It is amazing to realize that an island doesn’t have bridges, but it can be itself a bridge, over the history. This is the case of the Egadi islands, small pearls set in the sea close to Trapani, in Sicily. The main characters of this trip are Favignana, Levanzo and Marettimo that are the Marine Nature Reserve largest in the Mediterranean.
We start from the largest whose shape looks like a butterfly on the sea: Favignana, whose name comes from the wind that blew across, the Favone.
The first surprise about this place is the light. Everything reflects light, from the shining water, the white rocks of the coast to the buildings that stand on the island proudly with in their soft colors and silently invite the visitors to discover them.
So we start: first we visited the Tonnara Florio, a establishment for fishing that the family Florio bought in the mid-1800s and that made this island one of the most important commercial points of the Mediterranean for the production of tuna. Today the establishment hosts an archaeological museum that shows to visitors the traditional fishing techniques and the history of this industry. Continuing our journey through history and natural beauty, walking to top of Mount St. Catherine, where at an altitude of 310 meters above sea level, is the fort of the Normans. On the top of the towers you can see the all around the island and the profiles of her sisters Levanzo and Marettimo. The view of the sea increases the desire to admire it more closely, hear and breathe the sea and what better point of Cala Rossa? Approaching the coast towards the sea the white rock turns into fine sand until we reached the blue water.
From here you can visit the caves of the island, evidence of ancient prehistoric peoples who used them as natural homes. Cala Rossa was also one of the points where the ships were loaded by the tuff extracted from the quarries, because it was the second most important commercial activity of the island. The extraction of the tuff has created beautiful natural museums shaping land in high pinnacles and beautiful caves. Heading towards the island centre you can not stop and admire the square of Madrice overlooked by the main Church established in honor of Maria Immacolata. Here beats the heart of the island especially in the summer entertaining visitors with shows and evening concerts. After spending a day walking between the nature and the history, we wanted to relax in the soft arms of a bed. There are two possibilities for those in search of comfort with attention to the environment.
At the b&b Al Giardino dei Limoni Giovanni e Costantino welcome you into their beautiful eco-sustainable structure overlooking, as in a seventeenth-century affresco, on a large lemon garden. The b&b which is only 700 meters from Punta San Nicola, with its beautiful clear waters, offers to the guests their typical products that will make your stay delightful.
You can sleep also at b&b Al Gattopardo located in the heart of Favignana, so it is perfect to move and reach all the best of the island. The eco-friendly reflects the character of Favignana, plenty of light, authentic colors and a pleasing atmosphere in which you can breathe the perfume of plants and flowers. The organic breakfast, with local products such as sweet figs, can be enjoyed in the garden and it gives you the right energy to continue the discovery Marettimo.
Marettimo, the farthest from the coast, is dominated by Mount Falcone that is 686 meters. It is an explosion of beauty, and in front of this view we had no doubt that it could be the famous Ithaca home of Ulysses, as claimed by someone. The suggest is to visit it with local fishermen who offer beautiful boat tours to admire the coast around. Very interesting is the visit to Case Romane, another evidence of the historical value of this island.
Finally, the smallest of the sisters, the wild Levanzo that thanks to a limited human settlement preserves all the natural beauty, as well as 400 endemic plant species. The human presence in this place is restricted to a small traditional village that you can achieve with a single country road that runs along the island. In this place the white rocks amplify the light and seem light up the path to the caves. The most famous, the Genovese cave, discovered accidentally in 1950 by a Tuscan painter, has on its walls art signs of 6000-7000 a.c.
Travelling to the Egadi means not only enjoying perfumes, colors and authentic food, but also diving into the sea of the history.
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