Luana Rigolli's statement
Linosa is an island just 5.5 square kilometers large, located 160 km from Sicily and 145 km from Tunisia. It can be only reached by sea in 8 hours ferry from the town of Porto Empedocle in Sicily. Alternatively it can be reached from the neighbour island of Lampedusa, with a 2 hours ferry. No doubt it is the “most isolated island of Italy”.
I realised that the young people of the island live their community with a continuous sense of splitted personality: on one hand they want to move away to live a normal life, on the other hand they strongly want to remain there to keep their relations with family, love, life. The school on the island is provided only to children up to 13 years old. Teenagers move to Sicily and come back to their family for Christmas, in a neverending unintentional Erasmus program.
Furthermore, there is a concrete risk of depopulation. The youngers are leaving and the birth rate is very low: the population of the island will decrease from 400 people to 50 people in the next 30 years.
Beside teenagers, isolation worsens year after year and has a negative impact on the overall island economy. Some years ago the old pier has been closed due to safety reasons and the ships must now dock in the new pier, which is hard to reach on rough seas, tipically from October to March. This situation can stop any communication for days.
As a consequence everyone, youngers mostly, live waiting for the three summer months when the island is full of tourists and the connections with Sicily are more stable.