In November 2018, Unesco inscribed the art of dry stone walls – I muretti a secco, as an intangible World Heritage Site.
In fact, the organisation considered that dry stone walls ‘play a vital role in preventing landslides, floods, avalanches, combating erosion and desertification of the land, improving biodiversity and creating the best microclimatic conditions for agriculture’, and indeed they do.
Travelling around the Sicilian island, you will notice kilometres and kilometres of dry stone walls, which vary in colour depending on the province: around Etna they are black and part of terraced vineyards producing Etna Doc.
The Hyblean areas, on the other hand, being of limestone origin, have a white colour throughout the surrounding countryside.
On Pantelleria, on the other hand, the walls were created by the ingenuity of farmers to find a clever solution to the unevenness of the terrain, giving rise to the “Giardini Panteschi”.