Favignana: the Sicilian island is your new best eco-friend

Favignana: the Sicilian island is your new best eco-friend

Just the sound of the fighter jets that take off from Trapani‘s military base break the silence that reigns in this little paradise: an island of 2okm square surrounded by crystal clear water, where the bike -and the boat- is the main means of transport.

Cala San Nicola (Favignana) - The Green Beings

Cala San Nicola (Favignana) – The Green Beings

Favignana is the largest of the Aegadian Islands (Isole Egadi), an archipelago 7km off the northwest coast of Sicily which is a very popular destination among northern Italians and Sicilians themselves and, increasingly, for people coming from other countries. Its turquoise sea contrasts to its yellowish drylands. The shade is scarce on this island, although its rugged coastline full of rocky coves and caves does provide shelter for those who suffer the sun on their pale skins.

 

TOWARDS A ZERO EMISSIONS PARADISE

In Favignana there is also shelter for those looking for an eco-friendly vacation. For instance, Al Gattopardo is an affordable B&B with a sustainable philosophy based on minimising consumption and using alternative sources of energy, whereas Dimora Cala del Pozzo is a luxury hotel (with an organic farm attached) committed to use chemical-free cleaning products.

But the sustainability of this place goes beyond its eco-friendly accommodation offer. Last September, the local power supplier SEA Favignana announced a new plan to turn the island into a Zero Emissions spot (see here in English). In order to achieve this and make this place more attractive to tourists, the company will build a highly-efficient hybrid power plant, foster renewable energies through the installation of solar panels, implement a LED lighting system, and encourage the use of electric vehicles such as cars, Scooters, or bikes.

Cala Rossa (Favignana) - The Green Beings

Bike in Cala Rossa (Favignana) – The Green Beings

As we said at the beginning of this post, bikes are at the core of the experience when staying at Favignana. There is no need for them to be electric; if apart from taking care of the environment during your holidays your intention is to do some exercise, a regular bike is the best option. The island is mainly flat and cars aren’t a threat. At night the bike experience intensifies due to the lack of light on the roads, so if your accommodation is out of town be ready for an enjoyable odyssey.

 

A SUSTAINABLE FISHING MODEL

We can’t finish this post without speaking of food. Tuna is the greatest asset of Favignana’s cuisine, so if you are neither vegetarian nor vegan and like fresh fish, this is your place. Its impressive ‘tonnara’ and the iconic picture of the ‘mattanza’ of bluefin tuna that can be seen in many establishments across the town attest to the tradition of the island.

Fisherman carrying a tuna. Picture seen in the 'Tonnara di Favignana', nowadays a museum opened to the public

Fisherman with tuna. Picture seen in the ‘Tonnara di Favignana’, nowadays a museum opened to the public

Although the ‘tonnara’ ceased trading in the 70s and the latest ‘mattanza’ took place in 2007, Favignana’s local government has plans to reopen the facilities and resume the capture of bluefin tuna, given the increase in quota announced by the UE for the period 2015-2017. However, they’ll put aside the traditional harpoons and replace them by other techniques, less cruel and more sustainable, adhering to the fishing quota allocated and catching only adult specimens ( see this article by La Repubblica).

Favignana's port at night - The Green Beings

Favignana’s port at night – The Green Beings

Locals blame Japanese and illegal fishing for these lean years. In the meantime, restaurants have kept the tradition alive for tourists, serving all kind of tuna dishes. Two of the most fascinating things you can taste are the ‘tagliata di tonno’ with cheese and pear sauce prepared in Sapori di Mare, and the ‘fiorentina di tonno’ with pistachio (a half kilo steak grilled outside and rare inside, battered with ground pistachio) made by Il Pakkaro restaurant. A gourmet beast you’ll be able to handle after an entire day swimming and riding around the island.

 

QUICK READING

Favignana is one of Aegadian islands, located 7km off the west of Sicily. It’s size, lifestyle and local goverment plans to implement a Zero Emissions project in the incoming months make this place a perfect spot to spend an eco-friendly vacation. You will find B&B and hotels inspired by a sustainable philosophy, and you’ll move around by bike, the main means of transport of the island. In regards of food, tuna is at the core of Favignana’s cuisine. Although until 2007 fishermen would catch bluefin tuna by performing the ‘mattanza’, a technique with harpoons, the local government has plans to introduce a new sustainable system, less cruel, and that guarantees the adherence to the UE fishing quota.

2 responses to “Favignana: the Sicilian island is your new best eco-friend”

  1. Take me there for holiday please… Tomorrow the latest 😉

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