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Favignana- “The Pearl”

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The Egadi Islands, an archipelago off the coast of Sicily, consist of mainly Favignana, Marettimo, and Levanzo, but also include La Formica and Maraone.  The largest and most popular of the islands is Favignana.  This beautiful island, a treasure to the Egadi, is referred to as the “pearl.”  Of the many unique qualities, the most famous is its shape.  Favignana is in the shape of a butterfly, which is where its nickname comes from, “La Farfalla.” 

Not only does the “pearl” of the islands have clear and pristine beaches, but it is also enriched with history and tradition. With both Italian and Arab influences, the history of Favignana dates back to before the First Punic War in 241 BC when the Romans seized the island.  Following the Roman rule over the island was the Arab rule.  During this time period the “pearl” gained several of its customs.  Favignana has many traditions from both influences, but the most renowned is the mattanza, which celebrates fishermen and their sacrifices for survival.

In the mid 1600’s, the Egadi Islands were sold to Pallavicini-Rusconi, Genoese bankers, and eventually handed down to the Florio family.  Under the control of the Florio family, Favignana thrived.  Today, tourists can visit Villa Florio, where the family lived, as well as an out of use plant used for the processing of tuna, and a statue of Vincenzo Florio in one of two piazzas.  With white sand, clear water, and various historical sites, Favignana is an ideal vacation spot!