The Egadi Islands, where we visited during day 3 of our Secret Sicily tour earlier this month, were the site of major battles between Carthage and Rome during the 3rd century BC. Levanzo, pictured, today, is a quiet, remote, sunny, sleepy island with gorgeous swimming spots. Back in 241 BC, however, for ancient Rome, it was the final frontier to taking Sicily from the mighty north African sea power.
How did Rome finally win? When they captured a Carthaginian ship 20 years before, they reverse-engineered it and built 100 ships just like it. After a series of blockades and a lot of persistence, Rome overcame the Carthaginian fleet, and finally, the entirety of Sicily became part of what would become the Roman empire.