Did you know?
Looking like a butterfly and resting on the sea, Favignana is the largest and southernmost of the Egadi Islands. Mostly barren and flat, except the 314 m high Mount Santa Caterina, it is famous for its beautiful sandy beaches and crystal clear waters. It was known as Egusa in ancient times, meaning “the island which has goats", because of the very high number of them present. It was inhabited by Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans and Normans, who built the castle of Saint Catherine standing on the top of the mountain.
More About Favignana
The two tuna traps of San Leonardo and San Nicola date back to the Angevin period and they brought prosperity to the Egadi Islands. At the end of the 19th century they were acquired by an entrepreneur called Ignazio Florio who manages to give a strong boost to the age-old traditional tuna fishing, using the method ‘’mattanza’’ (slaughter by repetitive harpoon stabs).
With its 32,000 square meters, once divided in two areas, one for canning the tuna and one for depostiing equipment used for the ‘’mattanza’’, the factory is a good example for the recovery of an industrial complex. A section of the establishment also houses an Antiquarium, home to a collection of archaeological finds, recovered from the depths of the archipelago.
In the waters surrounding Favignana, which are part of the Isole Egadi Natural Reserve, ancient shipwrecks lie on the bottom which are popular among diving enthusiasts. In particular, the most visited by divers are natural caves and reefs on the south-western side, off the coast between Punta Lunga and Punta Sottile.
The Santissimo Crocifisso (Holy Cross), Favignana's patron saint, is celebrated on the 14th of September every year with the procession of a 19th century crucifix through the streets of the town. Another well known ceremony is the ‘’Madonna del Rosario’’, the defender of the sailors, celebrated on the first Sunday of every October with a procession down to the port and with the blessing of the fishing boats.