Italian News Headlines 26-09-2023 - Cosa Nostra mafia boss, Messina Denaro, has died of colon cancer at the age of 62. He was being held in a maximum security prison after 30 years on the run. He was responsible for dozens of murders including those of anti-mafia magistrates, Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino --- Giorgio Napolitano, the only Italian President to be elected twice, has died in Rome at the age of 98 --- Italian Prime Minister, Giorgia Meloni, met with European Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen, on the Italian island of Lampedusa to discuss the European refugee crisis after more than 7,000 migrants arrived from Tunisia in a single week --- Venetian authorities vote to introduce 'ticket only' access to the city from 2024 --- A man who posted a video of himself carving his name into the wall of the Colosseum, while his girlfriend watched, has been identified as living in Britain --- Following the death of Silvio Berlusconi, on June 12th, Antonio Tajani will be appointed the new president of Forza Italia --- Silvio Berlusconi, 4 times Italian prime minister, has died at the age of 86 from complications resulting from Leukaemia --- Extreme weather in Emilia-Romagna has led to 14 dead and 35,000 displaced. There are 500 roads closed and over over 300 sites at risk of landslides --- Two new victims of the Vesuvius eruption in 79AD have been discovered during excavations in Pompei
Aegadian islands, Egadi, Favignana, Levanzo, Marettimo
Marettimo - Photo: Jim

Aegadian islands

The Aegadian Islands (Egadi) consist of three main islands, and two smaller ones, located off the west coast of Sicily between the coastal towns of Trapani and Marsala. Of the main islands, Lèvanzo, originally called Phorbantia, is the closest to the mainland, lying approximately 13 kilometres from Trapani. Slightly further south lies the largest of the main islands, Favignana, originally called Aegusa, and further to the west, 24 kilometres from Trapani, lies the most remote island, Maréttimo, originally known as Iera Nesos. The two smaller islands: Maraone and Formica, lie between Lèvanzo and Trapani.

Aegadian islands, Egadi, Favignana, Levanzo, Marettimo

The islands have a long history dating back to Paleolithic and Neolithic times and there are cave paintings still visible on Lèvanzo. The most significant historic event that took place in the area was the decisive sea battle of the first Punic war, when the Carthaginian fleet was defeated by the Romans. Sicily subsequently became a part of the Roman empire. Although ownership of the islands has changed over the centuries little else has changed. There are approximately 5,000 inhabitants spread around the main islands where the principal occupation is fishing.

The islands were owned at one time by the Florio family from Palermo who became wealthy exporting Marsala wine. They developed the island of Favignana and built a tuna fishery, the largest in Sicily, which is now abandoned. Favignana was the centre of the traditional annual tuna cull, 'La Mattanza'.

Aegadian islands, Egadi, Favignana, Levanzo, Marettimo
Favignana - Photo:

Although relatively undeveloped and low-key, and perhaps because of that, the islands are a popular tourist destination in the summer months. Their main attraction is the crystal clear water and idyllic coves and bays which are ideal for all kinds of boating, swimming, snorkelling and scuba diving.


Favignana is the largest of the Aegadean islands, and is approximately 20 square kilometres in area with a population of around 4,000. To the west of the island, the terrain is rugged, with the highest point just over 300 metres at Monte Santa Caterina.

Aegadian islands, Egadi, Favignana, Levanzo, Marettimo
On the top of the mountain stands the Fort of Santa Caterina, which represents the colourful history of the islands. Originally a Saracen fort, it was developed by the Normans, then used as a Bourbon prison and is now under Italian military control.
Aegadian islands, Egadi, Favignana, Levanzo, Marettimo
Favignana Town - Photo: Chris0

The eastern side is flatter and more gentle. The main town, also called Favignana, is to the north of the island and is where visitors arrive by ferry. A number of buildings built by the Florio family can still be seen in the town as well as the abandoned tuna factory.

Find hotels on Favignana

One of the island's most striking features is its rugged coastline, adorned with towering cliffs, hidden coves, and picturesque beaches. As you explore the island, you'll discover a myriad of stunning spots such as Cala Rossa, Cala Azzurra, and Cala Rotonda, each offering a slice of paradise where you can bask in the sun and take refreshing dips in the turquoise waters. Favignana is a haven for snorkeling and diving enthusiasts, boasting vibrant marine life and fascinating underwater caves, such as the famous Grotta Azzurra, where you can immerse yourself in an enchanting underwater world.

In addition to its natural wonders, Favignana is steeped in a rich history that dates back centuries. The island was once a significant hub for the ancient tuna fishing industry, and remnants of this past can still be seen today. The Tonnara di Favignana, a historic tuna fishery, stands as a testament to this heritage. It now serves as a cultural center and museum, offering visitors a glimpse into the island's past and the traditional tuna fishing methods.

The charming town of Favignana, with its narrow streets and colorful houses, exudes a laid-back atmosphere that is both welcoming and enchanting. The main square, Piazza Madrice, is the heart of the town and a bustling hub of activity, lined with cafes, restaurants, and boutiques. Here, you can indulge in authentic Sicilian cuisine, savoring freshly caught seafood and locally produced wine, while immersing yourself in the warm and vibrant local culture.

Exploring the island by bicycle or scooter is a popular choice, as Favignana's small size makes it easy to navigate. As you venture beyond the town, you'll encounter beautiful countryside adorned with vineyards, olive groves, and almond trees, creating a picturesque backdrop for leisurely rides or hikes. The island's natural beauty is best appreciated at the scenic viewpoint of Monte Santa Caterina, where you can take in panoramic vistas of the surrounding sea and neighboring islands.

Favignana is not just a summer destination; it offers year-round attractions. In the spring, the island comes alive with blooming wildflowers, creating a colorful tapestry across its landscape. Autumn brings a sense of tranquility, as the summer crowds dissipate, leaving the island to be enjoyed at a more leisurely pace.

Whether you seek relaxation on pristine beaches, immersion in history and culture, or outdoor adventures amidst breathtaking scenery, Favignana has it all. With its untouched beauty, warm hospitality, and authentic Italian charm, this island is a true paradise waiting to be discovered. A visit to Favignana promises an unforgettable experience that will leave you yearning to return to its tranquil shores time and time again.


Lèvanzo, the smallest of the three main Aegadian Islands in Sicily, Italy, is a charming Mediterranean paradise that captivates visitors with its untouched beauty and tranquil ambiance. With a land area of just 5.82 square kilometers and a population of approximately 450 people, Levanzo offers a secluded escape from the bustling cities, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in nature's wonders.

Aegadian islands, Egadi, Favignana, Levanzo, Marettimo

It has little to offer tourists except total peace and tranquillity, which is perhaps the most valuable thing of all! Lèvanzo's main claim to fame is the 'Grotta del Genovese' where a series of Neolithic cave paintings were discovered by a visitor to the island in 1949.

Aegadian islands, Egadi, Favignana, Levanzo, Marettimo
Lèvanzo Village - Photo: Pitichinaccio

The island's allure lies in its pristine beaches, crystal-clear turquoise waters, and rugged cliffs. Lèvanzo boasts a diverse coastline with secluded coves and hidden caves, beckoning adventure seekers and nature lovers alike. Cala Dogana and Cala Fredda are two of the most stunning beaches on the island, where visitors can bask in the sun, swim in the refreshing waters, or explore the underwater world through snorkeling or scuba diving.

One of Lèvanzo's most famous attractions is the Grotta del Genovese, an archaeological treasure trove. Inside this cave, visitors can marvel at prehistoric cave paintings dating back thousands of years, depicting scenes from the lives of our ancient ancestors. The intricate artwork provides a glimpse into the rich history and cultural heritage of the island.

Lèvanzo's picturesque village, also named Lèvanzo, is a charming cluster of whitewashed houses that cling to the hillside overlooking the azure sea. The village offers a glimpse into the traditional lifestyle of the island's inhabitants, with narrow winding streets, small local shops, and cozy cafes where visitors can savor authentic Sicilian cuisine and enjoy the warm hospitality of the locals.

Nature enthusiasts will find plenty to explore on Lèvanzo. The island is a paradise for hikers, with several scenic trails that wind through the rugged landscape, offering breathtaking views of the surrounding sea and neighboring islands. Monte Falcone, the highest point on Lèvanzo, rewards hikers with panoramic vistas that are simply awe-inspiring.

For those seeking a deeper connection with nature, Lèvanzo's marine reserve is a haven for marine life. Snorkeling or diving in its protected waters reveals a vibrant underwater ecosystem teeming with colorful fish, thriving coral reefs, and even the occasional encounter with dolphins or sea turtles. The untouched nature of the reserve allows visitors to witness the beauty of the Mediterranean Sea in its purest form.

Lèvanzo's tranquil ambiance and unspoiled natural beauty make it an ideal destination for those in search of a peaceful retreat. The island's limited infrastructure and small population contribute to its serenity, allowing visitors to escape the noise and stress of modern life. It's the perfect place to disconnect from technology, reconnect with nature, and rejuvenate the mind and soul.


The third of the main islands is Maréttimo, the furthest from Sicily. It is 12 square kilometres in area with a population of about 700, although this drops during the winter months.

Aegadian islands, Egadi, Favignana, Levanzo, Marettimo

One of the defining features of Maréttimo is its breathtaking landscape. As you approach the island by boat, you are greeted by towering cliffs, dramatic sea caves, and rugged coastline that create a stunning backdrop against the crystal-clear turquoise waters. The island is a paradise for hikers and nature lovers, with numerous trails that wind through lush greenery, showcasing a diverse array of flora and fauna. From rare orchids to endemic lizard species, Maréttimo is a haven for biodiversity enthusiasts.

Aegadian islands, Egadi, Favignana, Levanzo, Marettimo
Maréttimo Town - Photo: jim

Maréttimo's main village, also called Maréttimo, is a quaint settlement with narrow, winding streets lined with charming white-washed houses adorned with colorful flowers. The village exudes an old-world charm, and as you wander through its lanes, you'll discover cozy cafes, local shops, and friendly locals who are always ready to share a smile and engage in conversation. Life on the island moves at a slow pace, allowing visitors to truly unwind and embrace the relaxed Mediterranean lifestyle.

The island's rich history is another aspect that sets Maréttimo apart. Inhabited since ancient times, it has been influenced by various civilizations, including the Greeks, Romans, and Arabs. The remnants of a Roman villa and a Byzantine church serve as reminders of Maréttimo's past. The island also played a significant role in the medieval era as a base for pirates, and the ruins of their fortifications can still be seen today. Exploring these historical sites offers a glimpse into the island's intriguing past.

For those seeking adventure, Maréttimo offers excellent opportunities for diving and snorkeling. The surrounding marine reserve, the largest in Europe, teems with marine life and vibrant coral reefs. Dive into the depths of the azure waters to discover an underwater world filled with colorful fish, ancient shipwrecks, and hidden caves. The island's natural beauty extends below the surface, making it a paradise for underwater enthusiasts.

As for culinary delights, Maréttimo boasts an abundance of fresh seafood. From succulent red prawns to delicious sea urchins, the island's waters offer a delectable bounty. Local restaurants serve up mouthwatering dishes that showcase the flavors of the Mediterranean, with a focus on simple yet exquisite ingredients. Pair your meal with a glass of regional wine, and you have the perfect recipe for a memorable dining experience.

Whether you're seeking solitude, adventure, or an immersion into local culture, Maréttimo has it all. Its untouched beauty, welcoming community, and rich history make it a destination that lingers in the hearts of all who visit. As the sun sets over the tranquil waters, casting a warm glow on the cliffs, you'll realize that Maréttimo is more than just an island—it's a timeless sanctuary that offers a respite from the modern world and a chance to connect with nature and oneself.

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