The Archipelago of the Egadi Islands, with the islands of Favignana, Levanzo and Marettimo and the islets of Formica and Maraone, is the extraordinary synthesis of history and nature .
Terrestrial and underwater archaeological findings, dating back to the Paleolithic, testify to the permanence of peoples from every corner of the Mediterranean, which gave rise to the history of the Western World.
This is the largest protected marine area in Europe where large Posidonia meadows, like a large submerged tropical forest, constitute a valuable habitat for the reproduction of numerous fish species, and we find a great variety of resident and migratory birds, extraordinary cetaceans, sea turtles Caretta Caretta and the rare Monk Seal.
It is the largest island of the Egadi:
the small town, all gathered around the port, preserves buildings of a certain value, such as the building of the Florio and some baroque churches. Its name is inextricably linked to the slaughter and processing of tuna: here is the largest tuna trap in the Mediterranean important for the island’s economy for several centuries, and now a museum.
We cycle the island without difficulty, being rather flat and consists largely of tufa rock, used for construction.
Along the paths there are deep quarries, partly excavated by man, partly caused by collapses of the friable rock, surrounded and covered by low bushes.
Its coasts rich in ravines, coves and caves, are lapped by a turquoise and clear sea with splendid reflections.
Let’s go for a swim in the sea…
Cala Rossa: the efforts to get there are immediately forgotten. A very impressive place, only rock and blue sea… a swimming pool. Less suitable for children for the difficulty of access and entry into the waterr.
Grotte del Bue marino: near Cala Rossa, you have to climb a bit ‘among the stones of tuff to get to a point suitable to dive… You dive, because the entry into the water is with dip. The water is very fresh, the vegetation wild, the colors from deep blue to light blue almost white: a wonder!
Cala Azzurra: beautiful and wild! Beach with fine sand, very suitable for children. Snorkeling mask and protective cream always at hand.
Lido Burrone and surroundings: suitable for families with children, you enter the water without difficulty and the water is blue and not high.
Scalo Cavallo: rocks and stones with deep water immediately, ideal place to practice snorkeling. Not to mention the wonderful sunsets of Cala del Pozzo and Punta Sottile.
Florio Family at Favignana
For Favignana the Slaughter (Mattanza) is not only tuna fishing. It’s a ritual that lasted for centuries and despite the epilogue in 2007, it marked the social and economic identity of the whole island. With the Florio, Favignana family lived a period of great development: Ignazio Florio established his residence in the building that bears his name, and bought the plant that in a few years became one of the largest food industrial complexes in the world, at the forefront of the conservation and canning of tuna.
Today the Florio Settlements has become a Museum named after the former Florio Factory of Favignana and Formica Tuna. The structure has been restored very well, the place is really impressive and the guides very prepared in leading an exciting journey. Among the finds of various eras let’s dwell on the flask of the pilgrim of the fifteenth century containing wine and amphorae of various eras.
You can also visit the churches and the Norman castles of Santa Caterina and San Giacomo. The tuff quarries are real works of art. The singular geometry of columns and galleries seem grandiose cathedrals, carved by the skilled hands of the masters in the extraction of tuff: the pirriaturi. Several disused quarries are used for the cultivation of fruit trees, forming underground gardens, another characteristic of the island. The square Matrix pulses with the daily life of the islanders and in summer comes alive in the evening
The smallest and most precious of the Egadi, with its white houses nestled on the harbor, looks like a crib. An uncontaminated sea surrounds the island.
On the east side, a short walk from the village, there is Cala Fredda, with a small beach of clear and smooth pebbles and a short distance from Cala Minnola, near a pine forest with a waterslide and a beach. On the opposite side a path leads to the Caletta del Faraglione, counted by Legambiente among the twenty most beautiful beaches in Italy. On the other side is Cala Tramontana, where you can enjoy the sunset in silence
Are you fond of diving? Levanzo offers you a very interesting underwater archaeological itinerary. Between Cala Minnola and Punta Altarella, about 27 meters deep, there are the remains of a Roman ship wreck, wine amphorae and fragments of black-painted ceramic pottery dating from the first century BC. C. Cave figures of men and animals, painted and graffiti on the walls of the Grotta del Genovese, take us back to the Paleolithic with its dark rituals, wild and mysterious life. The Cave is among the most interesting prehistoric sites in the world.
Of the three is the most “island” of the Egadi, in fact it was detached from the mainland several millennia before the other two islands of the archipelago. For the Greeks Hiera “Isola Sacra”, according to some it could coincide with the ancient Ithaca homeland of Ulysses. Marettimo is the highest and rocky of the Egadi, with its only fishing village made from small houses close to each other and a daily life woven of peace and serenity.
A silent and peaceful island, where you can spend your time at the sea or walking along the paths bordered by lush vegetation or even diving for the variety of the seabed and the coast jagged by hundreds of caves: about 400 emerged and submerged.
For trekking lovers, this is a perfect island: several funny trails twist and turn from the village. There are many possible excursions; Punta Troia where the homonymous Norman castle stands, now restored and used as a prison museum and observatory of the Egadi Islands Protected Area; The Roman Houses, where there are the remains of a large building dated between the I,- and the II. century A.D. and a small Byzantine church; the Lighthouse of Punta Libeccio, populated with legends; the Semaforo, panoramic point from where you can see the infinite profile of the Mediterranean horizon.
Marettimo – ph. Ignazio MannaranoPaths climb up to Pizzo Falcone, which majestically stands at about 700 meters from the sea where, among rare and fragrant plants, you can admire the swirling peregrine falcon.