LINOSA

 

Linosa is a pleasant volcanic island Ė hence its dark-grey color Ė with three lofty cones that show a striking contrast with the intense blue of the sky. The volcanoes, now extinct, give the island a fairly sinister look. The only town consists of a collection of lovely pastel-colored homes grouped around the islandís small harbor. Tourists can enjoy excursions to the peaks or fascinating boating tours. Its scanty population, once largely living by cattle-breeding, today is mostly engaged in tourism-related businesses. The Vulcano Mount, measuring 186 metres, is the islandís tallest peak. The interior, mainly desert, features only a few cultivated grounds, notably the so-called Fossa del Cappellano that is well-sheltered from winds. Bordered by lava basalt jagged rocks, Linosa is considered a paradise for divers and seawatchers who can enjoy richest wildlife and vegetation (See Lampedusa, A Submerged World)

 

The Caretta-Caretta (Loggerhead Sea Turtle)

This peaceful creature, solitary throughout the year except for the breeding season, lives in most temperate waters and nests every two or three years. It comes ashore at night, digs a nest (between 40 and 75cm) and soon covers it by using her hind flippers. This task accomplished, she makes her way back to the sea. The clutch, mostly lost to predators, hatches in a period between six and eight weeks. The hatchlings are a favorite food of birds and humans. Once out to the sea, they become a prey of fishes, who much appreciate their tender meat. In 1978, the loggerhead was listed as a threatened species. Pollution, habitat loss and pesticides are major reasons for its decline. The loggerhead shares the same threats that menace all marine turtles.

With its wide sandy beach, the Rabbit Islandís Bay is a major nesting place for the loggerhead. The WWF Lampedusa Caretta Caretta Turtle Center was recently established, coordinated by Daniela Freggi and involving the activity of young students. For information about joining or supporting it or for any enquiry please call the following mobile phone no. 338 2198533.

At Linosa, the black and warmer sandy beach of Gaia Pozzolana di Ponente sees a majority of female hatchlings, due to the higher (above 30į C) temperature of its sand. Temperatures under thirty degrees produce nearly all male hatchlings. The Hydrosphera Rehabilitation Center, centred on the Island of Linosa, have conducted interesting studies on the loggerhead thanks to help from volunteers coming from across the world. The center is equipped to provide emergency service. The two centers on Lampedusa and Linosa form part of a broader National project on sea turtles curated by the Department of Animal and Human Biology at the La Sapienza University of Rome.

The islandís wildlife include a remarkable number of Maltese Wall Lizards and Shearwaters, a type of aquatic bird renowned for his melancholic singing. The black sandy beach of Gaia Pozzolana is a significant loggerhead nesting beach. Lovers of walking excursions can stroll about the amazing paths leading to the three major peaks of the island, namely the Red Mount, whose crater is covered with cultivations, the Black Mount and the Vulcano Mount, from whose top cars in Lampedusa are clearly visible when the wind blows from the South-West.

Boating tour of the Island Ė Boat tours can be scheduled at the islandís harbor. The ride departs from the harbor, and heads for the Fili, big offshore rocks that form a natural swimming pool, bounded, ashore, by an impressive rocky cliff eroded by atmospheric agents. Shifting waters and caper bushes are the main features of the landscape. Past these rocks, there is a sight of the lighthouse lying on an enchanting coastal strip. Towards the end of the tour is Cala Pozzolana, a beach enclosed by steep rocky walls with colors varying from yellow to red. This is the landing point for the ferry from Lampedusa.