SUNDAY COFFEE WITH JEB



Seniors Go Island Hopping In The Mediterranean

travelog-pantelleria We have been hopping around from Sardinia to Sicily to Corsica and elsewhere on these blogs.  Today, senior friends, get your coffee and let’s take a short trip off the coast, 110 km southwest of Sicily, to an island called Pantelleria,  the “Black Pearl of the Mediterranean.”

Ready for an adventure? Formerly called Cossyra and used by the Romans as a place of banishment, Cossyra means “little one,” as the island is quite small, and perhaps also to distinguish it from nearby Malta. It lies only 60 km east of the Tunisian coast and can even be spotted on the horizon on clear days.

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ABC News wrote that the Italian Island of Pantelleria is…“A Trip To Paradise.” TripAdvisor notes that this small, hilly island between Sicily and Tunisia is growing in popularity as a tourist destination.

Consider renting a scooter and go exploring. Circle the Specchio di Venere, a lake inside the crater of a former volcano that made the island all black.

 Seniors Enjoy Thermal Pools

Big draws on the island are the hot thermal pools. The beaches are rocky, but offer great snorkeling just offshore. Both the Lago di Venere and Bagno Asciutto are two favored hots springs and geysers. Seniors, have you ever soaked in a hot thermal spring?  If not, you are in for a memorable experience in Pantelleria.

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My wife soaked in an outdoor thermal bath in Chile. Neat experience. In addition, seniors will see steaming fumaroles, from the Latin fumus,” smoke” that are  openings in a planet’s crust, and mud-baths. I haven’t done that one…yet.

Lonely Planet wants you to know that while there are no true beaches, Pantelleria’s gorgeous, secluded coves are perfect for snorkeling, diving and boat excursions.

Seniors Find Great Hiking Trails

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The island has excellent hiking trails along the coast and in the high vineyard country of Piana di Ghirlanda. Near Mursia on the west coast, there are signposted but poorly maintained remnants of sesi (Bronze Age funerary monuments).

Wikitravel wrote that “Pantelleria is becoming quite a chic destination. It is striking and hilly, with the countryside dotted with white Dammuso houses. While there are no beaches, people enjoy swimming off the many black rocks.

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I counted four places to bed down on the island and each was called “charming and cheap.” No vacation would be complete without good food, and gastronomically speaking, Pantelleria has much to offer.

Read what Tom Kington of The Guardian writes of his experience on Pantelleria.  Enjoy your visit to this romantic, scenic and isolated discovery. -jeb

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