The Island of Lampione
According to legend, Lampione was originally a boulder that slipped through the Cyclops’s fingers. There is also a story of two hermits who inhabited the island in the past, although there is no actual proof of this. The small island, which has always followed the vicissitudes of the other Pelagie islands, is not known for any historical events. After becoming part of the Kingdom of Italy, on 12 June 1878, it shared the same fate as that of the two other two larger islands, being incorporated into the growing Municipality of Lampedusa and Linosa. In 1897, a sponge reef was spotted off the coast of Lampione, which in particular caught the attention of Greek and Tunisian fishermen, thereby boosting the archipelago’s economy. The fishing ceased with the advent of synthetic sponges. Today Lampione is uninhabited and the only sign of man is an automated lighthouse, hence the island's name. The lighthouse can be reached by a path that starts from a small artificial dock, only suitable for small boats.
The small island is part of the “Pelagie Islands” Marine Protected Area and falls under Zone C in current MPA zoning regulations. The land area is an integral nature reserve, established by the Sicilian Region. Many migratory birds, particularly gulls, stop here regularly. It is also possible to see the endemic Armadillidium hirtum pelagicum, a land crustacean.
The waters are populated by small sharks, in particular grey sharks, which can be found in the area at the end of the summer, as well as numerous species of groupers, amberjacks, lobsters and a variety of yellow and pink corals.