A truly magnificent retreat imbued with the untamed spirit of Pantelleria
Without any doubt Casa Nikà is one of Pantellerias most beautiful properties: Situated in the fiery, volcanic Nikà area and stretching towards Africa, this elegantly ad masterfully restored complex of dammusi evokes the authentic and serene atmosphere of days past on the Island. In all her houses the owner has succeeded in maintaining the poignant simplicity of the old buildings, where everything is reduced to the absolute essential, without renouncing the comforts modern man is accustomed to. The very original pool with its murmuring small waterfall recalls a tranquil country pond, whereas a black rock here and there, a swaying palm tree and the resting area roofed with palm leaves tie the place to the Mediterranean sea, which remains the powerful and ever-present element of landscaping.
One of the rare examples of how mans intervention was able to create an absolutely unique environment by leaving the task of defining the indoor as well as the outdoor spaces of this archaic building complex to Pantellerias breathtaking nature and the traditional art of stonemasonry. The impeccably elegant and deceptively simple furnishings inside and outside the house, the fabrics and colours everything was chosen with an eye to sobriety and a maximum of synchronization between the living areas and the surrounding spectacular nature; in fact the gardens are planted entirely with indigenous species (olives, capers, herbs, prickly pears) so as to reflect as best as possible the natural environment of the Island.
Lets start with the main house (access by way of the private parking area and through an electronically commanded gate) in the time-honoured L-shape of the traditional dammuso, whose walls bear the signs of time gone by: Three doors open onto a wide terrace which in turn becomes partly a comfort area shadowed by a big linen sail and furnished with table and couches, and partly open-air lounge looking out to the sunset. The roof of an ancient cistern is furbished Tunisian style with multicoloured carpets and thick cushions, and stone benches and floorings in lava stone complete this very pleasing open space. Sturdy prickly pear plants and thatches of vividly coloured bougainvillea lead the eye towards the larger garden gently declining towards the sea, and further still to the horizon. The terrace offers access directly into the big kitchen complete with table and chairs whose fittings in cool grey concrete go perfectly together with the curtains of raw jute fabric and the antique stone pavement. An open portico leads onto the terrace, and a small alcove contains a couch and an Internet corner (satellite connection, wireless). A tiny hallway leads into the big living room with its antique and comfortable furniture and two big arches, one of which offers a view of the garden and the sea beyond.
From the kitchen another archway leads into the big outdoors dining area covered by a palm-leaf roof and featuring a large barbecue/kitchen range; high stone walls offer protection from the wind, the big table seats 12 persons easily, and one corner is filled by a dais covered by straw mats and cushions. From here a small terrace equipped with lounge chair and outdoor shower leads to the main bedroom with mosquito netting and a fine old full-length mirror; the elegant en-suite bathroom features a spacious sunken shower cabin and is equally done in grey smooth concrete.
Leaving the main house and crossing the terrace we find a lawn planted with palm trees in whose shade a large table and chairs in front of a small pond create an atmosphere of extraordinary intimacy and relax; the eye sweeps down to the sea. From here you enter the smaller arm of the L where a picturesque open hallway made of black stone and planted with red geraniums leads on the left to the Stanza Prato (Meadow Room), which contains a single bed as well as an old-fashioned double one (very high and therefore with its own stool for easier access!), a mosquito net and a wall wardrobe; the view from the window is towards the sea. The bathroom, also very elegant and essential in grey concrete, was once the old wood oven for baking bread and pizza and serves the other bedroom as well, the so-called Stanza Le Grotte (Grotto Room) with a large double bed and a wall wardrobe, from its window also the sea is visible.
From the palm garden a path winding uphill leads first to another garden planted with dwarf palms, prickly pears and rushes and looking landwards onto the mountain, and then after 100 m to a minuscule dammuso named Sonnellino (Peaceful Nap), a delightful little building with its own small terrace overlooking the sea and a very private little pool made also of black lava stone. The surrounding vegetation consists in plants commonly found throughout the Island and is thus rather austere, just a few looming prickly pears and one or two dashingly coloured bougainvillea bushes to distract the eye from the splendid view of the sea. In perfect harmony with the spirit of the whole property, also the small house itself is sparsely furnished and consists only in one beautiful room with double bed and small anteroom; here the ancient stonework of the vaulted ceiling is still visible, a large cloth suspended over the bed lightens the black of the basalt stones, and the wardrobe is hidden in a large recess hewn out of the thick wall. A window looks out to the pool on the terrace, and, as in all the houses, the few well-chosen pieces of furniture as well as the fabrics employed are extremely and deceptively simple; the paving consists in ancient terracotta tiles. The very small but elegant bathroom occupies a corner of the minuscule walled courtyard just outside the house, here is also the outdoors shower.
From here another lane winds on through the grounds of the property, planted with olive trees and lush caper and prickly pear bushes, and leads eventually to the dammuso called Le More(The Blackberries), which can also be reached separately, by the public road. Le More too is a very old house in traditional Pantelleria style; it has a small patio bordered by stone benches and with a palm-leaf roof, and just around the corner is the sun deck overhung by a big drape and furbished with thick, fire-engine red cushions, a few geraniums of the same colour and bushes of aromatic herbs comprise the surrounding greenery. The dammuso itself has a large bedroom where the double bed is up on a dais made of smooth white concrete, a beautiful bathroom with vaulted ceiling and an elegantly appointed kitchen with an ancient wood cooker in one corner. The prevailing colour here is off-white, the paving consists in ancient terracotta tiles.
Still another trail leads away from the main house and through an area planted with high rushes until it meets the superb swimming pool filled with crystal clear water, which seems to melt with the sea and the blue line of the horizon; a small waterfall provides the auditory background. One high palm tree stands on the rim of the pool, a few basaltic rocks placed here and there pay homage the Pantellerias volcanic origin. An arched roof covered with palm leaves and lounge chairs around a small table encourage leisurely meditation in the shade.
The trail continues away from the pool and up to yet another traditional dammuso by the name of La Palma (Palm Tree); in keeping with all the other houses on the property it contains only the essential: a bedroom with double bed on a dais and a bathroom with shower, all in an elegant off-white colour, very minimalist. The small terrace in front is overhung by a coloured drape; the view embraces the olive trees gently declining towards the sea, and a few lantanas provide vivid splotches of colour here and there.
The last dammuso, La Strada (The Street) is the one furthest from the main house and has a separate entrance from the street as well as private parking space. It consists in a terrace covered with a palm-leaf roof and complete with the classical stone benches, table and chairs. It has also its own little pool made of the local black stone which promises refreshment in the central hours of the day while the eye sweeps towards the sea and to the African horizon; in the middle distance sways a solitary palm tree. Under a nearby tree is a comfortable chaise longue, and a little further is an area with decidedly Arabic overtones: a big sail covers the carpets and thick cushions around a low table in shade, the place is surrounded by lush caper bushes of the darkest green. Very unusual. The house itself comprises a large, airy bedroom all done in light grey concrete as well as the elegant bathroom in off-white and grey, a small anteroom contains an original wooden divan and a wardrobe hidden in a niche in the wall. A minuscule second dammuso just outside contains the small, but well-appointed kitchen.
Electronically operated gate with entry code.
Daily cleaning service between 8 a.m. and 1 p.m.
Change of bed and bath linen every three days.
Bathrobe available for each guest.
Swimming pool open from May to September
A cook can be requested.
Pets allowed if so agreed with the owner.
The nearest descent to the cliff coast is Nikà, a steep trail leading down to the sea. The climbing is well worth while, because the shore offers flat and rather comfortable rocks for sunbathing under a towering cliffside, and the Mediterranean sea is here particularly blue and boasts a beautiful underwater scenery. The highlight of this place, however, are the hot springs welling up directly on the waterline.
At about 4 km is the picturesque little port of Scauri where boats and rubber dinghies can be rented; there is also a diving center. The tiny village of Scauri offers restaurants, pubs, daily papers, a tobacconist and a small but rather well-stocked supermarket.
RENT A CAR AND SCOOTER
In Pantelleria, with 55 km circumference not exactly tiny island, a means of transport is essential. In collaboration with the agency Policar you book with us, with your dammuso, a scooter or a car you'll be ready when you arrive at the airport. To avoid long waits, please fill out the appropriate form that you will find along with the house Thanks!
Rates include: VAT 22%, unlimited mileage, insurance, RCA, delivered at the airport or in via Messina near the port. Rates do not include fuel