Pantelleria (pänˈtāl-lārēˈä) [key], volcanic island, 32 sq mi (83 sq km), S Italy, in the Mediterranean Sea between Sicily and Tunisia. Sweet wine, capers, raisins, and dried figs are exported. A colony of the Phoenicians and then of the Carthaginians, it passed to the Romans in 217 B.C. The island was later taken by the Arabs (8th cent. A.D.) and by the Normans (12th cent.). Because of its strategic location, it was strongly fortified by Italy in the 20th cent. During World War II, Pantelleria was bombed into surrender by the Allies in 1943. On the island are extinct cones (the highest rising to 2,743 ft/836 m), numerous fumaroles, and hot mineral springs.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
See more Encyclopedia articles on: Italian Political Geography