The island of Favignana
The island of Favignana covers 19 km² and has a land full of cavities and caves. The beautiful beaches and the clear waters, have made of it a coveted tourist destination where natural beauty blends with the richness of traditions and history. The island's original name was Aegusa, who means "that has goats" because of the abundance of the animal on the island, but today the name of the largest one of the Egadi is Favignana from the "Favonio", hot westerly wind that blows on the island. Poetically the island was called "sea butterfly" because of its peculiar shape that looks like two wings deployed on the water. The configuration of the island is mostly flat, so suitable for cycling or walking, with the exception of mount S. Caterina.
The island of Favignana has been theatre of great historical events and important civilizations. Because of the geographic position, Favignana has been the site of human habitation since the Paleolithic, of which there are many traces near the caves of Faraglione and the caves of Pozzo near S. Nicola. The graffiti found in these caves, reveal themes related to marine world and fishing, meaningful elements of island life. The Phoenicians arrived after and established in the north-east, where there are still traces of the sacred caves and tombstones near the cave of S. Nicola. This had to be the ancient port of the island, later used as a swimming pool by the Romans and renamed the "ladies room". It seems that the supremacy of the Romans on the Carthaginians was signed between the seas of the islands Egadi. The famous Punic battles take place in the sea of Favignana around 241 a.c. The legend says that the name of the wonderful Cala Rossa comes from the blood of Carthaginians for the fighting that coloured the sea of red. When the Roman Empire falls, the island has seen many occupants: the barbarian raids, the Saracens, of which we can still see the towers on mount S. Caterina then turned into a fortress in the IX century by Ruggero II, king of the Normans. After Angevin's domination there were Aragons, makers of two tunny-fishing: San Leonardo and San Nicolò. This historical period was marked by various popular uprisings and battles because of the mismanagement of the rulers. The island was ceded by the Spanish in 1637, to a Genoese nobleman, the marquis Camillo Pallavicini. But the greatness of Favignana was under Ignazio Florio, who bought the Egadi islands from the descendants of the marquis at the cost of three million, building the largest European factory for fish processing.