Did you know?
Located off Sicily's western coast, in the province of Trapani, the Egadi archipelago is made up of the three islands: Favignana the largest, Levanzo the smallest and Marettimo the farthest. It also includes the islets of Formica, Maraone. Inhabited since prehistoric times, as evidenced by the archaeological finds discovered in the Grotta del Genovese in Levanzo, the Egadi Islands were later occupied by Romans and Normans, who built the fortifications mainly found on Favignana.
More About Egadi Islands
They are famous for the ancient seafaring tradition linked to tuna fishing practiced according to the method of mattanza (slaughter), which is no longer practiced since a few years. The trap of Favignana, the property of the Florio family since late 19th century, was Sicily's most important and a source of prosperity for its inhabitants. Although traps are long gone, tuna, along with other fishery products, continues to be the king of the Egadi Islands' kitchen. In fact it is many recipes' main ingredient, including fishballs, rolls and grilled fish.
The archipelago is part of the Isole Egadi Protected Marine Reserve, consisting of 54,000 hectares and therefore is Europe's largest. It was established to preserve the rugged and steep coastline, dotted with many caves and the islands' reefs, rich in flora and fauna. Amidst extensive posidonia meadows thrive groupers, sea breams, lobsters, amberjacks, dolphins, turtles, bottle-nose dolphins. A few years ago, in Marettimo, the rare monk seal was also reported seen, a species at great risk of extinction.
Ship wrecks and archaeological relics have been recovered from the seabeds and are on display at the Antiquarium in Favignana. On the surface, however, the mostly barren and rocky landscape, characterized by lush Mediterranean vegetation, is the natural habitat of numerous species of birds, including herring gulls, ravens, kestrels, peregrine falcons and Bonelli eagles.