Linosa, all you need to know on the Pelagie island
Among the beauties of the province of Agrigento there is also Linosa, a small island located about 40 kilometers from Lampedusa. Let’s get to know this natural paradise better which can offer a lot despite its small size.
Linosa in antiquity
In ancient times, the island was a refuge for those who crossed the Mediterranean. The Romans, for example, used it during the Punic wars as a base. Their presence is testified by the 150 cisterns built to collect rainwater. Furthermore, the surrounding seabed is full of the contents of ships of the time, which over the centuries have been shipwrecked there.
After being under the control of the Carthaginians and the Romans, Linosa underwent the Arab-Saracen, Norman, Angevin and Aragonese dominions. Later the island remained uninhabited and occasionally used by piracy as a port.
In 1630 the king of Spain granted the Tomasi family the title of princes of Lampedusa and therefore the dominion over Linosa. In 1776 one of the princes Tomasi advised the king of Naples to sell the islands to the English, who were very interested in their strategic value, but the king did not grant it and bought them himself from the prince.
In 1843 Ferdinand II of Bourbon, king of the Two Sicilies, commissioned the knight Bernardo Maria Sanvinsente, captain of a frigate, to colonize the islands. This took place on 22 September 1843 in Lampedusa. Linosa will be expected on April 25, 1845, when a first group of thirty people landed on the island.
After years which did not receive much attention, in the 1960s the island began to change its face in terms of technological innovations and tourism development.
An important turning point occurred in conjunction with the arrival in the 9th century of the Arabs, who moved the capital of Sicily to Palermo (previously it was in Syracuse), making the city grow from every point of view. Internal conflicts within the Arab people led to the crisis and facilitated the entry of the Normans, who took the city between 1071 and 1072. Palermo reached its maximum splendor under the government of Roger II, and then ceded – on his death – the role of hegemonic city of the Mediterranean to Naples.
The following eras saw Palermo dominated by families such as the Swabians and the Angevins, and then came under Spanish rule. In 1734 the scepter of the city passed to the Bourbons, who kept the kingdom of Sicily and Naples separated in the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies.
Finally arriving in the 1900s, Palermo experienced a decidedly luxuriant first part of the century. The same cannot be said of the second half, characterized by the phenomenon of the mafia fought by historical figures – who gave their lives for this fight – such as Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino.
What to see and visit on the island of Linosa
In the northeastern tip of Linosa there is one of the most evocative places on the island, namely the “Natural Pool”. We are talking about a stretch of sea water set in a black lava expanse, a stone’s throw from the sea and where you can swim.
In addition to the Natural Pool, a very interesting stretch of the island is its volcanic conformation (characterized by several craters). In the central area of Linosa, in fact, there is the main one of these craters, namely the Fossa del Cappellano, with its 600 meters in diameter. Nearby there are Monte Vulcano, Monte Rosso, Monte Nero and another small crater only 50 meters wide.
Finally, on the island of Linosa, you can admire many species of both flora and fauna. This locality abounds in Mediterranean scrub species (Pistacia lentiscus, Euphorbia dendroides, Capparis spinosa and Thymus capitatus). Among the animals found in Linosa there are the loggerhead turtle, the shearwater (species of bird), the Maltese lizard and the skink(belonging to the saurian family).
Interesting excursions and activities
The most recommended activity during a stay in Linosa is a boat ride. Only in this way, in fact, will it be possible to see parts of the island otherwise unreachable. Furthermore, by visiting these places, it is possible to take note of how geologically different this island is from Lampedusa.
Another very interesting area of Linosa is the center, with a series of narrow streets populated by pastel-colored houses. A very colorful scenario dominated by absolute quiet, which therefore deserves to be visited.
The typical cuisine of the island
Most of Linosa’s gastronomic specialties are based on fish and seafood. In particular, fish is cooked stewed or grilled, but also sweet and sour. Furthermore, the island is famous for thecultivation of lentils, so it may be interesting to taste the local legume soup. These and other delicacies can be enjoyed in many restaurants including Anciuluzzu, Ristorante Errera, Trattoria Da Anna and Al Porto.
Beaches in Linosa
Linosa Island is a highly recommended destination not only for its characteristic places, but also for its beautiful beaches. The most famous is undoubtedly Cala Pozzolana di Ponente, which is the only stretch of the island entirely made of sand. It is located on the slopes of Monte Nero and between high rock walls, as well as hosting the caretta caretta turtles that lay their eggs right here.
For diving lovers, however, a recommended beach is La Secchitella. Its seabed is a true spectacle of nature, full of life, and houses an ancient sunken wreck from which archaeological finds emerge, about 25 meters deep. Two other places to visit are Punta Beppe Tuccio and Cala Pozzolana di Levante.
How to get to the island
The island of Linosa is 42 kilometers from Lampedusa and the only way to reach it is by sea. Liberty Lines hydrofoils make direct and daily connections from both Lampedusa and Porto Empedocle (Agrigento). The standard cost of the one way ticket Lampedusa-Linosa is about 30 euros and the duration of the navigation is 60 minutes. Connections to Linosa are always guaranteed, as long as there are optimal climatic conditions. Otherwise, there are no departures from either Lampedusa or Porto Empedocle.