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Favignana is the largest of the Egadi islands, separated from the Sicilian coast by only 7 km. Throughout history, this beautiful island has been called Auegusa by the Greeks, meaning “island of the goats”, and Djazirat ‘ar Rahib by the Arabs, meaning “island of the monk or hermit”. The current name, Favignana, has medieval origins and seems to stem from the wind coming from the west, the Favonio. Perhaps it was the painter, Salvatore Fiume, who found the most appropriate name for it when he called it “the big butterfly on the sea”. The fortunes of this island and its inhabitants have been based primarily on the mining of calcarenite, which has forever changed the shape of the north-eastern coastline, but certainly made it more fascinating. On the beaches of Cala Rossa and Bue Marino, you can admire the man-made rocks and old quarries in all their splendour. Favignana’s other great resource has been fishing, particularly for bluefin tuna. The Florio family played a fundamental role in the success of this business. After buying the Egadi islands and, therefore, its tonnara (or tuna fishery), the Florios managed to create an industry that, according to the island’s inhabitants, employed more people than Fiat.


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