09/2013 - Italy, Lampedusa Island

One-week stay on the island of Lampedusa staying at the U’ Piddu Hotel because we were curious about the offer of “Room & Boat”.

As anticipated in the introduction, we decided to go to Lampedusa because some friends told us about  their excellent experience of the “Room & Boat”.

I began this trip description starting from the U’ Piddu Hotel.

In the first picture you can see the hotel, seen from afar, surrounded by greenery and in a higher position than the sea. In fact the translation of “U’ Piddu”  is “the Peak” .

I continued presenting the lush courtyard garden and, then, we went upstairs to the terrace which overlooks the harbour.

After the picture of two magnificent fish which are part of the rich and refined daily menu,  there is a picture of the dining room.

The town of Lampedusa does not offer special attractions. The city life takes place mainly in the central  Roma Street. It is important to remember the obelisk Cassodoro, by Arnaldo Pomodoro.

There are two monuments in the New Harbour, by Gerry Scalso : “Triumph of the Sea” and “Tribute to the Fisherman”.

The people of Lampedusa are very devoted to Our Lady of Porto Salvo, the patron saint of seafarers . The statue, usually kept in the Church of St. Gerland , is brought in procession to the modest homonymous sanctuary on the occasion of her consecration which is on September the 22nd.

The heart of the city is represented by the Harbour, divided into two parts: the New Harbour and the Old Harbour.

The New Harbour (Porto Nuovo) hosts the fleet of fishing boats and tourist boats while the Old Harbour (Porto Vecchio) is in the old part of the city. At the Maritime Station we visited the Turtle Rescue Centre (run by the WWF). There, they look after the turtles which have been fished after a violent contact with boats or which are struggling for survival after ingesting plastic or fish-hooks.

I mentioned the “Room & Boat” formula and now I want to show the boat . It was a “super boat” .

The Jamaica (its name ) is an old motor yacht with two sunbathing areas, one on the upper deck and one on a shaded area. The captain was an excellent cook who offered complete (from the starter to the  digestive) and different menus.

In this photo-gallery, I  wish to show our life on board with the tuna fishing, the (poor) dolphins watching , the group bath in deep waters and the souvenir photo with the captain.

The “Baia del Sol” (with many facilities) was the first beach that we visited ( it has also an excellent restaurant), the second one was “Cala Croce” .

We went on until the bay known as “la Tabaccara”, whose sea is characterized by such a clear water to be called “the Pool”.

It is considered the most beautiful corner of the island because it is near both to the “Isola dei Conigli” (Rabbit Island) and to the homonymous beach (Rabbit beach)  (if you are on foot you have to bring your beach umbrella – see below) where Domenico Modugno built an impressive villa.

Finally, our swim, with the support of Jamaica, to go and see the “Madonna del Mare” (Our Lady of the Sea). It lies on the bottom (18/ 20 metres ), under a natural arch , near the “Pagnottella” rock. The bronze statue is a work by Giorgio Crosta.

The photo of the Virgin Mary , shot ​​while holding the breath underwater, was taken with a compact camera

The last beach on that side of the island is “Cala Pulcino” . Then we reached “Capo Ponente” (West cape) . From the land, we admired the beautiful views of the North Coast .

In the that side of the island, the cliff is very high, so there are no beaches .

We made excellent sea-bathing with mask and flippers to swim inside the rocky caves . I mention the most significant visited places ( in many of which we stopped for a swim ) : Scoglio Sacramento, Muro Vecchio (Old Wall), Grotta di zio Pasquale (Cave of uncle Pasquale) , Capo Grecale , Cala Creta with Claudio Baglioni’s villa, Cala Pisana , Grotta del Teschio (Skull Cave) until Cala Francese ( with the villa of Silvio Berlusconi) and the Grottaccie before returning to the harbour .

I present some underwater photos (shot with a not professional camera ) with which I illustrate the underwater world at a shallow depth : crabs and various fish and the “castagnole” (Chromis chromis fish) which play the lord and master.

In this gallery there are some shots to illustrate the curiosities caught wandering in the island.

I highlight the ” famous” Citroen Mehari with a  very particular gearbox, some villas and some examples  of the hospitality reserved to Pope Francis.

I cannot end the trip in Lampedusa without dealing with the subject of “the migrants”.

First of all, I illustrate the monument called “The Gate of Europe”, by Mimmo Paladino.

I also show  a military ship with migrants on board rescued from one of the ” ships of shame ” which did not reach the harbour .

 

I wish to highlight that , in the presence of a “normal” numerical turnout, the emergency is handled with great discretion and tourists are almost not aware of the existence of this drama .

But it is with great sadness and emotion that I show the cemetery of the ” ships of shame” and think of the many stories, all tragic, that each of those boats testify . In fact, nearly all the migrants were forced to leave their homeland and their families to escape wars and massacres.