The Hidden Italian Island Of Pantelleria: The New Sikelia Hotel And Inside Giorgio Armani’s Villa

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The Hidden Italian Island Of Pantelleria: The New Sikelia Hotel And Inside Giorgio Armani’s Villa

Jim Dobson ,

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Swimming pool at Sikelia Hotel in Pantelleria

Jim Dobson

Swimming pool at Sikelia Hotel in Pantelleria

I just can’t get the island off my mind. It was never supposed to be part of my voyage to Sicily, but after several well-heeled Italian business owners told me it was one of their favorite places in the world, I decided to make the journey to Pantelleria.

The hidden island of Pantelleria is located 62 miles southwest of Sicily and a mere 40 miles from Tunisia, the nearby North African coastline is clearly visible from its shores, and the islands influence from its neighbor is dramatically apparent.

Lake with mud baths

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Lake of Venus’s Mirror with mud baths

There is really no feeling of anything remotely Italian on the island, despite the area being frequented by the most famous Italian names in the world. Giorgio Armani fell in love with the island and still owns his summer villa there, and other well-known names like Truman Capote, Sting and fashion photographers have retreated there. The rough, windswept landscape with its jagged lava cliffs, is filled with ancient ruins and historic stone dwellings known as dammusso. You get the feeling you are somewhere lost in remote Africa, rather than on one of the most unique Italian islands.

Gallery

Exclusive Look Inside Giorgio Armani’s Pantelleria Island Villa

This island has had its share of drama in the past, once the home to Phoenicians, Romans and Carthaginians, it was well battled for possession including during WW II when the allies took control of the island as a base for its assault on Sicily. These days, the only drama on the island is which restaurant to choose from, among some of the finest gourmet options in the region.

Suite at the Sikelia Hotel

Sikelia Hotel

Suite at the Sikelia Hotel