At Favignana , butterfly-shaped island at the center of the Egadi Islands Marine Reserve , between nature and massacre : the age-old tradition of tuna fisheries of race , that after the golden years of the heritage of Florio wants to go back to today glories of the past .
It ´ an island, but everywhere you look you see the earth towards the sea . You can see the coast of Sicily , with Mount Erice, Trapani, and away to the south, the plain before Marsala . Then you see far more Levanzo and Marettimo , the last of the Egadi islands , an archipelago with many surprises. But the view must really conquistarselo , because to have a clear idea of where he landed need to climb the long, steep climb that leads to Mount St. Catherine, the only and the highest of Favignana, 314 meters and overlooking the divide ´ island into two flat sides net .
It takes almost an hour hike to get on top of the Forte , but then, from there, the " hunting " , the Archipelago Sea , reveals no secrets and Favignana looks beautiful and graceful just like a " butterfly " an island ... with wings.
Panorama from Mount St. Catherine , in the background , Sicily It ´ an exceptional destination , because the short distances , not only from the other islands of the Archipelago, but also from Sicily , allow to enrich a trip to the Egadi of the many suggestions of a region like that of Trapani , among the most beautiful of Sicily , capable of giving liberally art, culture and tradition. The testimonies of ancient Greece in the monumental temples of Segesta and Selinunte , for example, are just some of the destinations to suggest for a dive in history with a unique flavor . And then Mothia , the cradle of the Phoenician settlements , and Erice , a medieval town overlooking Trapani , the top of which , at 750 meters above sea level, it gives us another perspective view of Favignana and Egadi . On the coast there are adequate port facilities to enjoy a short hike inland, because the show America´s Cup regattas in Trapani Louis Vuitton Cup , which took place a couple of years ago - has left very tangible and today the city has a port updated and modernized , which has nothing to envy to that of Marsala , for example , this newly built , built just for the pleasure .
Just landed in Favignana is already in the heart of the island. The marina tells the life and recent history, inextricably linked to the epic dynasty Florio , the family that owns the island for nearly a century - from the second half of the 800 to the first decades of the 900 - fed the tuna fishing, always been the main resource , the true life of the Archipelago. On the port is unmistakable the " palace " of the Florio , the family mansion stands impressively with its battlements , but most are unmistakable establishments of ancient tuna fishery , the arsenals , the testimony of an era now gone, when the island is fished and worked in large quantities of bluefin tuna " race " , the species most valuable and most sought after.
The boats of the trap In the golden years of the "slaughter " of Favignana also ensured thousand prey to " trap " beasts of 400 kilograms of weight, which bloodied every drop of water, every corner of the so-called " death chamber " there where the tunas , through an intricate system of networks kilometers long , which fell like a funnel , more and more narrow choke - up to the " trap " real - were , and are , trapped and then finished by the work of " tonnaroti " and the " Rais " : the boss, the man whose word is the rule, the guide that dominates the center of the "camera " and controls the "slaughter " . A fierce melee , an epic struggle between the harpooned fish and man : between the prey and the predator , the fisher -soaked sea , bathed in sweat and blood, almost transfigured in an effort to pull on board tuna. A sequence that has never liked to animal rights activists, critical for a lot of blood , but that it has represented for centuries the steel and inevitable history of an area. A scene cruel and often heroic immortalized in a thousand shots that are proudly displayed in each window of the shops on the island in any stationery shop in each of tuna. Yet if what we ask provocatively Gioacchino Cataldo if you have ever seen a tuna ... crying, he , the " Rais " of Favignana, the big man strong and big and strong that seems to embody a character of mythology, and that everyone knows , he will answer with great dignity which has seen rather weep for his children. And that is enough . Today in Favignana the "slaughter " takes on a role in the defense of identity, a bastion of tradition ultrasecolare is no longer the harvest of plenty than once. Have contributed to impoverishing the high costs of plant - drop a " trap " costs hundreds of thousands of euro - depletion of fish stocks, but especially the appearance on the scene of other Mediterranean and best equipped "competitors " : competition fleet International fishing , Japanese head , capable of intensive fishing and aggressive that has come to cripple the economy of the traps and Favignana Sicily in particular. The large fishing vessels are able to drop " tuna seines " anywhere , just after Gibraltar , even before the tuna continue their race to the hottest corners of the Mediterranean, the coast of Tunisia and Sicily , the ideal places to breed , before returning to the Atlantic . A path as old as man , on time every spring , that " tonnaroti " Sicilians have learned to know and exploit.
In recent years the "slaughter " of Favignana has been a great flying tourist attraction for many visitors, but guaranteed only modest amounts of prey and so small that the " tonnaroti " carried off in the arms of the tuna without having to engage no struggle .
Yet today there are those who bet again on tuna fishing and " trap " , convinced that he can beat the competition from large international fishing companies and thereby to restore tradition not only all its charm , but also throughout its substance , made of miraculous fishing . Cathedral square The fishermen of Favignana are in fact organized in a cooperative, managed to recover the fishing rights and sales, which in 1937 belonged to the Parodi in Genoa and not to the " tuna fishermen ," and , therefore, under the guidance of an enterprising entrepreneur, Chiara Zarlocco , President of the Cooperative " the Slaughter " and the stubbornness of the " Rais " , Gioacchino Cataldo , now just waiting for the right moment to drop the " trap ." As a long time , as it once was . " You can lose many battles ," he says convinced the " Rais " , "but ultimately win the war." Wars of the rest of Favignana has seen combat ... because in ancient times, as well as being the ground of raids by pirates and Saracens , was the battlefield of the First Punic War , when in 241 BC collided with the Carthaginian fleet under the command of the Roman Catullus Lutetium console , right in the sea of the island : the victory of the Romans put an end to the dominion of Carthage on the Mediterranean. Cala Rossa Legend has it that the most bitter battles occur just in the clear waters of the coast open to the north east , where there is the village of the island , and, later , the extraordinary Cala Rossa , a harbor from the sea color of the Caribbean , but that just for a lot of blood spilled by the armies in battle became known as " Red " . To look good seems almost sculpted , because part of its cliffs appear cropped, shaped by deep cuts and precise. And it is so, because the cove is nothing more than a tuff quarry that ends up in the sea. With the tuff of Favignana is built on the island , Villa Florio , for one thing , and many homes of Sicily, for example Messina after the earthquake of 1908 : the cuts in the tuff are clearly seen along most of the coast, while the ´ interior is a real monumental work of excavation.
The circumnavigation of Favignana is easily done by sea , the island has a coastline of 33 kilometers, an area of 19 square kilometers sail just half a day to enjoy it calmly . Turn the tip of Cala Rossa , Punta Marsala , appears to ground the coast of Sicily, which falls precisely to the city of Marsala , while on the island opens the bay of Cala d´Azur, where the color of the water this time corresponds exactly to the name.
Passed Punta Fanfalo opens the whole southern side , with the Lido Ravine , Calamoni and Punta Lunga. The latter is precisely a natural harbor , perfectly sheltered from the winds of the north - eastern areas . the Preveto But the true corner of paradise is the islet of Preveto , today also known as the " seagulls " in honor of some kind of tourists , so that they baptized between skepticism disbelief of premises: here the grandeur of Mount St. Catherine above the ´ entire bay in an enchanting scenery , made the contrast of the land barren and scorched by the sun and the crystal clear sea .
Stornello filmed , almost hidden at first glance , there is Cala Rotonda : the name is too obvious because it is a thin , round , round, with a nice little beach at the bottom. What is not at all obvious is the color of the amazingly blue , and the beauty of the place , a real cow´s belly . From Cala Rotonda Marettimo seems one step , while passing in front of Cala Grande and Punta thin strip of rocks a low low , behind which stands the lighthouse of Favignana , dubbed the Levanzo which just pops up in front of the nose, and ground are stretched the plain of Sicchitella and Calaza : two beautiful sea areas of Favignana with the mountain in the background and the islands of a frame . Establishments of tuna Continuing clockwise , ultimately encounters Punta Stack, the only real stretch of sea inaccessible island, " Zone B " ( General Reserve) and the Marine Protected Area of the Egadi Island , the largest Marine Reserve Italian , with an extension of 53810 hectares, which naturally includes Marettimo and Levanzo , as well as the small ant , the small island where once there was a trap and now houses a community center, and the rock of Maraone . Past the Point and past the sea caves , here is restore the port and its comings and goings . But if you think that the beaches are beautiful finished you are mistaken because in the country, between the port and the buildings of the ancient plants of the trap Florio , there is Plaia , the harbor with the emerald green sea, where you can muster . And if you´re lucky you´ll also see the anchovies jump out of the water . Perhaps there is under the Long Wing that pursues, but the Amberjack for sure yes .
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COMMENT "FAVIGNANA ON RAINEWS 24"
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