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The Egadi Islands:The secrets of Levanzo

Posted by Suzanne on 27 Mar 2015

When the hydrofoil pulled into the Sicilian port of Levanzo the water, edged with small, low white houses and dotted with colourful fishing boats, was a vivid turquoise and so clear.

A jewel of an island and a sunbaked villa

It was August 2010 when we took the hydrofoil, from the port of Trapani, to have a look at a simple, yet imposing early 20th century hunting villa for sale on the tiniest jewel in the archipelago of the Egadi Islands, Levanzo. The Egadi Islands: Marettimo, Favignana and Levanzo lie off Sicily's western coast.


Villa Burgarella

The sunbaked Villa Burgarella is perched high above the bluest Sicilian waters. The once tended garden, filled with old carob trees, fico d’ India and agaves sits to the side of the house. The villa nestles beneath a rocky hill filled with the grey green scrub, ‘macchia mediterranea’ green after the winter rain.

And a long tiled terrace, which runs along the front of the villa, is accessed through double doors from the cool interior rooms. The villa faces east and looks out across the Mediterranean Sea to Favignana.


An unspolit island

To view Villa Burgarella was a romantic notion and, to echo American writer Francine Prose, faded Sicily does stir the romantic and more. That day, I was introduced to a wonderful old house by the sea and the simplicity of a tiny mountainous island: remote with some hidden coves for quiet swimming, ancient tracks for slow walking and I read in ( Raleigh Trevelyan's 'Companion Guide to Sicily') that it has some of the most beautiful black figure rock drawings of dancers and wild animals from the Palaeolithic age; 10,000 years ago. They can be reached by boat or on foot along goat tracks.


Made for solitude

Levanzo is made for a few days of solitude.

And this summer, when I am in Sicily, I would like to take the short hydrofoil ride across the Mediterranean from Trapani to Levanzo (less than 20 minutes) again and spend a few nights in a fisherman’s house with rooms; admire the charming Villa Burgarella once more; hire a boat to see the black rock etchings in the Grotta del Genovese; swim; walk; and enjoy some lovely seafood at one of Levanzo’s trattorie.






Edited: To include reference to Francine Prose ("Sicilian Odyssey") which did not appear in the original blog and Raleigh Trevelyan's 'Companion Guide to Sicily' which provided some background reading for this blog. Suzanne

Updated August 2021: correction- the cave drawings were read about in Raleigh Trevelyan's book, not told.






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