Panarea is an Oriented Natural Reserve, entrusted to the management of the State Forestry Company of the Sicily Region and declared by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.
Beautiful and accessible only on foot – cars and motorbikes cannot land there – it has a remarkable natural heritage.
Widely cultivated until the first half of the twentieth century, from the sixties of the last century its terraces and paths were invaded by spontaneous vegetation.
But since 2011 the ancient streets, thanks to the “Panarea Project” fielded by the “FAI Giovani” of Turin, are regularly cleaned and made accessible to hikers.
Every spring in the FAI (Italian Environment Fund) children from all over Italy work to restore these ancient routes, making it possible to travel around the island and admire the exuberant Mediterranean scrub dominated by arboreal heather (Erica arborea), mastic ( Pistacia lentiscus), strawberry tree (Arbutus unedo), myrtle (Myrtus communis), Montpellier cistus (Cistus monspeliensis), pink cistus (Cistus creticus subsp. Eriocephalus), sweet broom (Spartium junceum), spiny broom (Calicotome villosa).
All plants present, among olive trees (Olea europaea) abandoned for decades, also in the FAI property, a plot of land of about one hectare which is located not far from the promontory of Punta Milazzese: a beautiful place, from which you can enjoy a splendid view on the islands of Lipari, Salina and Vulcano.
From the FAI property, a walk of a few minutes is enough to reach Capo Milazzese, one of the most beautiful spots in Panarea.
Here, on an esplanade overlooking the sea, where the remains of a prehistoric village from the middle Bronze Age (XIV-XIII century BC) are clearly visible, vegetation due to wind and salt remains low; and the air is perfumed by the spicy fragrance, a bit similar to that of curry, from the perpetual of the cliffs (Helicrysum litoreum).
If you are lucky, looking up to the sky, you can see the queen’s hawk (Falco eleonorae), a bird of prey that returns to the island every year after a long migration from Madagascar.