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Egadi Islands (TP)

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Egadi Islands (Trapani Province), off the West coast of Trapani, washed by a shallow sea. There are three main islands: Favignana, which has an area of about 20 sq km. Marettimo (12 sq km) and Levanzo, the smallest (less than 6 sq km). Between the Trapani coastline and the nearest islands - Levanzo, 15 km from Trapani, and Favignana (17 km) - are the islet of Formica and another even tinier one, Maraone. Other islands in this group include: Asinelli, La Scuola, Lunga, Mozia, Porcelli, Santa Maria, and Stagnone. Marettimo is the furthest island, some 30 km off the coast of Sicily.

Since December 1989 the Egadi have been a marine nature reserve.

The sea, now crossed by ferryboats and hydrofoils, is closely bound up with the migration of ancient peoples. Homeric legends still haunt these lands that emerged from the waters, where prehistoric man found refuge in caves. But history comes to remind us that it was here in 241 BC that a great sea-battle, known as the Battle of the Aegates, marked the end of the First Punic War and, at the same time, the triumph of Roman arms in Sicily. In the clash between the fleet of the Carthaginian Admiral Hannon and that of the Roman Consul Caius Lutatius Catulus, the Carthaginians lost at least 50 ships and a further 70 were captured.

The Egadi have been since remotest times the islands of the tunny-fisheries. Even now the bloody spectacle of tunny-fishering proves a great draw for tourists, especially on Favignana, during May and June.

The population of the entire archipelago is about 4,600, of whom 3,700 are concentrated on Favignana. But in the summer season the island has for the last few years been accommodating a tourist population of some 30,000 visiters. Marettimo has a population of 769 inhabitants; Levanzo, 225.

The economy of the Egadi is based mainly on fishing. Animal farming and agriculture area further resource only on Favignana. Tourism is of course now another important item, but only in a few summer months.

Links to other sites about Egadi Islands include:

Egadi Islands Photos
Sicilian Net
Sicily Web
Italian Wikipedia
Italian Towns
Italian Postal Codes

My latest book on CD is titled Sicily - A Reference for Researchers and is now available. With a file for each town (plus many other files), it relates the history of Sicily as reflected in the photos, records and festivals of its towns. It contains over 2500 text and photo files and can be ordered at CD order.

Order Italy Kathy Kirkpatrick

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© Kathy Kirkpatrick 2002-2008