Historic Dammusi Villas in the Black Pearl of Sicily


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Available as Entire property

Minimum stay4 nights

Price starts atstarts at 7.500 x week

Special attributesWhole villa rental, historic architecture, Arab garden, panoramic terrace, swimming pool overlooking the Mediterranean

It is well known that the rarest pearls sit in the most secret shells. Likewise, Kardibà is well hidden in a special part of the Black Pearl, the island of Pantelleria. Pantelleria belongs to Sicily only on the map. In close proximity to Africa (only 67km from Tunisia), the black, volcanic island has been inhabited by a variety of cultures over the past centuries: one left the shape of the roofs of the dammusi, others lent gastronomic and botanic traditions (for example, zibibbo, today used to make the famous sweet wine), everybody left a piece of story. Today, the island is known as the Black Pearl because of its dark soils, but the name, which comes from Arabic, really means “daughter of the winds”. With 83 square meters of beauty and less than 8,000 inhabitants, the name is quite fitting. Both to be discovered, Pantelleria and Kardibà reveal unexpected beauty, telling the wonderful fairytale of the unspoiled island. 


Kardibà sits surrounded by a garden of rare beauty and diversity, overlooking the sea, pampered by the Sicilian wind and sun, deep in the natural reservoir of the island.


Eight thousand square meters of palms, olive trees, agave, figs, vineyards, succulent plants and a vegetation that reveals the Mediterranean maquis well: this abundant environment is the frame of a property of five dammusi that clearly bear the signature of Ginevra, the owner whose delicate eye is directed towards care and respect for the traditions of this part of Sicily, so representative of different cultures.


Since the 12th century, dammusi have been the typical houses of Pantelleria, built to exist in tandem with the natural environment. The architectural structure takes into consideration all the various elements of the island: heat, wind, and minimal rain. The white, dome-shaped roofs were made so pluvial waters would be collected and saved in underground tanks, while the thick lavic walls and small windows guarantee protection from heat in the summer and from cold in winters.


Each of Kardibà’s well-kept dammusi bears a name and a style: the GR dammuso is the master bedroom suite, with a private bathroom (try the outdoor phoenician bath!) and a liquor cellar; the Arab Garden suite is a double alcove with two queen beds; and the Indian dammuso is composed of one French bed and one large bathroom. To complete the scene, there’s also a dammuso with a living room and fully equipped kitchen. There’s room for eight people to sleep in this oasis, but if you are ready to observe the starry nights of Pantelleria directly in nature, there will always be a piece of land ready to host you in an open-air suite!


Outside the dammusi are spaces of full solace and relaxation between a long swimming pool overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, an Arab garden, a panoramic terrace in Moroccan decor, several hammocks and a magical armchair swinging among the Tunisian palm trees surrounding the entrance to Kardibà.


It’s easy to understand how staying less than four nights is therefore impossible. Even if only to explore the spaces of Kardibà and discover the life of the island–an island that lives a different life in every season. Perhaps, if a color could be associated with each season, straw yellow would be summer, floral pink in spring, green in winter and orange in autumn. These colors change, yet the background is always constant: the deep blue of the volcanic sea. 


The truth is that for those who have never seen Pantelleria, it’s not easy to imagine what happens once their eyes get used to the colors of the island. And for those who already know it, it’s not easy to leave. This is true of Kardibà as well: the house is always opening its palms to welcome you. In no time at all, you will have found your home in the world: a black house, surrounded by green, overlooking the blue.


Now all that remains is to take off your shoes and cross the threshold of Kardibà, get lost in the garden or discover the underground Phoenician tank, recently restored for all to enjoy and see. Whether it’s reading a book in the palm grove, a swim in the pool, a walk among the vineyards, an outdoor movie in the Moroccan terrace, or a pause of relaxation on the porch, every moment at Kardibà makes the villa feel like your own secret garden. And if you feel like it, ask Ginevra to tell you the story of the name that this property bears. Hint: There’s a secret recipe for the Kardibà cocktail! 


And don’t forget to ask staff member Antonietta about her meat rolls and majestic baci panteschi with slightly grainy ricotta and, sometimes, pieces of chocolate. If you are lucky, she will find time to teach you step by step and guide you through the delicacies of Pantelleria, which are always on the table of the beautiful Kardibà.


A few segreti (secrets) from Ginevra: 


Kaya – Makes the best drinks to wrap up a day of sun, sea and sand at the beach. You can never go wrong with a spritz!


Altamarea – Right next door to Kardibá, Altamarea makes a refreshing gazpacho freddo.


Zillaco, Sottovento and Allevolte – Three lovely clothing shops in town where you can find Italian style!