THE AEGADIAN ISLANDS: FAVIGNANA
An excursion to a magical island just waiting to be discovered, with its crystal clear waters and rich and fascinating history, topped off with a tasting of typical products.
What we will see
- The Aegadian Islands
- Island of Favignana: Villa Florio, Tuna Factory Museum
- Tasting of typical products
- Favignana town centre
What we will do
- We will travel by hydrofoil from the port of Trapani to Favignana, also called 'The Butterfly Island' because of its characteristic shape. Known to the Phoenicians as Katria, the Romans as Egati and the Greeks as Aegusa, the island was the site of the naval battle that saw the Roman army defeat the Carthaginian fleet in 241 BC.
- Our visit to the largest of the Aegadian islands begins before we reach the coast: as we pull up alongside the port in the main town, we will be able to admire the breath-taking landscape to the west, with the Castle of Saint Catherine, perched on top of the mountain of the same name (314 m), and, to the south, the Castle of Saint James, of Norman origin.
- Just a stone's throw from the port, we will get a close-up view of the neo-Gothic Villa Florio and the old tuna factory, two symbols of Favignana: in 1874, after belonging to a Genoese family for centuries, Favignana was bought by the Florio family, a Sicilian family of businessmen, who brought success to the island through the tuna trade, so much so that it even came to be known as the 'island of the Florios'. When the Florio family eventually went bankrupt, the tuna factory experienced changing fortunes before closing in the 1970s. After passing into the hands of Sicily's regional administration, it was renovated to house the current museum.
- We will visit the museum, an extraordinary example of industrial architecture, with huge arches and high ceilings that make it look like an ancient cathedral. The entire complex covers an area of more than 32,000 square meters and the buildings are constructed entirely of volcanic tufa. Open to the public since 2009, the museum is home to antique objects linked to the tuna trade and recreates the island's glorious past through sounds, images, videos and innovative multimedia installations. In addition to the many exhibits of objects found across the Aegadian Islands, such as different types of amphorae and the 'pilgrim's flask', the museum also dedicates a section to the Florio family, where two holographic multimedia installations show what happened in the so-called 'death chamber', screening historic footage and a collection of period photographs.
- After visiting the museum, we will continue to a local restaurant for a tasting of typical products (mixed arancini, tuna bruschetta and local wine).
- Fed, watered and refreshed, we will set out to explore the town. The inhabitants of Favignana welcome us warmly to this happy and authentic little spot, where visitors will feel at ease in the friendly setting: in the main squares of the town, closed to traffic, the elderly spend their time in groups outside the cafés, while children ride around happily on their bikes.
What you need to know
- Places on this excursion are limited. We recommend booking early.