Approaching the Favignana harbor you can’t miss the Tonnara, tuna fishing, with its massive gates and towering chimneys. Then you’ll see the Florio Palace. After that you’ll note that the water, even in the port, where it’s supposed to be the most dirty, is so clean that you would like to jump in.
To enjoy a full day on the biggest one of the three Aegadian Islands, you can choose the option of taking the 6.00 p.m. ferry from Trapani to sleep in the middle of Mediterranean sea and wake up with a sunshine knocking on your window. We chose the B&B Casa dell’Arancio, not the cheapest accommodation for sure (160,00 € per room per night) but right into the center of the village and very traditional: for breakfast you’ll get home made carob cake and orange marmalade. So, not a full-rich Sicilian breakfast, but an occasion to discover the typical flavors of the island.
Than you can step out of the house and reach the seaside, but keep in mind two advices: the island is not so big and the best period to have an holiday is June or September: the high season is really crowded and the in the beaches is nearly impossible to pass. Furthermore, no need to have a car: it will hamper you. Better a motorbike or a bicycle.
From the village center take the road that leads to the most famous beach: Cala Rossa . Than move to the next one, eventually more beautiful: Bue Marino. Both of them are marvelous, whit the deep blue and an enormous fishes variety: more than that, Bue Marino cliff looks like a sort of archeological site, as far as it is a former site of tuff mining.
Favignana is popular because of its tuna, so you definitely must look for it: in the village shops they sell bottarga (salted, cured fish roe of bluefin tuna) and all kinds of canned tuna, in the restaurants you can try many different recipes with the precious fish. Our advice is to try for lunch U Coppu in Piazza Europa, a very small place managed by a young man who is following in the family tradition )his parents run a restaurant few hundred meters away) which offers fried fish and a fresh tuna hamburger with onions and eggplant that will leave you breathless. You must try it drinking orange juice, made in Sicily obviously.
Don’t miss a visit to the ancient Tonnara Florio, one of the best preserved and eventually the most interesting tuna cannery of Italy. The guided tour (price is 6,00 €) will drive you into the factory history and also into the rules, ceremonies and peculiar traditions of the tuna fishing. Into an unexpected multimedia room you can even face and listen the last “rais” (fisherman master). It’s not a short visit, but it is worth it to spend a few time to learn what is a “schifazza” (a specific type of rowing boat) or the “camera della morte” (trap for the massacre) . You will discover that it was here that was introduced the revolutionary method of conservation of tuna in oil after boiling and canning.
We think the best coastline of the island is the East one, and there we come back in the afternoon: we reach Cala Azzurra, with its crystal clear water and nice rocks to climb up. For dinner just go to Sotto Sale. We had a great meal: southern bluefin tuna tartare (with orange and fennel) and “ spaghetti alla bottarga”.
You can’t never get bored after dinner, because there are many musical and theatrical events, almost every night and almost every time in Villa Florio.