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Pelagie Islands

(Lampedusa - Linosa - Lampione)

Pelagie Islands - SicilyThe Pelagic Islands (Isole Pelagie) own their name to the Greek word pelagos, meaning “ deep sea”, and it’s a fabulous sea of luminous depths indeed (the cleanest in Italy) the one shimming here in the endless sunshine. The islands lie on the very edge of the continental shelf separating Africa from Europe, and while Linosa is balanced on the European shelf, the last peak in Etna’s volcanic chain, Lampedusa lies on the African shelf, and is known as “a gift from Africa to Europe”.

Tiny Lampione is little more than a desert rock and it’s out of the ferry route. It is a little pearl in the Mediterranean Sea, a favourite habitat for groupers, lobsters, yellow and pink coral and grey sharks. It is also a paradise for scuba divers.

In July and August the most popular island archipelago’s, Lampedusa, is overrun with visitors. This is the largest among the Pelagies Islands and it’s 205 km far from Sicily and 113 km from Tunisia. Its economy is based on fishing, agriculture and tourism. In the course of history Lampedusa has been a landing place and maritime base for ancient Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans and Arabs. The Romans imported here the plant from which their renowned fish sauce, garum was produced. As a result of pirate attacks by Saracens, the island was deserted. The first prince of Lampedusa and Linosa was Giulio Tomasi, ancestor of celebrated writer Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa, author of the world-famous novel Il Gattopardo.

Isola dei Conigli (literally “Rabbits Island”), close to the south coast of Lampedusa, is one of the last egg-laying sites in Italy for the Loggerhead Sea Turtle, which is a protected species throughout the Mediterranean. The beach and the neighbouring island belong to a natural reserve: here the famous Italian singer and songwriter Domenico Modugno spent his vacations, and Lampedusa itself inspired him the popular song “Volare”. Here he died in 1994.

Fauna in the Pelagic Archipelagos

Lampedusa crystal-clear sea

Breath taking sunset in the Archipelagos

The Island of Rabbits in Lampedusa

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