Last week I gave you my first impressions of Pantelleria, a scruffy, soulful volcanic rock that floats in the water between Sicily and Tunisia; seven days later, I’m even more in love with the place and its exotic history than before. Most important…approximately 14 meals later…I now know a great deal about what they eat in Pantelleria, where the cuisine is referred to as pantesco in the local dialect. I suppose pantelleriano would just be too cumbersome!
I am in transition. Europe is so last week! My destination this week is South Africa, where I’ll have a two-week “luxury wine-and-food tour.” I am truly excited! I often say that the one major vineyard destination in the world I’ve not yet hit is…South Africa!…whose wines have often impressed me. So here we go Capetown way…I’ll let you know all about the big sips and the little sips! For now…let’s wrap up Pantelleria…
Ever since I read that Pantelleria is one of the possible places where the mythological Calypso seduced the mythological Ulysses, keeping him from returning home for seven years–OK, all symbols of procrastination are near and dear to my heart!–I have been wanting to visit Pantelleria. But it’s not that I’ve been procrastinating in getting to this tiny volcanic island 65 miles southwest of Sicily…and so close to Tunisia (36 miles) it’s practically Africa! Three times over the last 15 years I have been in Sicily and attempted to go; three times my planes have been grounded by gale-force winds (well, Ulysess ended up here because his ship was wrecked!)
I am in the sea between Sicily and Africa! But on the rock of Pantelleria. Not-so-easy transit from Portugal to this small island closest to the Tunisian coast. Some of the elements of the journey: up at 4AM in Porto, taxi to airport at 5AM for 7AM flight to Rome, 45-minute transfer time in crazed Rome airport for flight to Palermo (that was my jog for the day), FOUR airports all together that day…and, finally, arrival in Pantelleria by scary puddle-jumper for dinner…which was unquestionably worth it all.
8/27/2012 – 9/2/2012
I’m heading out!
My summer concludes with a dazzling European jaunt: northern Portugal, then the island of Pantelleria, just off the coast of Sicily. There will be Port, seafood and capers galore! I hope to tell you all about it soon, and I hope from the source (should I work out my internet capabilities in remote places!)
About David Rosengarten
Journalist, television personality, and cookbook author, David Rosengarten has covered great food products, restaurants, wines, gastronomic travel destinations, and related subjects for over 25 years...
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