ITALY: Uptight Little Island

To the casual eye, the tiny (50-sq.-mi.) Italian island of Pantelleria has little to recommend it. Halfway between Sicily and North Africa, it has no beaches, no good harbors, no scenic little coves and no vegetation to speak of. Its one town looks like a slum-clearance project, and its 8,240 people are among the poorest in Italy. Volcanic springs, more like oversized tea kettles than proper Ve-suviuses, gurgle and smolder in the interior and, from shore to barren shore, there is not a drop of water fit to drink. Water, like almost all the island's food, must be brought...

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