The Rake Dispatch: Pantelleria

Pantelleria, Italy. The word rolls off the tongue like a sweet sfoglia cake or the name of a mythical sea goddess.
Pantelleria Island photographed by Katie McKnoulty.

Indeed, Pantelleria is actually a rather wild island in the strait of Sicily, in the Mediterranean, and has long been a secret destination for those who like to live well, and who appreciate the finer things—notably Giorgio Armani, who not only frequented the island, but would bring his friends there every summer. He has owned a villa in Pantelleria since 1979.

What did Giorgio see in the island that made it worth showing-off to his cultured, jet-setting friends? Perhaps it is the sense of off-the-radar peace or the untouched local culture: villages here still appear as they did half a century ago, romantically preserved by the natives, who have a reputation for their good humour and warmth. But go further into the island, and the landscape changes dramatically. Tunisia sits off of the horizon. Mustard yellow tracks are met with lush bushes and clear pools of water.

There is an intensity to the landscapes that shoulders the luxury it has to offer tourists, as seen in the filmA Bigger Splash, a remake of the Alain Delon classicLa Piscine.

Perhaps those films offer a good excuse to discuss what one might choose to wear on a trip to Pantelleria. A linen shirt, as worn by Mr Ralph Fiennes, in pastel tones compliments the landscape beautifully; with light trousers and suede loafers to match. This is an easy-breezy outfit choice, to take you from the beach to a mountain-side dinner (as indeed Ralph and Tilda Swinton do inA Bigger Splash).


August 2022


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