1. FLORIO TUNNY-FISHING
Currently converted into a splendid museum, the Florio's tunny-fishing
was the most important and modern industry in the South for tuna's processing
. It was built in the middle of the 800 tanks to Ignazio Florio, senator who belongs to the most prestigious dynasty of Sicilian businessmen. In this new and modern production reality, was created a work cycle involving several hundred people, making of tuna's fishing
not only a productive activity, but a common ritual that entered in the myth and in the tradition
of the island.
The tuna's fishing
is called mattanza
, from the spanish mactare that means kill something. This practice has assumed the characters of collective ritual, because of the involvement of an entire population. The mattanza is characterized by propitiatory and superstitious songs called "scialome"
, and ends with a bloody struggle with the sea creatures. This catch is not based purely on luck and skill of the fisherman, but sees the implementation of an accurate device of death. In fact is designed a maze of nets stretched to the bottom of the sea, that tuna begin unconsciously to follow until a point of no-retur, called death room
. Who has the task to appease the gods, as well as coordinate and plan the mattanza, is the Rais
, the chief, who direct the complex operation since its construction until its end. All of this concernes the traditional practice of the mattanza, as told also in the Odissea
. From 2009 the mattanza, after the spectacle of ritual offered to tourists for years, is no longer being made while remaining as myth
in the collective imaginary.
3. THE CASTLE OF S. CATERINA
Looking up you will be fascinated by the presence of an imposing castle that derives from the normans
, at the top of the mountain of Santa Caterina
from which it takes name. The castle
divides the island into two parts and its construction dates back to king Ruggero II
who built the fort on the ruins of a watchtower
. Its original function was changed in 1795 when the Bourbons began to use it as prison
for supporters of the riots. Because of the inhuman condition subjected by the prisoners, after the landing of Garibaldi at Marsalale, its cells were completely destroyed. Today the castle
is unapproachable and shows signs of neglect but the view that you enjoy from this height repays the efforts to achieve it. A paved road leads up to the halfway mark, at the end of this trail can be traveled only on foot.
5. QUARRIES OF TUFF
What define the landscape of the island, drawing the scenarios, are especially the tuff's quarries
scattered across the Favignana's surface . The tuff
is the local raw materials, for centuries the primary source of income for the inhabitants. In the country most of the men were excellent miners
surrounded by numerous laborers and carters. It seems that this activity dates back to the Romans, and remains today, even if lesser extent. The quarries
could be open or be as real caves, dug sideways to get the famous tuff blocks
also called “conci”
. The instruments used were the "mannara"
, the "zappune"
and the "piccune"
. But the tuff processing
was mainly a craft made of eye and experience, handed down from father to son. The area of Cala Rossa
, and Scalo Cavallo
and Bue marino
are very are rich of tuff's quarries
. Some of these are real long labyrinths built above the sea level. This is the case in which the nature, combined with human work, gave birth to the beautiful and almost unreal landscapes redrawing the lines and shapes of places and living spaces.
6. THE MOTHER CHURCH
What prevails in the main square of Favignana is the Madrice Church
or Mother Church
, dedicated to the Madonna Immacolata Concezione
. The church was built in 1759 and was designed by Luciano Gambina thanks to the donation of the Marquis of Pallavicino
, lord of the Egadi.
has a latin cross, one nave, a transept and a high dome that has an emerald green color. The facade presents a wooden door, in late Baroque style, enriched by a glass window depicting the same image on the main altar. The parish archives showed the existence of an underground cemetery, functional until 1870 and finally closed during the Second World War.
As evidence of this there is the discovery of a letter from the mayor of Favignana
to the Bishop of Trapani, where he asked to be allowed to use the cemetery as air raid shelters.
7. VILLAGE OF FAVIGNANA The village of Favignana
has 5.000 inhabitants and is structured around two squares: square Europa
, where there is the City hall
, and square Madrice
where there is the Mother Church
, linked from the main street, nice destination of the night walking. The first part of the village was built in the first half of the 600 and was the district of S. Anna
where remains a beautiful quarry
used for the organization of cultural events and screenings of films. The most important buildings are “Florio's Palace”
, “The mother church”
and the “ Florio's tunny-fishing”
10. FLORIO'S PALACE
The signs of the great influence of Florio
on the island of Favignana
can be found in two elegant architectural works: the Tunny-fishing
and the art nouveau's palace
that overlooks the island's port
and marks the entrance into the village. The Florio's family
shows the economic and financial power that ensured progress and local development. Florio's Palace
was a building designed to accommodate the new lords and their companions because of their frequent presence on the island, particularly during the mattanza. The project was made in 1876 by the famous architect Giuseppe Damiani Almeyda
who began to restructure also the tunny-fishing
. The palace, with its battlements and pinnacles, after the extinction of the descendants, is now city-owned and it's the base of an info point
directed to inform local people and tourists of cultural's events
on the island of Favignana
The island of Levanzo
, geologically, is the oldest island of the archipelago of the Egadi
. Its formation dates back to two hundred million years ago and maintains traces of the first appearance of man on earth in the engravings and cave paintings, preserved in the Grotta del Genovese
Despite Levanzo is the oldest, it is the smallest of the three: its surface is only 5 km ², its roads are mostly irregular and passable only on foot. The only roads paved are those who come up to Capo grosso
, the highest point of the island, and to Punta pesce
, that arrives from the port to the Grotta del Genovese
. The village consists mostly of old fishermen's cottages
and has in the center an old noble palace belong to the Parodi's family
. Among the beaches the most picturesque is cala Minnola
, splendid beach with clear water with a shady pine forest.
12. MARETTIMO Marettimo
is the most mountainous island of the Egadi
. Its highest peak is at 700 meters above sea's level and takes the name of Monte Falcone
, that offers a splendid view. From this peak you can see, if the weather is good, Pantelleria and Cape Bon, on the African coast. The island of Marettimo reaches 18 km² of surface area and has a quadrilateral shape. Points of major interest are: Punta Troia
, with its medieval castle
, Punta Bassana
, for lovers of scuba diving because of the richness of seabed and Punta Libeccio
where there is an old lighthouse. On the coast there is a nice and picturesque fisherman's village, known for their skill and experience, so that a community of Marettimo goes every year in Canada for seasonal salmon's fishing. Above the village there are rests of Roman's houses
and of a Byzantine church
very interesting. But the particular beauty of the island is due to its sea caves, once inhabited by monk seal
now disappeared from the seas of Sicily. To enjoy such splendor you can take a boat to the charming grotta del Cammello
, that has crystal clear emerald waters, the mysterious grotta della Bombarda
and the grotta del Presepio
with rich colors at sunset and its stalactites and stalagmites. The most attractive point of the island remains however Cala Manione
, also reached by a boat trip.