#23 Favignana – Departure

As it already happened with the islands that frightened me the most by size or tourist influx (Capri, Lipari, Elba), even Favignana had great surprises in store.

The Gulliver sailing school, to start with, is a sailing school which, throughout the year, receives more than half of the children of the island, teaching them not only to sail (up to a national competion level), but also the rules of management and cohabitation within a structure that needs everyone’s help to exist. The legendary Peppone has been superbly directing it for over 20 years now. There are only a very few tourists’ children, those who spend all summer here; apart from them, Gulliver lives oblivious to the summer mass invasion.

This invasion, on an island close to the mainland and all in all quite cheap, attracts a lot of money. And the money attracts many interests. So it happens that the authentic heart of Favignana, the Borgo Marinaro of Punta Lunga, a true Mediterranean jewel, has for some years been in danger for the concessions requested by various foreign speculators who would throw away the fishermen from the village to fill it with yet other rubber dinghies meant to be rented to tourists during a couple of months a year. But Favignana resists, forming an association led by the smiling Norman Giuseppe Campo.

So it happens that the presence of Mafia here is strong and established. But Favignana resists. The association Casa Macondo has been entrusted with a house confiscated from Mafia, for example, where children, throughout the winter, have a safe and cultural meeting place that takes them off the road. Thank you so much to Barbara and Michele for having patiently explained all this to us, and above all for, without earning a penny, keeping this reality alive.

Then the wisdom of Maria Guccione, from the height of her 80 years but much younger than many, who told us about her fights in the past and, with eyes still almost injected with the blood of passion, explained how them fights should still be carried out: with passion, of course, but also with technical knowledge and actions from the base, politically. Writing a post on Facebook, the modern version of the concept of “fight”, serves almost only to unload personal anger. Fighting is another story …

And finally, the sympathy and obstinacy, also very Mediterranean, of Paolo Balistreri, a marine biologist who tries and tries to work on his island, where with one of the largest Marine Protected Areas of the Mediterranean it would be natural to find a job. Especially when you’re really good at what you do. I wish you with all my heart to make it, Paolo.

And finally finally, in Favignana there is the most beautiful “arena”, the outdoor summer cinema, ever in a fantastic former tuff quarry / hypogeum garden!

I forgot the fantastic hospitality of an atypical, fun, professional, absolutely authentic diving center, the one owned by Vincenzo and Ciccio, Egadi Scuba Diving. A big thank you too.

But now, after too much waiting, the new tracker has arrived and it will send my position in real time again. I can safely sail again! To us two, Sicily Channel: Pantelleria, I’m coming!

 


Posted on: 9.Jul.2018   Leave a comment

Island people – Marettimo – Davide Di Franco, Diletta Giannola

Guess what, I am not gonna go diving a little bit during my trip through such crazy places? And what’s better than doing it with people who actually chose the Island, leaving back a whole life to devote themselves to the Island?

Let me introduce you Davide Di Franco and Diletta Giannola, owners of Blu Tek Diving – Marettimo. Both form Palermo, him always fond of scuba diving, her former dancer of the Teatro Massimo in Palermo, a few years ago they decided to bet everything on their passion and love, mutual and for the sea. They chose Marettimo – unquestionably in the top 3, I dare say, of best diving destinations in Italy (and in the Mediterranean) for its underwater caves and unbelievable sceneries -, boat an old fishing boat named “El Merendero”, and the dream has come true. They even got married in Marettimo!

I can’t wait. Above and under water, take me discovering your island’s pearls of beauty…

Posted on: 22.Feb.2018   Leave a comment