The Aegadian Islands
By: Liz Flynn
Some of the most beautiful islands to visit in Italy are the Aegadian Islands, also known as Egadi. These consist of three main islands and two smaller ones; Lèvanzo, Favignana, Maréttimo, Maraone, and Formica. They are located off the west coast of Sicily between Marsala and Trapani.
The islands have a long history that dates back to the Palaeolithic and Neolithic times. One of the most important events to take place at these islands was a battle in the first Punic war. There are an estimated 5,000 inhabitants across the islands and the main occupation of those living there is fishing.
This is the smallest of the three main islands. It has an area of six kilometers square and is the closest island to Trapani. There are cave paintings still visible on this island. The population of Lèvanzo is just over 200.
This is the largest of the Aegadian Islands as it has an area of approximately 20 square kilometers. There is rugged terrain to the west of the island and this area is largely uninhabited. The highest point is Monte Santa Caterina measuring just over 300 meters. The population of Favignana is just over 4,000.
Measuring twelve square meters, this island is the second largest of the Aegadian Islands. It is the furthest from Italy of all the islands in this group. In the summer, Maréttimo has a population of approximately 700 people, though this drops in the winter months.
Maraone is little more than a large rock and measures 600 meters in length and 80 meters width. It is an uninhabited island that lies between Lèvanzo and the coast of Trapani. It is part of the municipality of Favignana.
Formica is another island in the Egadi archipelago that is just a strip of land. It measures just 0.04 kilometers square and is located between Lèvanzo and the coast of Trapani. In the past, the island was inhabited by various groups of people and there are still the remains of buildings, including a port, a tuna fishery, a museum, a fortified, tower, a mill, and a lighthouse. It is now privately owned by a therapeutic community for addicts called ’80 “Mondo X”’.