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Trapani

A city between two seas
Trapani is situated in the west of Sicily and is known as the “city between two seas” due to its location on a strip of land bathed by the Mediterranean Sea on one side and the Tyrrhenian Sea on the other.
Over the centuries the city of Trapani has undergone numerous transformations but still retains its characteristic sickle shape. At its tip stands the Ligny Tower, built in 1671 and today the site of the Museum of Prehistory.
 

 
The sea that embraces the city of Trapani is as much a source of life today as it was in the past. Since the mid-sixteenth century, the master ‘corallers’ have made the city famous throughout the world with their exquisite items. A wonderful collection of items in coral can be seen at the Pepoli Museum, located in the old Carmelite Convent next to the Sanctuary of the Annunziata, where a marble statue of the Madonna of Trapani dating back to the fourteenth century can be found.
 
The salt
The salt
The salt pans are another defining feature of Trapani and the coastline to Marsala. The salt pans and the production of salt, together with the numerous mills dotted along the coast, have distinguished the landscape for centuries, and many water birds can be observed in the pans’ shallow, warm waters.  
 
As you stroll along the streets of the old town that lead to the sea, the architectural and monumental heritage of the city is clearly evident. According to Greek mythologyTrapani was founded when a sickle fell from the hands of Saturn and was transformed into a curved strip of land. This gave rise to Drepanon, which in ancient Greek means ‘sickle’.
 
The districts
Corso Vittorio Emanuele
 
Every district od Trapani has a particular charm, like the Jewish quarter with the Palazzo della Giudecca, or the Casalicchio quarter which, with its labyrinth of Arab-style alleyways, is the oldest part of the city.
 
The churches
There are numerous churches that, like valuable treasure troves, hold beautiful works of art, such as the Cathedral of S. Lorenzo, which houses a painting of the Crucifixion attributed to the Flemish artist Van Dyck, the Church of Santa Maria del Gesù, which holds a work representing Madonna with Child by Andrea della Robbia, and the Church of Purgatory, with a facade designed by the architect G. B. Amico, and home to the Misteri of Trapani (twenty effigies depicting the Passion and Death of Christ), which, each year, on Good Friday, take centre stage in a procession lasting for 24 hours on the streets of the old town centre.
 
The cuisine of Trapani
Finally, the different races and traditions that have characterized the history of Trapani have also influenced its gastronomy. Everywhere you are accompanied by the aromas of the typical Trapani cuisine, with strong flavors and spices. The most characteristic dish is the couscous with fish soup. Also enjoy meat arancini, the caponata, smoked tuna and fresh sea urchins with bread and lemon.
 
Cous Cous di Pesce
Arancini di carne
 
Caponata siciliana
Ricci di mare
 
 
Text by Enzo Cuppatri
Photos: Sisterscom.com, Shutterstock
Copyright © Sisterscom.com
Video: www.distrettosiciliaoccidentale.it
Published on Avion Tourism Magazine
Copyright © Sisterscom.com
Updated July 2020
 
 
 
Tourism Boards

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Where to sleep in Trapani
 
Trapani is a welcoming city and offers different possibilities for accommodation.
To find the ideal hotel and the best offers you can do a search for the stars but also for districts or landmarks.
 
STARS
Hotels for stars, differentiated by type of services:
STARS
Hotels for stars, differentiated by type of services:
 
 
DISTRICTS
Hotels in the districts
 
LANDMARKS
Hotel in tourist areas
AIRPORT
Hotels near the airport
 
REGION
where to go
Monuments
Trapani
Copyright © Sisterscom.com / Shutterstock
SENATE PALACE

Don Giacomo Cavarretta, a Hierosolymitan knight, commissioned the project of building the Senate Palace to the architect Andrea Palma, which began in 1672. The Palazzo, which over time has undergone several modifications is structured on three orders. Rises up in the place where the ancient Loggia dei Pisani was located. This is the origin of the name Loggia (lodge) which is still given to the area by the people of TrapaniPalazzo Cavarretta became the Senate House of Trapani, and today it houses the Municipality Building.

Trapani
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VITTORIO EMANUELE SQUARE

In the centre of Trapani, separates the old town from the town’s most recent constructions. The Piazza is characterised by the statue of Vittorio Emanuele II, built in 1882 by Giovanni Dupre’ from Siena. The Fontana del Tritone is in front of the Piazza and was built in 1890 in memory of the construction of the “Dammusi” aqueduct. The bronze monument of Tritone, built in 1951 by the master Domenico Li Muli from Trapani, is at the centre of the fountain.

 
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SAN LORENZO CATHEDRAL

Dating back to the XIV century, the Cathedral of San Lorenzo was erected in 1421 by Alfonso the Magnanimous. It has undergone several modifications over the centuries. In 1639 it was restructured under the project of the architect Brother Bonaventura Certo while merging the building that housed the Consulate of Genova. From 1748 it took on its current look designed by the architect G.B. Amico who built the side chapels, the choir, the dome, the bell tower and the façade.

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VILLA MARGHERITA

The origins of the Villa Margherita date back to the years immediatly following the unification on Italy and was opened to the public between 1889 and 1890, and was dedicated to the Queen Margherita of Savoy, the first Queen of Italy. The rectangular garden has a surface of 21.000 square meters. The open-air theatre is the most enchanting place in the garden where every year since then various operas have been performed here featuring artists of international fame.

 
Museums
Museum of salt, Trapani
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MUSEUM OF SALT

Thanks to a guided tour, guests at the museum through the various stages and events of a story that spans centuries and centuries. Is possible discover the harmony of the Trapani area that combines sea and land, comprising a great cultural value of salt. Than can go directly to the surrounding salt marshes between the channels, that divide the different saline.

www.museodelsale.it

Ligny Tower, Trapani
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PREHISTORY AND PROTO-HISTORY MUSEUM OF TRAPANI LIGNY TOWER

Located at the end-point of the town, the “Torre” (Ligny Tower) was built in 1671 by the Viceroy Claudio La Moraldo, the prince of Ligny who presumably entrusted the task to Carlos De Grunemberg. It has a quadrangle shape and is built out of stone and tufa. The main façade faces the town and is characterised by a small entrance door, a low-arched window surmounted by three crests, a plaque and a balcony. It now houses the Prehistory and Proto-History Museum of Trapani.

 
MUSEO REGIONALE A. PEPOLI

The Museum, located in the convent of the Carmelite Fathers, includes collections of artifacts in coral, gold, silver, ceramic and sculpture nativity of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Named its founder, Count Agostino Sieri Pepoli, also preserves important works of sculpture and painting, including a "St. James", a masterpiece by Antonello Gagini, polyptych of the early years of the VX century, and a painting attributed to Tiziano.

 
Excursions
Mozia
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MOZIA

Mozia together with Isola Longa, Santa Maria and Isola Schola it forms a small archipelago in the Stagnone, the largest lagoon in Sicily and one of the most notable humid zones in Europe. Mozia became a strategic site owing to its vicinity to powerful Carthage. Its foundation dates back to the 8th century B.C. and its history was revealed thanks to Giuseppe Whitaker who organized the first excavation campaign in 1875. The Villa Whitaker became a museum with the most remarkable archaeological.

Egadi Islands
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EGADI ISLANDS

FavignanaLevanzo and Marettimo are just off the coast of Trapani, we can reach them in just a few minutes and one there we are surrounded by a wild and unspoiled environment fo impressive beauty. Mount Santa Caterina dominates the island of Favignana; the visitor is impressed by the majestic Tonnara Florio a fine example of old industrial building and by the elegance and gentleness of the Art Nouveau Palazzo FlorioLevanzo is famous for its numerous archaeological testimonies. In Marettimo, the remotest and wildest of the three we can visit its marvellous caves.

 
Recommended tours
Selinunte (Trapani), Sicily. Selinunte (Trapani), Sicily. Copyright © Sisterscom.com / Shutterstock
SEGESTA AND SELINUNTE
A few kilometers from Trapani you can visit the ancient city of Segesta, founded by the Elimi on Monte Barbaro, with its temple and the Greek theater of Segesta. Furthermore, Selinunte with the largest archaeological park in Europe and incredible panoramas in the middle of nature. Tour from Trapani to Segesta and Selinunte.
 
Favignana, Egadi Islands (Trapani), SicilyFavignana, Egadi Islands (Trapani), Sicily. Copyright © Sisterscom.com / Shutterstock
FAVIGNANA AND LEVANZO
From the port of Trapani, Molo Marinella, you can leave by boat to the island of Favignana with the famous Cala Rossa, the caves of the Bue Marino and Cala Azzurra. You then continue to visit the island of Levanzo with the Mediterranean village, the only inhabited area of the island. From the boat you can admire the famous faraglioni, one of the most beautiful places on the island. Mini cruise tour to Favignana and Levanzo.
 
Saline Trapani
Saline, Trapani, Sicilia. Copyright © Sisterscom.com / Shutterstock
SALINE AND HISTORICAL CENTER OF TRAPANI
With a day tour you can combine a visit to the salt pans and the historic center of Trapani. Starting from Trapani you can reach the salt pans in about 20 minutes to see the Maria Stella Mill and different species of birds, the Chiusicella salt pan with pink flamingos, the Salt Museum and, finally, the historic center of Trapani with the beautiful Piazza Garibaldi, the cathedral, Corso Vittorio Emanuele, the pedestrian streets of the center dotted with churches, the square of the old fish market, the city walls and also the Torre di LignyOne day tour to the salt pans and historical center of Trapani. If you want to visit only the historic center, you can also choose the Panoramic two-hour tour of the city of Trapani with aperitif on the beach.
 
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