#12 Ventotene – Departure

So we leave also Ventotene behind… and with it, its magic atmosphere, its pastel-colored houses, the incredible Roman Port, the gently volcanic glimpses of its sea. But above all its most Mediterranean essence, which after all means culture and sense of welcoming.

We met Ventotene’s bookseller, Fabio Masi, in its stunning, inimagginabile for an island with 300 residents, Libreria Ultima Spiaggia Ventotene, where thanks to Predrag Matvejevic unreal encounters can happen. Then Salvatore and Elena from the Archaeological Museum who explained to us the history and its importance in the present. The legendary Petra of the Circolo Velico Ventotene (Ventotene Sailing Club), where many, really many children learn to sail.

And finally a special mention to Valentina and Stefano from Diving World Ventotene, who welcomed us and gave us a taste of the island’s underwater world, a Marine Protected Area. And above all to Pietro Pennacchio, owner of the Hotel Mezzatorre Ventotene, who hosted us understanding, with simplicity and great open-mindedness, how important it is to talk about small islands and their future.

Heading towards Ponza now!

 

Posted on: 21.May.2018   Leave a comment

Island People – Ustica – Margherita Longo

Ustica is “my” island. I’ve lived there a year and a half in the last three years, and after a quick calculation, I spent at least the equivalent of a month underwater.

It’s not an easy or an astounding island. Her affection, in both ways, must be conquered: it is reserved to the patient ones.

I believe Margherita and her partner Vito were patient enough. Here go her words:
“I’m 39, I have got two kids, a degree and a PhD in agriculture. After studying and working in the city I came back to the countryside. We decided to bet on our future on our grandparents’ piece of land, along with my partner Vito Barbera, who is from Trapani and moved to Ustica. Eight years ago, after leaving, he, the academic career, I, the mythic permanent position at the Ministry of Agriculture, we returned to live in Ustica with our children to renew the family farm. Given my half-Sicilian, half-Lombard roots, I can integrate organization and passion in both the company and the family management. I am an active part in the associative life of the island, which tries to join agricultural producers and tourist operators in order to promote agriculture and tourism.”

The name of the farm is Hibiscus (https://www.agriturismohibiscus.com/eng/) and is one of Ustica’s flagships. It produces, with organic methods, some awesome white wines and an incredible “passito” made of zibibbo grapes. Beside the inevitable lentils – Ustica’s Slow Food item – and extra virgin olive oil from Erice.

Margherita, Vito, you will be the first whom I will meet along my voyage, but it will be like coming back home

Posted on: 20.Mar.2018   Leave a comment