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Audioguide for the Favignana and Levanzo Mini Cruise

The stages indicated in this itinerary are purely indicative and might not all be completed. The program is subject to changes for organizational and ship management reasons, as well as depending on weather and sea conditions.

1. Boat Introduction and Initial Greetings

biglietteria Egadi Escursioni Torre Lines

Good morning ladies and gentlemen, welcome aboard and thank you for choosing us! The captain and the crew are delighted to have you join us on this excursion to the enchanting islands of Favignana and Levanzo. In the map included with this audio guide, you will find numbered points of historical, cultural, and natural interest. Each point corresponds to an audio segment that provides detailed explanations and interesting facts. We recommend listening to the audio when you are near the respective locations. If you have any questions about your position, please don’t hesitate to ask a crew member. In the audio guide and the map, we have included as many points of interest as possible to anticipate any variations that might occur during the boat tour. However, it’s important to note that not all the indicated stops will necessarily be visited. Our boat tour itineraries are subject to change, so please be aware that some highlighted points may not be reached. We are ready to start our tour and look forward to showing you the beauty of these places. We wish you a pleasant day and a wonderful adventure with us!

2. Port of Trapani

We are departing from the Port of Trapani, a natural harbor covering approximately 921,000 square meters with a remarkable history. Originally established as the commercial outlet for Erice, the majestic mountain overlooking Trapani, this port has been a passageway for many civilizations over the centuries. Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Greeks, Romans, and Arabs all utilized its strategic location at the western tip of Sicily, making it a vital crossroads in the Mediterranean Sea. In addition to its historical significance, the Port of Trapani is known as one of the safest ports in Italy, thanks to its natural protection from the winds. This feature has indeed made it a particularly reliable harbor.

3. Colombaia

The impressive structure on your right is La Colombaia, also known as Torre Peliade. Standing 32 meters tall, this fortress with its four stacked floors is considered one of the finest examples of military architecture in Sicily. It was built during the First Punic War by the order of the Carthaginian general Hamilcar Barca. Over the centuries, La Colombaia has undergone several transformations. In the medieval period, it was rebuilt by the Aragonese and later converted into a prison during the Bourbon rule. It served as a prison until 1965, when it was abandoned. Recently, it has been restored and is open to visitors at certain times of the year.

4. Salt Pans

Shifting our sight to the left, beyond the characteristic houses with their red-tiled roofs, we can observe the Salt Pans of Trapani. This place is not just a beautiful landscape but a natural treasure that deserves all our attention and care. Today, thanks to the efforts of the WWF, the Salt Pans are a Protected Nature Reserve, a wellness oasis spanning 1000 hectares. Here, amidst the salt crystals, the extraction continues, preserving a tradition passed down through generations. And there’s even more to discover: this place is not just a panoramic view but an ideal habitat for a variety of migratory birds that make a stop here, finding refuge among the brackish waters and the sun’s reflections on the salt. Among them, the pink flamingo, with its delicate plumage and majestic presence, finds an oasis of peace in this environment during its long migratory journeys.

5. Formica

On your right, you can see the small island of Formica. On this island, there is an old tuna fishery, which was active until the 1970s and is now unused. Additionally, you can admire a fortified structure with a lighthouse, a small harbor, and a very ancient chapel. The island is privately owned and now hosts a rehabilitation community for drug addicts called “Mondo X,” founded by Father Eligio. The young people from the center have restored the island’s buildings and created a small museum dedicated to tuna fishing. This small island is part of the Egadi Islands Nature Reserve and is marked by yellow buoys, indicating its environmental importance and the need to preserve this place.

6. Arrival at the port of Favignana (Castle of Santa Caterina)

Welcome to Favignana, the largest of the Egadi Islands. This enchanting island, which has around 4,000 inhabitants during the winter, comes to life incredibly in the summer, welcoming up to 40,000 visitors per day. At the highest point of the island, you can admire the Castle of Santa Caterina. Once a watchtower and then a prison, it now offers a sensational panoramic viewpoint where you can enjoy a 360-degree view of the island. As you enter the port of Favignana, on the right, you’ll see the historic Florio establishment, an ancient tuna fishery that tells the story of tuna fishing. Dating back to 1859, Favignana’s tuna industry flourished with the arrival of Ignazio Florio in 1874, who introduced innovations such as the use of oil to preserve tuna, thus transforming the fishery and the island into a prominent industrial center. Today, the fishery is an archaeological museum open to the public during the summer months. In addition to the establishment, on the island, you will also find Villa Florio, the summer residence of the Florio family, another piece of history to discover.

7. Along the coast of Favignana - TUFA QUARRIES:

As we sail along the coast of Favignana, you can observe how the landscape, stretching from the port to the southern area of the island, is characterized by a fascinating natural material commonly known as tufa. This material, extracted directly from local quarries, has been used for centuries in the construction of houses on the island. Tufa, a porous volcanic rock, is highly prized for its exceptional insulating properties, allowing homes to maintain a cool environment during the summer and warmth during the winter. These historic dwellings not only offer superior living comfort but also possess a higher market value compared to modern constructions due to their quality and durability. The technique of tufa extraction, passed down from generation to generation, represents a deep bond between the island’s inhabitants and their natural environment. Along the island’s coast, you can admire the beauty of tufa, technically known as limestone, often referred to as “the white stone.” This particular type of tufa is of shell origin and is considered among the most valuable. Its compactness, fine grain, and bright white color, due to higher calcium concentration, make it unique. The pure white of tufa, over time, undergoes a fascinating transformation: exposed to the natural elements, it oxidizes and darkens, assuming warm shades of ochre yellow. This chromatic evolution not only adds distinctive character to the landscape but also tells a story of interaction between the stone and the surrounding environment.

8. Punta San Nicola

We are now in the charming archaeological area of Punta San Nicola, one of the most captivating historical gems of the Egadi Islands. This area served as the earliest settlement for the Phoenicians, ancient navigators and merchants who left an indelible mark on these lands. The Phoenicians arrived here thousands of years ago, drawn by the pristine beauty and strategic location of these islands. Their presence is still tangible, evidenced by the incredible rock paintings found within a nearby cave. These rock paintings depict scenes of daily life and religious symbols. It is believed that they also depict maps of the maritime routes used by the Phoenicians.

9. Cavallo Cove

On the right, the impressing cliff of Scalo Cavallo rises majestically, a captivating terrace of tufa that stands out against the clear sea. This enchanted place is dotted with caves carved into the rock, a testament to the ancient mining activity that has shaped this coastline. Of particular interest is the large arch carved into the rock, standing majestically. This wonderful inlet is one of the less crowded, yet no less fascinating, beaches on the island. Along the cliff, you can admire the changing shades of the water, ranging from the delicate turquoise of the shores to the deep blue of the more remote waters.

10. Red Cove

Cala Rossa is one of the most captivating and famous gems of Favignana Island, owes its name to a legend rooted in ancient history. It is said that during the First Punic War, one of the bloodiest battles took place right here, staining the waters red with the blood of the fallen. This tale has fascinated generations, adding to the mysterious allure of this place. However, recent archaeological findings have debunked this theory. In reality, the name “Cala Rossa” derives from the reddish rocks surrounding the bay. During heavy rains, these rocks release residues of material that color the water a suggestive red, offering a unique natural spectacle. Cala Rossa is famous for its crystal-clear waters and the richness of its marine flora and fauna, making it an ideal destination for snorkeling and diving enthusiasts.

11. Cala Bue Marino and Posidonia further insight

Welcome to Cala Bue Marino, one of the most enchanting gems of Favignana. This captivating cove is famous for the extraordinary architecture of its ancient tufa quarries, which gives it a unique appearance. The deep and crystal-clear seabeds make this place ideal for diving and snorkeling enthusiasts. In these areas, known as “hypogeal gardens,” you can admire vegetables and fruit trees such as fig, almond, pear, orange, and prickly pear, true “hidden gardens” protected by high rocky walls. As you admire the seabeds, you can see dark areas in the sea, caused by the presence of Posidonia oceanica, a marine plant essential for the Mediterranean ecosystem. Posidonia produces oxygen, protects the coast from erosion, and hosts hundreds of marine species that find refuge and reproduction there. Once, the monk seal, from which the cove takes its name, inhabited these waters. Although it is no longer present today, the memory of this magnificent animal adds further charm to this place.

12. Punta Marsala Lighthouse

On your right stands the imposing Punta Marsala Lighthouse. This lighthouse owes its name to the panoramic position it offers, providing a direct view of the Sicilian coast, towards the picturesque town of Marsala. Strategically positioned facing the scenic lagoon of the Stagnone di Marsala, the lighthouse serves as a crucial landmark for seafarers on the open sea, offering a reliable guide visible up to a distance of 15 nautical miles.

13. Azure Cove

We are now in Cala Azzurra, a jewel among the marvelous cliffs of Favignana. The name evokes the turquoise color of its waters. Here, along the coast, you will find imposing piles of dry white algae, remnants of the Posidonia that accumulate on the shore during the winter months. Cala Azzurra is undoubtedly considered one of the pearls of the Egadi Islands, thanks to its transparent waters and sandy bottom, tending towards pink, making it ideal for swimming and snorkeling. The imposing rocks surrounding the beach provide protection from winds and currents, making it an oasis of tranquility, especially on days of northwesterly or light maestrale winds.

14. Burrone Beach

We’re heading towards Burrone Beach, one of the few sandy beaches in Favignana, as the island is predominantly rocky. This splendid crescent-shaped beach, surrounded by flat rocks, is renowned for its clear waters and shallow seabed. The sea here is always clear and crystalline, providing an ideal environment for swimming and relaxing.

15. Welcome to Levanzo!

During your stopover in Levanzo, we recommend exploring the small village where you can experience a bit of local life and perhaps try some typical specialties. The characteristic white houses with blue windows, lining the coast, lend Levanzo a unique and charming atmosphere. On the other side of the island lies the famous Grotta del Genovese. This extraordinary archaeological site houses engravings and cave paintings dating back to the Paleolithic period, offering a fascinating glimpse into Sicily’s ancient history. The village of Levanzo is centered around the port, the island’s only inhabited area. In winter, fewer than a hundred people live here, preserving an atmosphere of tranquility and authenticity that makes this place even more special. If you prefer, you can visit Cala Fredda, reachable in about 10 minutes on foot from the harbor. Enjoy and savor this corner of paradise.

16. Faraglione - Sea Stack

In front of you stands the majestic Sea Stack of Levanzo, a rock formation with a characteristic pyramidal shape that has detached from the coast, creating a rocky island about 30 meters away. This area, like many others on the island, is protected by the WWF as it is an important nesting area for seagulls. The waters around the Sea Stack are crystal clear and teeming with marine life, perfect for snorkeling and underwater exploration. The variety of seabeds, characterized by fragments of Posidonia and fascinating rock formations, provides a perfect habitat for numerous species of colorful fish, including bream, sea bream, parrotfish, and damselfish. Relax and enjoy this natural spectacle.

17. Cold Cove

And here we are at Cala Fredda. This charming little inlet owes its name to the cool currents that flow through these crystal-clear waters, making it an ideal spot to cool off on hot days for diving and snorkeling. Characterized by a seabed rich in fish, Cala Fredda is surrounded by a unique world of endemic flora, comprising approximately 400 rare plant species. This small paradise is safeguarded by the Egadi Islands Marine Protected Area, which is committed to preserving the biodiversity and natural beauty of the area.

18. Minnola Cove and the Wreck's Story

Welcome to Cala Minnola, a captivating inlet named after a typical Mediterranean fish, the Minnola. This lovely cove is surrounded by a pine forest of maritime pines, with an area equipped by the Forestry Department with wooden tables and benches, perfect for seeking shelter in the shade. Here you can admire the remains of an ancient Roman structure used for processing and preserving fish, a testament to the importance of fishing for the local populations of that time. Cala Minnola is also an important habitat for seagulls, which choose this cove for breeding. The sea here has a dazzling emerald green color, with rocky bottoms, sand, and Posidonia meadows, creating a spectacular marine scenery. The true gem of Cala Minnola lies beneath the sea surface. In this area delimited by yellow buoys, at a depth of about 30 meters and only 100 meters from the coast, lies the wreck of a Roman cargo ship from the 1st century B.C., bearing witness to the ancient commercial exchanges that animated the archipelago in the Punic era. Amphorae, plates, and various pottery tell millennia-old stories of trade and interconnected cultures.

19. Cala Calcara

We find ourselves at Cala Calcara, named after its freshwater spring above, enchanting visitors with its wild beauty. Located on the eastern side of the island, this lovely cove is best accessed by sea, offering a unique experience for diving enthusiasts. The surrounding rocks create a perfect environment to explore the underwater wonders of this corner of paradise.

20. Capo Grosso Lighthouse

Welcome to the Capo Grosso Lighthouse on the island of Levanzo. Erected in 1858, the tower stands majestically among the ruins of the wartime military positions from the two world wars. With its 12 meters in height, it hosts a lantern 68 meters above sea level, offering a spectacular view of the horizon and the vast sea. The lighthouse’s light, powered by solar panels, continues to guide sailors. Today, the Capo Grosso Lighthouse is also the centerpiece of a redevelopment project that involves other wonders of Sicily.

21. Cala Tramontana

Welcome to Cala Tramontana, one of the largest coves in Levanzo. It’s surrounded by majestic reddish-toned rock walls and dotted with enchanting caves, immersed in wild nature. It presents itself as a vast natural amphitheater, with imposing cliffs on the sides and a wide slide of limestone rock extending to the sea. Its rocky seabed creates a safe habitat for a variety of fish, making this bay a true paradise for snorkelers. The crystal-clear waters offer the opportunity to explore an underwater world rich in marine creatures.

22. From Levanzo to Trapani - The Battle of the Egadi Islands in the Punic Period

As we journey back from Levanzo to Trapani, we invite you to enjoy the beauty of the landscape and share with you one last truly fascinating historical tale. Just think, right in the waters we are sailing, the famous Battle of the Egadi Islands was fought, an epic chapter in ancient history that marked the end of the First Punic War. At that critical time, the Carthaginians were besieged at Erice, without provisions or weapons, desperately awaiting relief from Carthage led by Hannibal, while the Romans dominated the area around Marsala, firmly controlling the maritime territory that included the islands of Favignana and Levanzo. Gaius Lutatius Catulus, having discovered the enemy’s plan, cunningly orchestrated the attack of the powerful Roman fleet of 120 warships right here near Levanzo, catching the Carthaginians in a deadly ambush. Anibal’s expedition thus went up in smoke, marking an epic moment in the history of these waters. The presence of 120 ancient Roman anchors, now preserved in the Favignana establishment, confirms the historical truth of this event. The Battle of the Egadi Islands ended with the victory of the Romans, leaving an eternal imprint on the history of these islands and on our identity. The sea, which witnessed these events and guards their secrets, has yielded some of its most precious archaeological treasures. Among its depths, ancient amphorae, plates, helmets, and even bronze rams mounted on the bows of ships, used by ancient sailors to sink enemy vessels during combat, have been found.

23. Arrival in Trapani and Final Greetings

biglietteria Egadi Escursioni Torre Lines

Welcome back to Trapani! We hope you had a wonderful day exploring the beauties of the Egadi Islands in our company. The Captain and crew thank you for choosing to share this experience with Egadi Excursions. It has been a pleasure having you on board. We wish you a pleasant rest of your day.

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