"Favignana" Isola Favignana by jeffmartinartist

Isola Favignana Travel Guide: 19 reviews and 24 photos

In 1999 I arrived in Palermo on the overnight ferry from Naples. It was early and I had no plans other than a coffee. I was on a four-month holiday and wanted to explore Sicily so facing the city I tossed a coin, heads east and tails west. Tails took my girlfriend and me by bus to Trapani and we were dropped off at the port near some ferries and small hydrofoils. A few questions and a ticket later I was on my way to the most breath taking little island of Levanzo. I booked a room above a restaurant with the most amazing roof top balcony and went for a swim.

After a few days here I knew it was time to move on, I was getting to relaxed and in danger of just stopping. We needed cash to pay the bill before moving on and there are no banks on Levanzo. The island of Favignana had a bank and was closer than Trapani so it was decided to make a day of it. Ferry to Favignana, get money, explore island, dinner and ferry back to the room on Levanzo.

Arriving in Favignana I sorted out the bank and walked towards the main square where I met a young man running a small bar. He was friendly and after talking for a short while he worked out my girlfriend and I were Australians and involved in the food industry. He gave us lunch and introduced me to a few of his friends and before I knew it I was heading back to Levanzo, collecting our bags, paying for the account and moving into bungalow accommodation on Favignana run by this blokes, girlfriend’s, mother.

The next morning was one that changed my life. Every day that I travel, I draw. I get up, walk to a café have two coffees and settle down somewhere with a sketchpad. This day it was at the Porto di Favignana and the fishermen were returning from the open seas with their catch. I sat at U Bar du marinau, watching all the activity and as usual there was a bit of interest in my work. The next day I went back and the day after that and so on and then something began to change. I think the locals are quite use to having the odd tourist wander in and take a photo and leave but I was in no rush and kept on turning up very early, every morning. They began allowing me to paint and photograph them without being self-conscience, which is what any artists needs if they are to get to the heart of a topic.

Long story short, I have fallen in love with the island of Favignana and it’s people. I have been there in 1999, 2001 and 2003 for extended periods. Recently I had and exhibition in Melbourne Australia, titled ‘FROM FAVIGNANA’. The Italian Government, Birra Moretti and Donnafugata wines sponsored the show and all this happened because I met a nice person on the way to the bank. Don’t you just love the adventure of travel.

I will post many tips about Favignana and my work can be seen at http://www.jeffmartin.com.au

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:The people are as beautiful as the island itself
  • Cons:It is far from Australia
  • In a nutshell:I am in love with this place and if you visit you might fall too
  • Last visit to Isola Favignana: Sep 2003
  • Intro Updated May 24, 2005
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Reviews (23)

Comments (15)

  • pammytav's Profile Photo
    Aug 4, 2009 at 3:27 AM

    Hi Jeff: Thanks to your fabulous reviews of Favignana we are going there for 4 nights next month. Have you been to Procida? Favignana sounds very similar - if so we will just love our time there. thanks for your fabulous photos. Pamela Taverniti

  • antonela's Profile Photo
    Sep 25, 2008 at 12:33 PM

    Definitly share your passion for the South of Italy, Being from Calabria, I so miss the place of my birth, I know what you are saying, when you try to describe it, and then you immortalize it with your paintings. I love your art.

  • May 30, 2008 at 3:47 AM

    Great place isnt it !! I live in Sicily and have started a travel agents here.... just love the place. love your Photos there lovely.

  • wroclawiak's Profile Photo
    Jan 12, 2007 at 12:45 AM

    Great and useful page. Thanks. I am going to spend two days in the island in February.

  • Barbie2138's Profile Photo
    Oct 4, 2006 at 4:53 PM

    Thank you for sharing your insight Jeff even though the reality of the fishermen's lives as you say is sadly changing.

  • hivaoa1's Profile Photo
    Jun 2, 2006 at 11:47 PM

    i am going to Favignana this summer, i am so happy :D finally i'll dive into these beautiful waters :D

  • May 10, 2006 at 2:01 PM

    Hi Jeff...In 2004 my wife and I also "discovered" the delight of people and place that is Favignana We plan to return this summer for two weeks. Your tips about a place to stay were like a blessing!

  • Sininen's Profile Photo
    Apr 27, 2006 at 8:40 AM

    Hello Jeff! Wonderful page on Isola Favignana! I loved your personal commentary very much. Happy birthday from Finland!

  • aussiedoug's Profile Photo
    Oct 21, 2005 at 1:52 AM

    What a fascinating intro Jeff. Another place in the mezzogiorno that I'd love to explore.

  • sprdak11's Profile Photo
    Jul 10, 2005 at 7:34 AM

    Hello. Great travel page! Very interesting tips and photos! Greetings from Poland!


“Slow down, eat where the locals eat and listen so that you can see more.”

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