It is a small lagoon archipelago, a bridgehead between land and sea in front of the Egadi Islands. It includes St. Pantaleus’isle, (the ancient Motya), Scola, Isola Grande (Big Island) renamed Isola Longa (Long Island), and the small St. Mary’s isle.
In this middle area, between the coast and Favignana, the conclusive battle of the first Punic war was fought on March 10th, 241 B.C. between the Carthaginian fleet headed by Hannon and the Roman one under consul C. Lutatius Catulus’s orders. It ended with the Carthaginians’ defeat.