Let’s travel to Pantelleria

To the south of Sicily, and closer to Africa than to Europe, is the so called black pearl of the Mediterranean, the volcanic island of Pantelleria, known for its wild beauty but also for its unique ancient houses.
On the island we can find about 8000 of the typical domed lava stone construction called Dammuso,  Pantelleria architectural symbol, created in the 10th century A.D. and evolved  in style until the 17th century. Most of the 19th and 20th centuries abandoned, but still functional, dammusi  knew a renaissance when some smart architects started to renovate them in the Sixties as holiday houses for discerning travelers.

The construction shows a clever use of the territory and its resources, shallow foundations and exceptionally wide walls, some are 1 meter thick,  necessary to support the domes which are finished with a mixture of red tufo and plaster, a hard and waterproof surface. The shape of the rounded roofs serves to collect and canalize the rain into cisterns. The thick walls also keep the rooms cool in summer and warm in winter. As the dammusi are built with the natural stone of the island, they blend in very well with the landscape.
Below is an example of dammuso recently restored, leaving intact the architecture and using only local materials, stones, wood, lava rocks.

A holiday house with rigorous lines: 
we can admire here the interior architecture, with high domed ceilings.

Modern furniture, rattan and a few exotic elements. I love the lamps made of driftwood.
The concrete floor is polished to perfection.

White on white and splashes of red.

In the kitchen also counters and sink are masonry. Note the window size: to keep temperature constant inside the house the openings, doors and windows, are few and relatively small.

Outside in the breeze possibly sipping the famous Moscato di Pantelleria (on the island we can find the best Moscato grapes, but also exceptional capers and raisins are cultivated here and of course the cuisine is simple but very savory, being made with mostly local products).

Very simple lines for the pool, surrounded by muri a secco and Mediterranean vegetation.

On the island nature and silence reign… to restore body and mind.
I will leave you dreaming with the superb view from this dammuso.

Photography by Adrian Hamilton

©2012 Tent London Interiors writes about new trends, timeless decor, iconic pieces, design ideas, or at times just musing about "a certain Italian way of doing things".

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Write by: A-Efendy - Sunday, March 25, 2012

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