Politi Nautica Charter & Sailing
Crociere a Vela nel Mediterraneo

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Charter Politi Nautica - Ustica Island

This dwarf-like volcanic island (8,6 kmqs), the emerged part of a great underwater volcano, is also the most ancient of the islands, it appeared above the water's surface long before the Eolian Islands.

Politi Nautica Charter Isola delle Femmine Palermo - UsticaThe ancient geographers and historiographers called her Ustica - 'volcano's wreckage' (Ustum = burnt). For the Greek it was known as 'Osteodes' - (ossario or island of the bones), due to the remains of human bodies after the Carthaginian deportation of mercenary soldiers, mutineers that on the island faced death due to hunger and thirst. Another explanation, according to mythology, is due to the bones of the unlucky sailors who were spellbound by the bewitching voice of the sirens who sat on the high ground overlooking the sea and whose melodious song bewitched the imprudent sailors, their ships breaking against the island's jagged rocks. But the name "Isola delle Ossa" also refers to the identification, by some scholars, of the island of Ustica with the island of Eéa, the solitary abode of the powerful sorceress Circe, who turned sailors that dared to approach her island into animals.

Ustica Charter Politi Nautica Isola delle Femmine PalermoThe first human installation once again dates to the Palaeolithic era; important excavations have brought to light an interesting palaeo-christian village. Burial grounds, systems of burrows and cisterns dug in the tuff and a myriad of archaeological discoveries in various points of the island and the water surrounding it -  evidence of the numerous shipwrecks in this sea - confirm that the place was inhabited by ancient Mediterranean peoples.

Strategic point for traffic and the commerce, Ustica has seen Phoenician, Greek, Carthaginian and Roman populations, whose presence can be seen in remains all over the island. Subsequently it was the base for the Saracen raids, fleets who used the island to hide their ships and therefore launch surprise attacks.

Ferdinando IV, King of the Two Sicilies, constructed a series of fortifications around the island that protected the farmers and allowed them to work in peace. In 1759 an imperial decree of Ferdinando di Borbone imposed a progressive colonization of the island by the Sicilians, creating the premises for the development of a small and stable community, that today numbers over 1,300.

Ustica porto Charte Politi Nautica Isola delle Femmine PalermoIn 1987 was created the 'Riserva Marina', to preserve and to protect the immense patrimony of fauna and natural beauty that is hidden in the submerged world around Ustica. The Reserve is divided into three zones: Zone A, integral, in which bathing is allowed, but sailing and fishing are prohibited; it extends west of the island, from Cala Sidoti to Caletta and up to 350 m from the coast (special yellow boas signal its location). Zone B extends from Punta Cavazzi to Punta Omo Morto; here bathing is allowed as well as underwater photography, and line fishing is permitted, underwater fishing is prohibited.  Zone C is a partial reserve, where national rules are in force and underwater fishing is allowed.
 
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