SICILIAN PHOTO DIARY: ONE DAY ON A “DESERTED” ISLAND OF FAVIGNANA

I was sitting in a coffee bar on the main square of Favignana’s centro with a rental bike parked by my side waiting for my breakfast to be ready. It was very early in the morning, still a bit chilly but I could already feel the first sunshine rays warming my face. The sky was cloudless and the square was calm, only now and then there was somebody riding their bike across the square probably going to work or local market. I took out my map of the island and ran my fingers across it to plan how to get to different beaches while tiny kitten came to hang out under my table. A handsome Italian waiter was making my coffee latte.

“Pistachio?” he asked.

I had already had the pleasure to taste the Pistachio flavour coffee (which is a thing in Sicily), so I certainly wasn’t going to turn such delight down and answered promptly: “Si”

He brought it with a huge cannoli, a local delicious pastry, and just looking at the first meal of my day made my mouth water. I took a sip and together with the smell of the coffee it hit me! The immediate contentment and happiness. I find it hard to describe but I was suddenly very aware that this is as perfect as it gets and being so present in the moment felt incredible. (Amazing what a good breakfast in a pretty setting can do:))

I had nowhere else to be and there was nowhere I would rather be.

The bar for the day was set pretty high but considering my plans I knew that it wasn’t hard to make the day equally magnificent.

For the rest of it I went completely off the grid and unplugged…I was biking around the entire island enjoying the empty roads and making stops to see the famous Favignanan bays, lying down in the grass, reading a book, taking pictures and dips in the sea. I believe that some places work as a charger of our inner batteries…. and to me, Favignana is one of those blissful places that left my heart full.

BUTTERFLY ISLAND

Favignana, the largest of the Egadi archipelago, is roughly shaped like its nickname – la farfalle, a butterfly. The island is barely noticeable on the map unless you’re looking for it but for me it became one of the top places I visited in Italy, if not in the entire Europe.

Favignana got well known for its tuna fisheries and is slowly becoming a popular destination for Sicilian vacationers. The easiest and pretty much the only way how to get there is be a ferry ferry/hydrofoil which leaves frequently from Trapani, a city in the northwest part of Sicily. Once on the island there is not any public transport, but Favignana’s landscape offers perfect conditions for all the bike and scooter lovers.

What dominates the area is a mountain called Caterina located on the west part, and the island consists of beautiful bays, so called “calas”, that are made of rocks and washed by azure waters. There is only one town on the entire island, which is quite a cheerful place – In the main squares, Piazza Madrice and Piazza Europa, old men hang out outside wineries passing the time of day, and children play on their bicycles while their parents sit in the coffee bars.

I’m no flower expert, but the plants on the island really caught my eyes. There certainly is an abundance of interesting Aloe Vera plants and many kinds of exotic cacti that I was quite obsessed about.

And because sometimes picture can speak more than words, here are some shots I got in the butterfly island:

 

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Ciao SICILIA! My trip to the Northwest

I never really knew much about Sicily. I was aware that it is an Italian island located in the Mediterranean Sea with the mysterious capital city Palermo known for once being a home of the “Godfather” mafia and that Sicily’s most iconic landmark may be the active volcano Mt. Etna. So it was about time to delve into what real Sicily hides in its corners.

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Portuguese layover: ONE DAY IN LISBON

Lisbon, the capital city of Portugal, is often a quick stop for travelers looking for a weekend getaway or a starting point before exploring the entire country. Plus with the increasing number of international flights operated not only by Portuguese airlines, the city is slowly but surely becoming more popular destination for layovers, which was my case on the way to the US. And as per usual, my itchy feet didn’t let me go somewhere without making the most of my stopover.

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