Pantelleria: what’s in a name?

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Pantelleria, the largest volcanic satellite island of Sicily, was conquered by the Arabs in 700 AD: they named it “ بنت الرياح Bint al-Riyāḥ” or  “the daughter of the winds”, due to the strong winds that arise off the north coast of Africa.

The Arabs are attributed many of the most characteristic elements of its landscape, including its typical one-level building, called dammuso, a dry stone structure with thick walls, usually black because the rocks used are of volcanic origin. They have characteristic domes on top painted white to avoid overheating.

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L’isola vulcanica di Pantelleria fu conquistata dagli Arabi nel 700 e  fu da essi denominata “ بنت الرياح  Bent el-Rhia”, ossia “la figlia dei venti”.

Agli Arabi vengono attribuiti molti degli elementi più caratteristici del suo attuale paesaggio, tra i quali i dammusi, costruzioni in pietra lavica locale, murata a secco, sormontate da una copertura a cupola imbiancata a calce.

 

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