'Porta d'Europa' ('Gateway to Europe') – Lampedusa e Linosa, Italy - Atlas Obscura

'Porta d'Europa' ('Gateway to Europe')

A monument to the migrants who cross the dangerous waters between North Africa and a tiny Italian island. 


By the airport on the tiny Italian island of Lampedusa, near the ruins of bunkers and military installations, a solitary gateway stands as a memorial to those who’ve died while crossing the Mediterranean Sea.

The monument, aptly named “Gateway to Europe” (“Porta d’Europa”) was designed by Mimmo Paladino in 2008 as part of a project led by the NGO Amani. It’s a memorial to the migrants who perished while attempting the treacherous maritime journey from North Africa to Europe. 

The roughly 16.5-foot-tall (five meters) monument is a high gate made from refractory ceramics. It is a stark reminder of the dramatic deaths and tragedies that have marked the recent history of this small, remote Italian island, such as the death of 360 migrants in a shipwreck on October 3, 2013. The monument was  inaugurated on June 26 2008, the Italian poet. The poet Alda Merini wrote and recited poetry at its debut.


Know Before You Go

The site is located just off the road between the airport and the Mediterranean Sea and can be reached on foot from Lampedusa's old harbour.

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January 16, 2020

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