Favignana Italy - Favignana Egadi Islands - Favignana what to see - Favignana excursions - Favignana old tuff stone quarries

Author: Alun Salt

Favignana, Italy

Favignana, with its typical butterfly shape, is the biggest island of the Egadis. Arriving by boat, one is immediately greeted with the elegance of the Palazzo Florio. The Florio was constructed in 1874 when the old tonnare (the extensive buildings used for tuna working in Sicily) were acquired, and which still today dominate the port of Favignana. Until the 1800's, the tuna industry of Favigana was created around Palazzo Florio, one of the biggest industrial food complexes in the world, at the vanguard of conservation activity and packing of tuna. Today the tonnare are in disuse, but they will soon be converted into a museum and cultural center.

The historical center gravitates around the Piazza Madrice, which contains a baroque church, shops, bars, and gelato shops. It is always crowded, especially in the summer. It is possible to lose one's self in the streets of the 17th century center, among the simple houses, which hide gardens that diffuse the scents of flowers and aromatic herbs into the air.

Leaving the town, there appears an island in all its rough beauty. The Mediterranean brush covers vast expanses: thistles, prickly pears and agave make this landscape extraordinarily fascinating. The coast is scattered with cliffs and coves: Cala Rossa is really the best-known: viewing it from above its fortresses gives an indescribable feeling. Abandoning one's self to the care of the sun and the sea, and to the beautiful Cala Azzurra, Cala Stornello, and Cala Rotonda surely will one's expectations will not go unfulfilled. A boat trip allows you to discover the grottoes that open up to the sea and the less-accessible solitary beaches.

The old tuff stone quarries

concentrated in the northeast of Favignana, the quarries are another attraction not to be missed. In ancient times this volcanic rock was the principal resource for the inhabitants of the island: the blocks of tuff, extracted using long hand saws, were taken across the sea on board sailing ships for export to all of Sicily and North Africa. Today these quarries, which make this landscape unique, are becoming large vegetable gardens and underground flower gardens, where capers and other aromatic Mediterranean plants grow.

Photos are courtesy of: APT Trapani


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