Castles of Favignana are an important sign of the ancient history of the island.
The charming island of Favignana had two important castles: the castle of Santa Caterina and the Castle of San Leonardo. Today it is only possible to visit the castle of Santa Caterina as San Leonardo no longer exists. The Castle of Santa Caterina dominates the island of Favignana and it is a very good preserved example of the Saracen and Norman imprinting. The castle was built using local limestones and its name, probably, derives from the small church that Normans rose near the castle to honour Santa Caterina. Although during the Bourbon domination it became a terrible prison for more than 32,000 people.
The Castle of San Leonardo was demolished in the late nineteenth century to build the Palazzo Florio. It was erected by Rugiero I on the ruins of an old watchtower including a small private church. In 1873, the City of Favignana asked the government to bring it down to get more space to hold the boats and the fishing nets. Later, Ignazio Florio bought the area building on its ruins the beautiful Florio Palace in 1878.