The Florios bought the Egadi Islands and their tuna fishing system in 1874 and soon after that, they began an intense building activity. The projects were entrusted to the architect and engineer Giuseppe Damiani Almeyda from Palermo. The Palazzo Florio, right in front of you, is a real gem for the island: it is a mix of neogothic style for the exterior, and liberty for the interior.
This was the residence of the Florios on the island, they came here with friends and guests to attend the "Mattanza" and here took place the social life of Favignana during the Belle époque in between '800 and '900. During this period, the two protagonists of the Florio family are Ignazio Florio Junior (son of Ignazio Florio Senior, to whom is dedicated the statue of Piazza Europa) and his wife, Franca Jacona of San Giuliano, a cultured and charming lady called Donna Franca, the Queen of Sicily. The Kaiser Wilhelm II called her the "star of Italy" and Gabriele D'Annunzio called it "the One."
Donna Franca has a huge role in her husband's affairs. He was owner, industrial, hotelier and banker, one of the greatest capitalists of the early twentieth century. Thanks to the Florios, Sicily was at the center of the European elite, but the personal misfortune that hurt this couple (in a few years Donna Franca and Ignazio Junior lost 3 young children), the depression of the late '800, the debt of the family businesses and the First World War, led to an unfortunate serie of failures that led to the decline of Florio.
Having sold all their possessions to pay its debts, Donna Franca e Ignazio Florio Junior remained far from the splendor of the society and died in the fifties.
Now this building hosts the seat of the city council, the municipal library and the tourists info point; there is a small Antiquarium and a collection of Malacology (shells). It hosts temporary exhibitions and cultural events, but it's nice to imagine the chatter, business, love and celebrations of those early years of the '900.
Close to you:
Ex Stabilimento Florio
Il Palazzo Comunale
Area Marina Protetta