It is the typical construction of the island of Pantelleria, which has its origins in the Arab civilization adapted by the Pantelleria peasants.
It is a construction that takes into account the peculiarities of the island: the wind, the heat, the scarcity of water and the richness of lava material.
All the elements that characterize these constructions have a specific function: the domed roofs are used to convey rainwater into the cisterns, the walls up to 1.40 m thick, the small windows and doors guarantee insulation against the heat of summer and the cold of winter, the “Jardinu” (circular construction in lava stone) serves to protect the fruit tree crops from the strong winds.
Today, respect for tradition, combined with the creativity of architects, has transformed these small farm buildings into particular houses, full of alcoves and corridors, gardens enriched with colorful bougainvillea and palm trees and large outdoor spaces and terraces adorned with vineyards and olive groves.
ARCHITECTURAL ELEMENTS in the Dammuso are:
The ROOF – it has a dome shape due to the presence of vaults inside (made by crossing arches) to facilitate the collection of rainwater. It is also a mystical and meditation place, where you can admire the sky at night.
The “PASSIATURE” – It is the terrace in front of the main facade facing east. The term indicates a passage space to access the house and derives from “passiàre” which in Sicilian dialect means to stroll. The terrace is also used for convivial moments, for sunbathing and for admiring the sunsets.
The “NICCHIA” – It is a space created in the thickness of the walls intended for different uses: for bookcases, for object holders, for kitchen utensils and for the shower.
THICK WALLS – The load-bearing walls are created with large dry stone and have a great thickness to support the roof vault and to ensure thermal insulation of the internal environment.
The “JARDINU” – It is a circular or square wall enclosure outside the house, to protect the fruit trees from the strong and violent winds that blow every day on the island.
The “DUCCHENA” – It is the masonry seat that delimits the passage. Today it is transformed into comfortable stone sofas with cushions.
The TANK – It is an underground compartment used for the collection of rainwater.
The “CANNIZZO” – It is the reed roof used to shelter the external spaces of the house from the sun.
The “ALCOVE” – It is a secluded and intimate room inside the dammuso used for rest, divided from the central area by transparent curtains.
The “AIA” – It is the circular building element outside the house intended for the threshing of wheat. Today it is a sunbathing area embellished with deck chairs and sun loungers.