Sapienza Islet

COUNTY: Messinia MUNICIPALITY: Pylos-Nestor

An islet with only two inhabitants, as recorded in the 2011 census, which belongs to the cluster of the Messenian Oinousses located south of Methoni.

The name “Sapienza” meaning “wisdom” in Latin comes from the inscription “navigate with wisdom” written on the Venetian navigational maps. In fact, the word “Sapienza” was written on the exact location of the islet. This coupled with a strong Venetian presence in the southwest Messenia led to the naming of the islet in question which was on the trade route to the Middle East, and thus very important for the interests of the Venetians. The significance of this trade route is corroborated by the numerous shipwrecks discovered on the seabed, such as the shipwreck with the columns cargo and the Roman shipwreck with the sarcophagi cargo, dated from the 1st and the 3rd centuries respectively.

Today, Sapienza is included in the Natura 2000 Network because of its immense ecological importance. A green island full of broad-leafed trees and Cretan goats has been classified as natural monument. Take a boat from Methoni to visit the island and enjoy your bathing in Ammos beach on the north. A lighthouse, built in 1885 by the English, is in use taking energy from a solar power system; byzantine vestiges from different periods are also found on the island. Southwest there is the deepest part in the Mediterranean Sea, 5,267m, where the program NESTOR (Netrino Submarine Telescope with Oceanographic Research) is deployed.