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The Aegadian Islands - Sicily

A transparent sea, a submarine world of grottos, walls and rocky seabeds where gorgonias, sponges and parazoanthus live together with lobsters, scorpion-fish, muraenas, crabs and sparidae. In spring these seas become the "highways of tuna-fish" which is the island's chief source of employment, of economic prosperity, of poetry and of the legendary tales of these islands. The three Aegadian islands (the mythical "Aegades" of Homer's tale) are known as the islands of the goats and have been left almost entirely untouched by man. These natural reserves populated by migratory and non-migratory birds are covered by Indian figs, dwarf-palms and Mediterranean shrub.

Tourism does not interrupt the quietness nor the silence that surrounds visitors looking for a world different from what they usually live in. Favignana, Marettimo and Levanzo (province of Trapani) are the main islands of a group of microisles surrounded by numerous crags rising out of the sea like flowers in a waterfield. 

Favignana

This is the largest Aegadian island and has a 33-mile coastline. This isle is smooth like the "Favonio" wind that gives its name to the island and rough like the naked rocks and white tuft-caves that can be found along its sides. Favignana also casts a mysterious spell with its inland and coastline grottos; and its surrounding sea and the islands unique territory offer attractions. The only hotels and campsites of the Aegadian islands are here. Both the accommodation facilities and the restaurants are simple and family-run.

 
Levanzo

The Roman "Phorbantia" lies 3 miles from Favignana and is the smallest Aegadian island. The white limestone and the green Mediterranean vegetation colour this isle (5 km2) which is rich in rocks rising vertically above the sea where numerous grottos lie at their base: Crollata, dei Porci, di Cala Tramontana, di Punta Capperi where prehistoric men lived and hunted the migratory birds populating the island. These animals still represent a natural wealth that deserves protection and respect. 

 
Marèttimo

The ancient "Hiera" is a sea jewel that broke away from Sicily 600 thousand years ago and now lies 21 miles from its coast. From the 686 metres of Pizzo Falcone the rocky slopes fall perpendicularly into the sea. This island has a ragged coastline and is covered with a rich and varied vegetation of more than 500 rare botanical species as well as unique ones.  

   
Stagnone Islands

Halfway between Trapani and Marsala there is a shallow sea called the Stagnone sea and a unique group of islands facing Favignana called the Stagnone islands. Most of them formed part of the mainland and only later did they become islands following the invasion of the waters that separated them from Sicily. In addition to the bigger Isola Grande (also known as Isola Lunga) there are the smaller Isles of Santa Maria, of La Scuola and the most famous and fascinating island of Mozia (San Pantaleo).

   
Mozia (San Pantaleo)

Mozia was a rich Phoenician centre built on the small Island of San Pantaleo (40 hectares) located in the shallow and transparent Stagnone sea. San Pantaleo was linked to the mainland by a paved road subsequently submerged by the sea. If you want to reach Mozia you have to take a boat and cross a 2.2 kilometre-wide strip of sea. Once this was a saline area, and the white salt-mountains extracted from the waters still represent a fascinating and unusual landscape.

   

Food & Wine
The local cuisine is excellent and based on tuna fish (the real local speciality) served in thousands of different ways, shell-fish and, above all, the delicious cuscus with fish which is one of the best dishes of Trapani's cuisine. The Marettimo island's excellent gastronomy offers principally dishes such as tuna-fish "lattume", tuna-fish in vinegar and oil or "bottarga" (tuna-fish roe). Special mention must be reserved for the excellent lobsters.

For more information:
AAPIT Trapani - Local Tourist Board
Via S. Francesco d'Assisi 27 - 91100 Trapani ITALY

http://www.comune.trapani.it/turismo/index.htm

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