Favignana Island: breathtaking landscapes and beaches
During a stay in Sicily, in addition to admiring all the beauties of the island, it is also interesting to sport in the nearby archipelago of the Egadi Islands. The most important is that of Favignana, which contains breathtaking beaches and other naturalistic and historical beauties. Let’s get to know it in more detail.
The first human settlements on the island date back to the Upper Palaeolithic, mainly in the caves of the Faraglione. Initially called Aegusa (island of the goats) by the Greeks, starting from 241 BC. it was occupied by the Phoenicians. The final battle of the First Punic War took place in the archipelago of the Egadi Islands, after which Sicily was annexed to the Roman Empire.
After the collapse of the empire and a consequent difficult period, in which Favignana passed into the hands of Vandals, Goths and Saracens, in 1081 the island passed under the control of the Normans who built a village and important fortifications here. Around the middle of the seventeenth century, the entire archipelago passed to the Pallavicini-Rusconi of Genoa, and then to the Florio family who made the tuna traps more important (in particular in Favignana).
From the Bourbon period to fascism, the island was mostly used as a prison for political opponents. During the Second World War, however, it was the site of military fortifications due to its strategic position.
The spectacular beaches of Favignana
Favignana boasts a large number of beaches, all different from each other and offering a wonderful spectacle from a naturalistic point of view.
Among the most evocative places on the island is Cala Rossa, a rocky stretch of coast which, in 2015, was awarded as the most beautiful beach in Italy. Another very famous and popular beach is that of Cala Azzurra, consisting mainly of rocks but also with a very fine strip of white sand.
If the two previous places are striking for how suggestive they are, Lido Burrone is a well-organized beach. Many services for tourists, from sunbeds and umbrellas to bars and restaurants. Calamoni Beach is also interesting for its succession of sandy and rocky coves.
Another secluded and fascinating place is Cala Faraglioni, mostly made up of rocks but with a white sand beach in the center.
The main attractions of the island
In addition to admiring the crystal clear sea that bathes the island and setting foot on all its beautiful beaches, in Favignana it is also interesting to visit some buildings. These include the Castle of Santa Caterina, located at the highest point of the island.
In addition to admiring one of the symbolic places of Favignana, its position allows you to enjoy a breathtaking view.
Another characteristic place on this island is the Favignana trap plant. It is no longer in business due to the reduction of the historic tuna fishing, but it was restored between 2003 and 2009. Through guided tours it is possible to admire testimonies relating to the slaughter and the trap.
Finally, Villa Florio is another building that allows us to immerse ourselves in the history of the island. Neo-Gothic building, built by Ignazio Florio between 1876 and 1878.
What to do during your stay
As already mentioned, Favignana is a spectacle from a naturalistic point of view. It therefore deserves to be visited in all its corners, through walks or bike rides. Being also part of the natural reserve of the Egadi Islands, it hosts various species of flora and fauna.
At the level of vegetation dominates the Mediterranean scrub and the garrigue, while among the most particular animal species it hosts there is the Sicilian emerald toad. It is also worth taking a boat ride and admiring the caves near the island (the most famous is the Perciata Cave).
Typical cuisine and dishes
On a culinary level, Favignana combines its traditions with those of the entire Sicilian island. The typical product of this island is tuna, whose fishing is part of the culture of Favignana. Among the dishes offered with this fish are meatballs, parmigiana and sweet and sour tuna. Another typical dish of the area, understood as the entire Egadi archipelago, is the local lobster.
Speaking instead of typical dishes of Sicilian cuisine, Favignana was also influenced by the various dominations that characterized the island: two examples are the Arab and the French, which at the culinary level have brought couscous and frascatole (a sort of alternative couscous conceived right here on the island).
The most famous restaurant on the island is the Osteria del Sottosale, which offers typical Sicilian dishes based on local ingredients. Two other places to enjoy excellent fish dishes are Scaliddre and Cibo Chiacchiere e Vino.
How to set sail on the island of Favignana
The island of Favignana can only be reached by sea, taking the ferry or hydrofoil that depart from Trapani or Marsala. Arriving in Sicily by plane, you must then take a bus to Trapani and arrive at the port and then disembark on the island. Sicily can also be reached by ship, starting from Naples, Genoa, Livorno, Cagliari, Civitavecchia or Salerno and then arriving by bus or car. Trapani can also be reached by train.