If you’ve been captivated by the history of the Florio family by reading Stefania Auci’s book, “The Florios of Sicily”, you’ll be interested to know that in this area of Sicily you can go on the trail of their commercial enterprises, which were inspired by those of British entrepreneurs.
The tuna industry and the epic history of Marsala wine played a part in enhancing the myth of this family, which has left an indelible trace of its presence here, such as on the island of Favignana, at the Ex Stabilimento della lavorazione del tonno (former tuna processing plant) or in the Art Nouveau architecture of Palazzo Florio, which welcome those arriving on the island and are well worth discovering, with curiosity and thoughtfulness.
Two other residences in this part of the world are linked to the history of this illustrious family: the Case Florio in Marettimo – an estate near the vineyards where the Florio family stayed during the grape harvest – and Villa Aula in Trapani – an elegant mansion that they used during their visits to this part of the island.
Returning to the mainland, one place in particular epitomises the bond between this family of daring entrepreneurs and this area: the old winery for the production of Marsala wine, which is depicted in utter stillness, like a sleeping giant, in Antonino Leto’s painting of 1865-70, commissioned by Ignazio senior, whose legacy was passed down to the Cantine Florio.
There is so much evidence of their presence, and discovering it transports you back to Sicily’s glorious past.