Archive for May, 2010

Aegadian Islands: Favignana

Posted on May 23rd, 2010, by mizzica

Favignana is the biggest of the Aegadian Islands (the archipelago also includes the islands of Levanzo and Marettimo, and two uninhabited rocks, Formica and Maraone), and it is located 7km west of the coast of Sicily, in front of the city of Trapani.  The island has been not famous among tourists for a long time, with most of the visitors being people from the main island.

Aegadian Islands MapAegadian Islands – Map

Favignana is actually one of the most beautiful corners of  Sicily, for many reasons. Its relaxed, traditional atmosphere shows that the island has not been spoiled by tourism, and while local people are very friendly and happy to welcome guests, you can still find an authentic environment in which people will welcome you but still continue with their normal, daily life.

Fishing is a very important part of the island life, and Favignana is still famous for the ancient fishing technique of tonnara, which has Arabs origins. Tuna is indeed one of the most important product of Favignana, and if you love good food you won’t miss the many variations of tuna that are available here: among those, we would advice you to try the delicious “tuna sausage” that small restaurants in the village of Favignana will serve you.

The island has a “butterfly shape”, and as all the other Aegadian Islands is part of a natural reserve. You will simply get shocked by the beauty of many corners and beaches of Favignana: stunning Cala Rossa (Red Cove), so called  from the bloodshed caused by a major naval battle that was fought on 10 March 241 BC, a short distance offshore, between Rome and Carthage, will leave you speachless. And for sure you will enjoy a great swim here.

Cala Rossa - Favignana island - Aegadian islands, Sicily

Cala Rossa – Favignana

There also many other great spots for swimming, and also for diving: Cala Azzurra is one of them, and has clear blue waters and a beautiful location. Lido Burrone is a nice sandy beach, very easy to enjoy.

Favignana features also a lot of caves of sandstone rock (“tufo”): most of these caves are now transformed into gardens (“giardini ipogei), and in some part of the island you can walk through the caves to reach the sea; this is the case of  “Bue Marino”, a great rocky beach surrounded by yellow caves.

Bue Marino - Favignana Island, Aegadian islands, Sicily

Bue Marino – Favignana

Favignana offers a wide choice of accomodation solutions: B&B (prices around 30/45 euros), hotels, houses for rent.

It’s easy to reach the island: the closest airport is Trapani, which is now connected with many European cities by Ryanair. From Trapani, you can then easily reach Favignana by ferry with Siremar and Ustica Lines.

Some other useful links:

Aegadian Natural Reserve

Comune di Favignana

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Sicilian Granita

Posted on May 16th, 2010, by mizzica

Days are getting warmer as we approach sumer, so today we want to talk about Sicilian granita. While you could probably find something called “granita” in different parts of Italy, the original recipe is from Sicily, and even here you can get very different versions of the same product depending on the province or the town. This is due to the different freezing techniques that are being used: the smoother types are produced in a gelato machine, while the coarser varieties are frozen with only occasional agitation and then scraped to produce separated crystals (so the granita is more similar to ice).

In our opinion, the real (!) granita si the one from the Acireale and Catania area, on the east coast of the island. This granita is smooth as a sorbet, and is normally served with a brioche (better if a warm one). It is wonderful for breakfast, but during the hot season you can enjoy it all day long. Most pasticcerie and bar will offer you quite a wide range of different tastes, from fruit (peach, lemon, strawberry, black mulberry, almond) to chocolate, pistache and coffee. For every bar you visit in Acireale, you can find a special taste: don’t miss Condorelli‘s almond, or Cipriani‘s pistache.

Granita e brioche acireale sicily

Our special advise for a great granita: try a mandorla granita with liquid, hot coffee on top and a brioche. Simply delicious.

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