Ustica lies about 36 miles north-west of Capo S.Vito. The island is not very high, but is usually visible from some distance off. It is of volcanic origin and consequently a fertile and well-cultivate island. The history of the island is littered with accounts of massacres and mayhem. The Greek called the island Osteoded (island of bones) after the remains of 6.000 mutinous soldiers from Carthage who were abandoned here to die of hunger and thirst. The Romans called it Ustum, "burnt", from the black basalt of which the island is largely composed. Towards the end of 18th century the Bourbons fortified the island and successfully colonised it at last, the venerable forefathers of today's population.