Marettimo

Coordinates: 37°58′10″N 12°03′26″E / 37.96944°N 12.05722°E / 37.96944; 12.05722

A map showing the Aegadian Islands. Marettimo is the leftmost island.

Marettimo (Sicilian: Marrètimu) is one of the Aegadian Islands in the Mediterranean Sea west of Sicily, Italy. It forms a part of the municipality (comune) of Favignana in the Province of Trapani. From Trapani, the island takes about an hour to reach.

Marettimo is the second largest of the Aegadian Islands. The highest point is Monte Falcone with a height of 686 m (2,287 ft). The island has about 300 inhabitants in the winter and 700 in the summer (not including tourists), who mainly live from fishing and traditional hand-craft. Fishing is predominately conducted in the summer months.

The ancient name of the island was "Hiera", perhaps a term of Spanish origin. However, the name "Hiera" is part of the Greek name "Hiera Nesos", which means "Sacred Island" in Greek.

The name Marettimo comes from the words Mar (Sea) and Timo (Thyme) due to the profusion of thyme on the island.

The island was an important observation point during Roman times, hence the Casa Romana, where it was easy observe passing maritime traffic. The sea routes between Italy and North Africa and Italy and Spain (via Sardinia) would pass Marettimo.

There is a well restored Byzantine-Norman church adjacent to the Casa Romana.

There are several impressive grottos around the islands coast and innumerable spots for excellent swimming in pristine waters on the western coast accessible only by boat.

Contents

Flora of Marettimo

The island comprises about 500 species, many of them are very rare and endemic plant, among the most endangered plant: Bupleurum dianthifolium, Brassica macrocarpa, Scilla hughii and Thymus richardii subsp. nitidus, the last one was chemically investigated[1]

Fauna of Marettimo

There is a sizeable population of donkeys and horses on the island. There are wild goats, rabbits, eagles, falcons and plenty of screeching gulls.

Gallery

References

  1. ^ Ammar Bader, Guido Flamini, Pier Luigi Cioni and Ivano Morelli, Journal of Essential Oils Research, Vol 13 pp.8-10

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