Family photography: welcome to Pantelleria

Pantelleria family photography: Pantelleria is a tiny little island in the Mediterranean. It’s part of Sicily, technically, but is closer to Tunisia. It’s name is an Italian version of “Bent El Riah,” which is Arabic for “Daughter of the Winds,” and it really does get very blustery.

It was formed by volcanic eruptions and, although my host assured me it wasn’t liable to explode at any minute, the island is still volcanic enough to basically be the best spa I’ve ever been to (yes, fellow Angelenos, even better than the marvellous Olympic Spa in Koreatown).

For example, if you drive a little way up a mountain and then hike up a bit further, and then crouch your head a little and walk into a little magic cave (it’s not actually magic, but geothermal activity is pretty close to magic in my book) then you are in the most ridiculously perfect sauna. If you sit on the rock by the opening, it’s really warm. Once your eyes adjust to the pitch darkness you can head in a bit deeper, where it’s really very warm indeed. Once you clamber up on the rocks and go higher up and further in (see, I loved this cave so much I’m throwing in random Narnia quotes!) the air gets so hot that it stings the inside of your nose when you breathe.*

There are many other weird and fantastic heat-coming-up-from-inside-the-earth things on Pantelleria, and I’ll tell you about those later. Also on the island, there are: really gorgeous cliff-top roadside shrines looking out towards Libya, a gold-framed Madonna and Child that was allegedly chucked into the Med by godless Arab pirates and found washed up by a fisherman, and three excellent people named Sofia, Tasha and Maurizio. Sofia and I had lots of mini family shoots, all over the island: scroll down for lots of Pantelleria family photography. (A bunch of my travel photography from Pantelleria will be in a lovely Spanish architecture magazine this autumn, too.)

*I realise many people don’t actually want the inside of their noses to hurt when they breathe. The rock by the entry is for those people.

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