141 Palermo ITALY
  Trapani - Local Tourist Board
Via S. Francesco d'Assisi 27
91100 Trapani ITALY

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