Ustica, Sicily; a fabulous location for scuba diving

Photo of Ustica in North Sicily

Visit Ustica

Ustica is one of the smallest of the Aeolian islands off the northern coast, and also the most remote being some way to the west of Lipari, the main island (and 100 km west of Alicudi, the closest of the other islands in the group.

Don't let the slight incovenience of reaching Ustica deter you from visiting however - above all if diving is your hobby. there are numerous underwater caves to explore around the coast of Ustica and beautifully clear and clean waters, so it is very popular with the diving community. Among the many caves to explore are the 'Grotta Azzurra', the 'Grotta di San Francesco il Vecchio', the Green cave, the Cave of the Boats, and the 'Shrimp Cave'.

The diversity of marine life is part of the main appeal for divers, while the rest of us enjoy the landscapes and varied plant life with the a wide range of natural plants, shrubs and trees to enjoy.

Remarkably given its location 70 km off the coast of Sicily, Ustica has also had a long history of occupation dating from prehistoric times, and two important ancient villages have been found and it is clear that 3500 years ago the island was an important trading post. Given the size of the defences that surrounded one of the villages 'faraglioni' it is also clear that it was far from a peaceful life that they led.

Another village, with a fortress and troglodyte houses, dates from the early Roman period and is built into the top of a hill called Falconiera.

The island was also occupied during more recent centuries as witnessed by some medieval ruins including the "Monasterium Sancte Marie de Ustica" (a benedictine monastery), some Bourbon fortifications, a 5th century necropolis and a Byzantine village.

See also:

Map of Ustica and places nearby