Risotto simmered in champagne at Michelin-tipped restaurants and beach clubs serving garlicky spaghetti rank among the top places to eat on the moreish Mediterranean isle of Lampedusa.
Italy’s southernmost territory is almost equidistant between Sicily and North Africa, beckoning Italians and in-the-know Europeans to its arid shores for unparalleled beaches and diving. With a hub of exotic marine life, from loggerhead turtles to bottlenose dolphins and neon-bright parrotfish, this diver’s haven is just as popular with landlubbers for its wilderness-backed coves and uncannily clear waters. Stop in at one of these glorious restaurants for a taste of the Mediterranean.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
This swanky hotel restaurant not far from the main port has made it into the Michelin guide. Prim white-clothed tables line an elegant terrace edged by pines and palms, where grouper tartare topped with edible flowers is served in a shell-like ceramic dish and champagne-simmered prawn risotto comes topped with jewels of salmon roe. Both the five- and seven-course tasting menus feel well priced for the quality of fare. Book well ahead to score a sought-after table.
On a sunny plateau above the small southern beach of Cala Croce, this breezy terrace under a thatched canopy has a lighthearted, beach-club feel. Platters of garlicky spaghetti come topped with prawns the size of a fist, antipasti platters overflow with charred aubergine and marinated anchovies and slivers of tuna crudo are fragrantly fresh. Come well before lunchtime to skim across the blonde sands and swim in lapis-blue shallows, then cool off with a cold beer in the shade.
There’s a touch of North African opulence to this sophisticated local institution, its ceiling lit by a web of connected filament bulbs and coloured-glass lanterns, with rich, gilded fabrics mounted on the walls. Its menu is hearty, traditional and centred around fish: creamy grouper crepes, octopus shakshuka with sweet red peppers and tuna wrapped, Tunisian-style, in a brik pastry. An older, well-heeled crowd pours in after dark for fine wines and civilised conversation.
Striking presentation is top of mind at this temple to seafood, set in a pretty, tiled residential building with a slim balcony terrace, in the main port. Scarlet hunks of tuna tartare are topped with seaweed crackers spun like fishing nets, sea urchins swim in their spiky shells atop twirling tornadoes of pasta and seared tuna is encrusted with vivid crushed pistachio, then sprinkled with edible flowers. A stylish crowd of young couples and groups from the mainland makes a beeline here for photogenic dinners, topped off with premium champagne.
A low-key cafeteria with pavement tables scattered over a central square, this is the place for home cooking surrounded by chattering locals. The must-tries are the arancini (fried rice balls), but expect to find crisp calamari, vinegar-doused octopus salad and chargrilled aubergines, too, as well as plenty of sugary baked treats. Close to bartering street vendors and facing a leafy square, it’s a no-frills lunch spot with tonnes of local atmosphere and charm.
In the inland province of Terranova, this family-run joint excels at fresh grilled fish and parmesan-showered pastas served on rustic, hand-painted platters. You start by filling up on a buffet of island specialities served aperitivo-style – couscous, anchovies, octopus salad – then move on to the mains, which host Gianni guides you through with great charm. It’s high quality, but with more generous home-style portions than the fine-dining institutions on the island.
This east-coast restaurant has a romantic terrace cut into the rocks, topped with sails and scattered with nautical blue-and-white painted chairs. Couples graze by candlelight on juicy grilled squid, slivers of fresh fish crudo and peppery seared tuna served on elegant slates or glossy glazed ceramics. At night, the stars in this low-lit area appear piercingly bright. Then again, by day, the seas off this strip of coast glow a surreal shade of aquamarine, so you may be tempted to come for a lunch as well as a dinner.
On the eastern side of the island’s main port, this spot fuses the whisper of Arabic-speaking North Africa with the Mediterranean in a cave-like space, with its buffed checkerboard flooring, mosaic-tiled arches and silky golden upholstery. This is traditional rather than modern fine dining, but it’s loved by a whole new generation for its reverent, attentive service. You’ll tuck into pasta topped with crispy artichokes and seafood soup amid beautiful gilded design features and antiques.
Looking for more? With an enormous choice of things to do in Lampedusa – including a visit to its most beautiful beaches – make sure you stop off at one of the best bars for a greater taste of the island. And with plenty of choices for a place to stay, book into one of the best hotels in Lampedusa with Culture Trip. If you’re still looking for more inspiration, we’ve compiled the top reasons why you should visit this Italian isle.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.