Former Florio factory of the Tonnare di Favignana and Formica
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Former Florio factory of the Tonnare di Favignana and Formica

The family The Florio family in 1841 rented the tonnara for the slaughter from the Pallavicini family of GenoVa. Purchased the islands of Favignana e Formica and acquired the fishing rights in 1874, by Ignatius Florio who called the architect Giuseppe Damiani Almeyda and expanded and restructured the tonnara, building the factory for the conservation of tuna. The first of its kind and it is here that the revolutionary method of preserving tuna in oil after boiling and canning was invented.

The tuna cut into pieces was cooked in 24 large boilers, still visible today, and then left to dry. In another large room, the processing of the milk was carried out, using machines and welders. At the Universal Exhibition of the 1891-92 Florio also presented innovative tin boxes with key opening. With the construction of the plant, the renewed impetus given to fishing and marketing of bluefin tuna, on the main domestic and foreign markets, was amply repaid by success, both in terms of image and profit.

Even when, in the first decades of the 900s, what had been the most important Sicilian industrial and financial group went bankrupt, the Florio plant remained fully productive, passing, in the early XNUMXs, first among the companies owned by theIRI, is in the 1938 in the hands of the Genoese entrepreneurs Parodi (Giovan Battista and Vittorio) who continued the business, who still manage the brand today Florio tuna traps.

In 1985 the management of the business was entrusted to the businessman from Trapani Nino Castiglione, owner of a canning industry and who already managed the San Cusumano tuna fishery. In 1991 the plant was acquired by Sicilian region. The works, started by the technicians of the Superintendency for Cultural and Environmental Heritage of Trapani, concluded in 2010, making it a splendid example of industrial archeology.

Inside, a space is intended as a museum, with multimedia rooms, video testimonies related to the slaughter and tonnara, and also historical films granted by the Istituto Luce.
Admission is only in paid guided groups. There is also a"antiquarium” with archaeological finds found in the archipelago, including some beaks from the battle of the Egadi.

Text source: Wikipedia

Card insertion: Ignatius Caloggero

Photo: Di Antonino Furnari – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

Information contributions: web, site

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