Favignana Island – “The Butterfly of the Mediterranean Sea” Favignana is the largest island of the Egadi archipelago in Sicily. With its 19 square-kilometre of surface and 32 km of coast is the most renowned vacation island on the West Coast of Sicily. This splendid island is only 30 minutes away from the closest harbour accessible by the near airport of Trapani (15 minute-drive away) and Palermo airport ( 50 minute-drive away). Favignana inherits its name from the Latin favonius (favonio), a word used by the ancient romans to indicate the hot wind blowing from west. The local town flourished around the natural rocky cove shelter of the old harbour and important buildings like the ancient tuna factory and Liberty-style palace. Its unique and original architecture according to the faccia vista technique further emphasizes the local sand stone (calcarenite) rich of fossil sea sediments and sea-shells. The island is an explosion of colours and perfumes where the Mediterranean thicket finds its highest expression. Here olive trees, fic trees and pomegranates reign undisputed. As a result of the old mining quarries, the hypogeal gardens protect the local vegetation from the bad weather giving to the island its unrepeatable style. This small eco-system has created over the past centuries a micro-climate site of unique 570 indigenous endemic species like the local sea kale and finocchiella di Boccone. Since the mists of time, the Egadi archipelago has been inhabited by the local population as reported on the 15000-old rocky paintings discovered in Grotta del Genovese and Grotta del Pozzo. The fortress of Santa Caterina sul Monte testifies that this island was conquered by the Normans who used this site as a strategic waypoint for the trade of tuna and local delicacies. In the museum of Tonnara you can still admire the ancient frescoes and listen to folk songs (Cialome) of the sailors that for thousands of years have fished tunas with the Roman-Arabic technique of Mattanza. In the early ‘800s the Island was purchased by the Florio family who built the homonymous factory in order to efficiently refine the production of tuna. The Florio family made Favignana a cradle for innovative labour rights by implementing kindergartens for the local community. It is thanks to Ignazio Florio that the tuna fleet and the tuna trade reached its greatest expansion. His wife, Donna Franca, was a famous fashion and style icon well renowned among the aristocracy of that time. The 37-km of jagged seashore is the theatre of the most fascinating coves in the Mediterranean Sea. The north side of the island is characterized by human-made geometric quarries of sand stone. It is right here where the most famous cove Cala Rossa lays. This rocky beach inherits its name from a battleship between the Romans and the Carthaginians that took place in 241 B.C.. The entire Favignana Island is scattered of turquoise bays like Cala Azzurra, Lido Burrone and Bue Marino shelter of the local seals.