THE ARCHIPELAGO - THE EGADI ISLANDS
The Egadi Islands archipelago is composed of three main islands - Favignana, Levanzo and Marretimo and of two deserted islets - Maraone and Formica as part of what has been then designated as a Natural Maritime Reserve.
The butterfly-shaped island of Favignana is the largest and most populated, and probably also the most famous among the Egadi Islands. It is often referred to as the Butterfly - hailing from the Italian farfalla due to its elongated shape. Its crystalline azure waters - where the Battle of the Egadi Islands occurred in 241 BC, splendid bays - the likes of Cala Rossa (Red Bay) - and the incomparable beauty of the sea bottom are worth its reputation as one of the most popular destinations of naturalist interest. Saint Catherine's Fort, built by Norman Roger II, sits at 304 m above sea level, dominating the main town and a landscape of moving, unrivalled charm.
LEVAZZO, with an area of merely 6 sq. km, is the smallest and the least densely populated of the Egadi Islands. The island boasts a tiny village perched on the dramatic cliffs rising sheer from the clear water as well as a rocky and austere landscape of savage and unspoilt beauty, dotted with bays, coves and reefs. The Genovese Cave definitely is one of the major tourist sights with its examples of Paleolithic rock paintings featuring men, animals, hunting and fishing scenes accounting for the earliest evidence of tuna cull in Sicily.
MARETTIMO, The mountainous isle of Marettimo is a remote, hilly island situated 37 km off the coast of Trapani. The island shares a complex history of foreign domination and alternating rule by historic civilizations as much as the rest of Sicily. Referred to as Hiera in ancient times, its modern name is the combination of two terms - Sea and Thyme, namely Mare and Timo, and also metaphorically evokes a mountain landscape.
NATURAL RESERVE Preola and Gorghi Tondi
The reserve encompassing karst ponds is a place of sublime natural beauty, boasting a unique view over landscapes covered in what might be described as a spiritual glow. The reserve is also home to a plethora of bird species due to its strategic location which makes it a mandatory stop for migratory birds.
NATURAL RESERVE Lo Stagnone
Salt has always been a precious resource and an integral part of the history of both Marsala and Trapani. Stagnone natural reserve comprises a unique range of habitats including salt marsh, canals, picturesque mills and salt heaps interspersed among the flats, perpetuating the traditional methods of salt production. Lo Stagnone also retains a remarkable variety of wild flora and fauna species. Ettore Infersa salt site provides visitors with a unique salt water bath experience that will improve your skin quality leaving it soft, supple and smooth as a consequence of the high amount of minerals contained in the pond mud. At sunset, an aperitif and pre-dinner drinks by the water will follow as the perfect end to an unforgettable day.
Trapani Provincial capital is a town with a surrounding and cultural heritage of great value.
It lies in a plain close to the sea and which ends with two promontories occupied respectively by the “Ligny Tower” built in 167, and from which you enjoy a pleasant view of the town and of the Egadi islands, and by a lazaret, today the seat of the Italian Naval Association local department. Not far from here, surrounded by the sea, you find “Colombaia”, or the “Sea Castle”, one of the symbols of the town.
Typical and various are the products of the land, like wine, capers, garlic, oranges, oil, and “la cusine”, with its enchanting taste, is superlative and out of ordinary. One of the most famous dishes is the “Fish Cous Cous”. Admirable are the noble traditions that have been handed down along the time, such as religious manifestations, coral and pottery local handcraft. Not many words to describe Trapani, an Trapani enchanting and historical town.
Not far from, at the top of a lonely mountain, 751 mt high stands, grave and lonesome, protected by nature, a small and precious jewel of our province. For centuries, the beauty of the views, the stillness of the place, and the mist that often makes it safe from prying eyes, has made Erice the favourite place for the studies of the scholars and researches and ideal for the monks prayers.
Made of narrow and winding little streets, typically medieval arches, richly decorated courtyards and small shops, up to now it preserves the ancient fascination unchanged.
It has the shape of a perfect equilateral triangle, crowned on two vertexes by the “Castello di Venere”, in the north-east, and by the “Chiesa Madre”, in the south-west. In the middle, the “Chiesa di San Domenico” is today the seat of the prestigious International Centre of Scientific Culture “Ettore Maiorana”, lynch-pin of an intense activity of scientific research directed by professor Antonino Zichichi, who founded it in 1963.
On the extreme point of the western Sicily in a place important for a strategical geographical point of view, with its archeological and environment patrimony lies Marsala, legendary land in the heart of Mediterrean. Marsala expresses its historical characters rich of history starting from its phoenix origins and in the run of years influenced by Greeks, Romans, Arabs, Normands, Sweds, Angioins and Spaniards.
One of the most important economical and touristic resources is the sea. It overlooks the “Isole Egadi” Favignana, Levanzo, Marettimo, on one side there is Erice and on the other side is near to Segesta and to Selinunte. The famous wine industry is one of the most important resources of the area includes white red and liqueur wines (the noble Marsala). The vineyards cover about 8 thousand of this very rich land. Its roots go back to the IV century b.C. when the Phoenix coming from the sea settled down in the island of Mothia a pearl of the Stagnone where the Withaker Museum hosts the archeological finds.
During the Roman domination the trade flourishes and business quickly develops, while the arrival of the Arab pirates in the VIII century, the town is given a new name: Marsa Allah (God Harbour) according to others Marsa Ali, which is the actual name. The English, in 1773 where the first to enjoy the local wine. First Woodhouse then Ingham and Withaker discovered and valued the most ancient doc wine of Italy: the Marsala. Ten years after the Florio family were the first Italians to start trading it.
An important date of this historical town is May, 11th 1860 when Giuseppe Garibaldi with his thousand red shirts landed in Marsala and from here starts his way through Italy to create the Union of Italy. Today Marsala is still an archeological historical and sailors centre. It is the city of wine, salt and ceramics. Here the colours and flavours of Sicily meet on a territory that with his historical centre streets and his surroundings still enhances the typical Mediterranean hospitality.