Visit Trapani in just for days. You can. For our guests, we thought four tours to discover the cultural, artistic and naturalistic values of Trapani and its surroundings. Just an only must-see: Trapani.
Trapani is the “city between the two seas”: the Mediterranean and the Tyrrhenian sea. From Ligny Tower terrace which is an ancient watchtower where now there is the Museum of Prehistory, people can admire the sickle shape of Trapani and a long reef which divides the two seas.
From Ligny Tower people go around the historic centre which shows the past dominations; in each little Street, Palace and Church you enjoy a dive into the past.
The Palace of Giudecca and the Jewish quarter, characteristic for its underground little streets which were built as a bombing refugee; the Arab quarter Casalicchio characteric for its street labyrinth.
The Historic Centre of Trapani is rich of Baroque o Liberty palaces and churches: the palace Cavarretta, which was the Senate headquarter of Trapani, the Cathedral San Lorenzo and the Church of College of Jesuit, the Church of Anime Sante del Purgatorio where there are the Misteri statues , Torrearsa street or a loggia, which is full of pubs and restaurants where tourists can try Sicilian cuisine, and the Clock Tower. Going through the pedestrian area, people reach the quartiere di mezzo which divides the old Trapani from the new one. In the quartiere di mezzo there is the Scalinata di San Domenico and the quarter of the same name; here San Domenico Church and Saint Augustine Church represent the oldest architecture of the city.
Moreover there is a Shrine which is not so far from the historic centre but it’s worth visiting it: the Shrine of Madonna of Trapani, in baroque style. In the church, there is the marble Statue of Trapani Madonna who is venerated by devotees each day.
The Pepoli Museum is adjacent the Church; it was a Carmelite Monastery. In the Pepoli Museum there are archaeological collections, Sicilian paintings, coin collections, ceramics and coral pieces.
The coral work was a wealth for the territory and in the historic centre there is a street – via Corallai – that was famous because of the coral artisans’ little shops.
Back to the historic centre, during the sunset the walking along the Tramontana walls are unforgettable, reaching the Colombaia which was a Bourbon prison, and Villino Nasi. During the sunset the sea reflects the pink sky.
And the sea and the beach? It’s worth going along the littoral and its sandy beach and the clear blue water. The beach has several private lidos where there is the Trapani movida each evening: music, dance and lots of funny.
But what is worth visiting in Trapani?
1st ITINERARY “Sea, myth and archaeology”
Everybody knows Erice, the medieval city where myth and reality blend together in a unique atmosphere. Erice tells people its past: the Elyminian walls, the Norman Castle, the Castle of Venus for Romans, of Aphrodite for Greek of Tanit-Astarte for Phoenicians; the Spanish quarter and the Cathedral which has maintained its gothic style and the bell tower.
The medieval historic centre of Erice is characteristic for its pebbles and the little streets which cross each others reaching the courtyard full of flowers or in the panoramic viewpoints where people enjoy the view of Trapani, of the saltpans and of Mount Cofano.
Erice is also known for its trappiti, the traditional carpet made by women who use scrap to create a colourful explosion.
Don’t forget to try the almonds pastes or the genovesi, for everybody’s tastes: with pistachio, chocolate, ricotta cheese, nutella and cream as tradition.
Natural Oriented Reserve of Trapani and Paceco Saltpans: the sea and the land merge when the saltpans basins hold the sea water. During the harvest people admire the salt pyramids covered with tiles to protect it from the wind and the rain.
And we want to talk about the Sunset? The water turns into red, orange or pink: a magic.
The Saltpans are important for their flora and fauna, too; several kinds of birds like the pink flamingos, the Heron, cranes and storks and a rich vegetation. In the shallow and warm waters of the Saltpans Mothia emerges; it is a Phoenician island known for its archaeological value: a Phoenician city was destroyed by Syracuse people during the Punic wars. The excavation by J. Whitaker rediscovered the Cothon, that is a Punic artificial harbour, and the Tophet, a temple where the Phoenicians sacrificed their firstborn to the Gods.
Levanzo e Favignana
Levanzo and Favignana are the nearest island of the Egadi archipelago.
Levanzo is the smaller than the other two islands – Favignana and Marettimo – and the little town faces the sea with its white little houses. Lots of tourists and Trapani people prefer it for its wildness, its nature paths which reach the rocky bays.
People can tour the island on foot, by jeep or on board to reach the more distant bays and the Grotta del Genovese, a prehistoric cavern in whose walls there are graffiti painting hunting and fishing scenes, humans and animals.
Levanzo is special: a timeless island, the sea turn into green or blue and kept a rich flora. A paradise for divers.
Favignana is the Big Butterfly. Marina square, Europa square, Madrice square and Castello square delimit the historic centre. People can visit the island on foot, by bycicle for adventurous people, and on Caicco board for people who prefer a comfortable tour.
The bays are a pleasure for the sight: Cala Azzurra, Cala Rossa, Bue Marino and their blue sea; rocks rising straight from the sea and the sandy beaches. It’s impossible not to dive.
Favignana is known not only for its sea; it is the Queen of the tuna-fishing nets.
The Tonnara Florio and its regal architecture call the visitors’ attention and command the naturalistic landscape of Favignana. In the period of Mattanza, at dawn the island people and tourists were waken by the tonnaroti, the fishermen fished the tuna praying and singing the tonnara songs.
The mattanza rite, which was almost sacred, was a wealth and a treasure for Favignana people.
In addition to the fishing, the tuff was an other important economic resource. The open air quarries testify the hard work of people who extracted, cut and worked the tuff.
Mazara del Vallo – between history and fishing.
Several dominations are in harmony in just an only city.
Il Casbah is the Arab historic centre and its little streets make a labyrinth as the Islamic medina.
The main square is Piazza della Repubblica where there are the Cathedral which was built during the Norman period but renovated in baroque style, the Palazzo Vescovile which dated back to XVIth century, and the Palazzo del Seminario vescovile.
It’s worth visiting Saint Micheal Church, Saint Catherine Church in baroque style, and Saint Francis Church which is an example of Sicilian baroque rich in decorations. For shopping lovers or who want to try the typical cuisine, they would get to Mokarta square where people enjoy the view of Mazzini littoral.
The Norman Arch is the only castle remain which was built to protect the city from Saracenic people.
Going for a walk at Porto Canale is a suggestive experience; in the morning it’s full of inhabitants and tourists who buy the fishing of the day; for the following fishing day, the ship are docked, the fishing pots are folded and the cases are well organized.
Distant a few of km from the city centre of Mazara del Vallo there is Tonnarella Beach, full of lido.
People reach Mazara de Vallo to admire the Satiro Danzante, too. It is a bronze sculpture which was rediscovered by some fishermen in the Sicily Canal. Nowadays, it is in the Museum of Saint Egidio Church.
Marsala testifies the Punic, Greek, Arabian, Norman, Swedish and Spanish dominations.
The old Lylibeo is known for its culture, archaeology and nature.
Churches, caves and cathedrals, thermal and the underground streets; statues, amphora and ship wrecks; necropolis and place of worship are melted with the new city.
It’s worth visiting the Cathedral where there are very precious Flemish taprestry, Baglio Anselmi where tourists can admire the Punic ship wreck, the Bagli and the wineries.
Yes, Marsala is the city of the wine. Its establishments produce very good white, red wine and the Marsala DOC which is a fortified wine known all around the world.
An old Tonnara and the little shops of the artisans who create ceramic pieces; the uncontaminated beach and the majestic stacks which stand out on against the blue sea and sky.
This is Scopello, a little fishing city characterised by little houses, the historic centre and the little streets where people enjoy the smell of the famous pane cunzato.
3rd ITINERARY: “Between the green hills and the golden beach”
The Archaeological Park in Segesta is on a hill and it was founded by the Elymian people. Segesta kept its treasures, the Temple and the Theatre, among the green hills.
The Doric majestic Temple stands on a green hillock in the middle of the landscape.
On the summer evenings the Greek Theatre becomes the ideal and suggestive location for the theatrical works.
San Vito lo Capo
San Vito Lo Capo promontory shares its name with the fishing village San Vito Lo Capo.
The fishing, above all amberjacks, and the tourism are the wealth for the village.
The clear blue sea, the long beach and its golden sand, the lidos and their coloured beach umbrellas; the little streets full of flowers and typical restaurants: summer in San Vito Lo Capo with its colours, smells and tastes is a sweet memory in the cold winter.
4th ITINERARY “Nature and archaeology”
Zingaro Natural Reserve
It is one of the Sicily pearl and its coast is 7 km long. Bays, golden sandy beaches and rocks rising straight from the sea but also underwater tunnels and archaeological sites.
The Zingaro is the first natural reserve in Sicily. It was established in 1981 and it is a biodiversity oasis: endemic flora and forty birds species, the fox and the rabbit. The breath-taking seabed is to live for divers.
“Selinunte” Archaeological Park
The Archaeological Park of Selinunte is the largest in Europe. The acropolis and its majestic Greek columns is surrounded by the countryside, the blue sky and the light blue sea. People can admire the ancient walls, the Temple remains.
Lots of the remains which were rediscovered in Selinunte – vases, metopes – are kept in the Archaeological Museum in Palermo.