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The former Tuna Factory “Florio” of Favignana | SICILY

Ex Stabilimento “Florio” della Tonnara di Favignana. 3D Dense Point Cloud dell’area delle ciminiere | © Samuele Barone, CNR ISPC

Origins, history and context

The former Tuna Factory “Florio” of Favignana is an industrial complex built during the second half of the 19th century for processing, preserving and producing tuna in oil, located on the coast, inside the port of the largest of the Aegadian Islands (Trapani, Sicily).

The first group of buildings of the Factory, called "Torino", was built from 1862 on commission by Giulio Drago and subsequently enlarged between 1881 and 1886, probably by the architect Filippo La Porta, commissioned by Ignazio Florio who had owned the Factory since 1877. In 1936 the ownership of the factory passed to the Parodi family who continued the industrial activity until the 1970s. 

The factory was organised to manage all production processes for achieving the final product, from tuna fishing to butchering, from cooking to canning, according to an industrial production model and employing a large and specialised local workforce. The impulse to the industrial activity given by the Florio family was considerable and led to the development of innovative systems both in the organisation of the production chain and in the conception of new preservation systems in tin containers. 

Ex Stabilimento “Florio” della Tonnara di Favignana. Foto delle ciminiere | © Giuseppe Cacciaguerra, CNR ISPC
Ex Stabilimento “Florio” della Tonnara di Favignana. Foto delle ciminiere | © Giuseppe Cacciaguerra, CNR ISPC

The industrial complex consisted of several buildings that contained all the tuna processing departments, including the tuna fishermen's boathouses, the machine repair shops and the kindergarten for the workers' children. The complex architectonic structure, therefore, is deeply charged with identity values, since a large part of the social and economic life of the local community took place in it.

Ex Stabilimento “Florio” della Tonnara di Favignana. Foto del malfaraggio con le barche dei tonnarioti | © Giuseppe Cacciaguerra, CNR ISPC
Ex Stabilimento “Florio” della Tonnara di Favignana. Foto del malfaraggio con le barche dei tonnarioti | © Giuseppe Cacciaguerra, CNR ISPC

The Tuna Factory of Favignana nowadays

Acquired by the Region of Sicily in the 1990s and restored between 2006 and 2008, the building has been converted into a museum. It includes a vast exhibition on the daily life of the factory and the tuna fishery, with multimedia installations, and two rooms with underwater archaeological finds from the Battle of the Egadi (241 BC) and other archaeological materials from the Archipelago. 

Preserving culture and heritage

The coastal location makes the architectural heritage particularly susceptible to marine, geomorphological and environmental hazards, which are potentially factors that accelerate the degradation of the architectural structure and museum materials. Moreover, the factory and the tuna fishery have profoundly influenced the daily life of local communities over the last centuries, and a vast intangible heritage has developed around it and the tuna fishery. It consists in particular of everyday gestures, sounds and songs that pose a challenge in the development of forms of representation, storytelling and systems of fruition. Finally, the joint management of the Regional Museum "A. Pepoli" of Trapani and the Municipality of Favignana, which are the main stakeholders of the site, and the presence of a predominantly seasonal tourism certainly constitute a system that can be supported by the definition of a sustainable business model. 

Ex Stabilimento “Florio” della Tonnara di Favignana. Degrado con alveolizzazione e patina della superficie muraria di un ambiente esterno | © Giuseppe Cacciaguerra, CNR ISPC
Ex Stabilimento “Florio” della Tonnara di Favignana. Degrado con alveolizzazione e patina della superficie muraria di un ambiente esterno | © Giuseppe Cacciaguerra, CNR ISPC
Ex Stabilimento “Florio” della Tonnara di Favignana. Degrado del muro di cinta sul versante costiero | © Giuseppe Cacciaguerra, CNR ISPC
Ex Stabilimento “Florio” della Tonnara di Favignana. Degrado del muro di cinta sul versante costiero | © Giuseppe Cacciaguerra, CNR ISPC

IDEHA experimentation

The former Factory Florio is an architectural, museum and cultural complex of particular interest for the experimentation of methods and technologies applied to the management, conservation and fruition of cultural heritage. The IDEHA Project, therefore, will apply and experiment the following activities and technologies on the former Florio Plant:

–> HBIM platform, from a 3D model, which will allow to integrate all the information and provide data for the management and conservation of the building. The platform, in particular, will exploit data from: 

  • Structural monitoring of the chimneys through sensors to measure the frequencies of movement. 
  • Monitoring to verify the impact of atmospheric phenomena on the movement frequencies of the chimneys. 
  • Monitoring of museum rooms for real-time assessment of indoor environmental conditions. 
  • Video monitoring for the recognition of users/visitors in order to quantify the number of visitors and to verify time and route preferences. 
  • Multi-temporal monitoring from a UAV platform for degradation mapping. 

Archaeometric data on stone materials and mortars, remote sensing data for architecture and archaeometric data on archaeological and historical materials will also be acquired, integrated and exploited in the platform. 

–> Fruition platform that will create a virtual space of the former Factory “Florio” of Favignana through the creation of:

  • immersive galleries from photos and 360° videos on specific storytelling strands with the integration of information, data, 3D objects and historical videos related to the everyday life and activities of the Factory and the tuna fishery;
  • a virtual museum that will enclose digital objects of artworks and documents related to the Factory and to the daily life of the communities that lived on the Island and in the Aegadian Islands in the past.

–> Analysis of the cultural and tourist management system of the former Factory and definition of a sustainable business model that supports the strategies of the stakeholders operating on the site and in the territory.

IDEHA stakeholders

The Regional Museum "A. Pepoli" of Trapani, which represents the owner that manages the conservation, the valorisation and the general fruition system of the site, and the Municipality of Favignana (TP), that manages the tourist fruition, are the stakeholders of the project and will be directly involved in the planning phases of the activities and will benefit from the final results.