Ustica is a volcanic island with a morphologically varied landscape, rich in caves both on land and underwater, of which Pastizza is the perfect example.
The site is located a few hundred metres from the port. Once there, one is presented with a splendid creek dominated on land by a beautiful emerged cave, called Grotta della Pastizza. At the centre of the bay rises a small emerged rock whose shape resembles a pastry, Pastizza in Sicilian dialect, from which the site takes its name. But the wonderful variety of the site is also hidden underwater, with several points of interest in the sunlight and even more so in the dark!
In fact, there are two distinct external areas. The first one around the rock, rich in large stones and posidonia, where you can encounter some of the most curious creatures that populate the sea in Ustica, such as the Pipefish, the spider crab and the Alicia mirabilis. The second zone is the drop-off area, a wall rich in life where you can encounter sponges, Stony corals and nudibranchs, all of them colorful species that offer an incredible spectacle. The wall is also home to numerous brown groupers, including a couple of impressive specimens that love to be photographed, and occasional amberjacks and jackfish can be seen. In the early part of the season, it is not uncommon to encounter large sleeper lobster in the various cracks scattered around the dive site.
For cave lovers, La Pastizza is home to the Academia Complex (link), a series of no less than four caves situated at a maximum depth of 12 metres, all very different from each other and each with its own charm!
Finally, La Pastizza is one of the ideal spots for night dives in Ustica, during which you can encounter fish such as conger eels and moray eels, crustaceans such as sleeper lobster and shrimps, and a wide variety of mollusks such as cuttlefish, octopus, sea hares,cypraea and nudibranchs!