The Pantelleria

The “Giardino Pantesco” or Pantelleria Garden, Pantelleria island, Italy.

The millenary rural tradition of Pantelleria has its excellence in the cultivation of sapling vines and the construction of stone walls to protect the crops, which is why Pantelleria was recognized as a UNESCO heritage site in 2014.

The reasons are the results of the strategies to fight climate change, extreme heat conditions and the strong sirocco wind that affects the island of Pantelleria, one of the southernmost island in Italy, from nearby Africa.

The “Pantesco Garden” is a dry lava stone enclosure, generally circular, from two to four meters high to protect even a single citrus tree, evidence of its importance and preciousness and of the aptitude for determinate care of the vegetable element. The walls protect the plants from the strong wind and allow to retain humidity at night, creating a much cooler and humid microclimate inside the garden compared to the surrounding external environment.

These ancient ingenious practices of adaptation and contrast to the harsh climatic conditions of the island, make it a unique feature in the Mediterranean.

A curiosity: a similar tradition of protecting plants from the strong winds of the Atlantic Ocean can be found in the island of Pico, Azores (P) thousands of kilometers away. Here, too, the typical area of vine cultivation is protected as a UNESCO heritage.

Rural Landscape category:
- Local and Traditional Knowledge Systems

Author(s): Marco Minari
Photo Credit: Marco Minari
Country: Italy

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