Trapani is near ancient Drepanum where a naval battle took place in 248 BC during the First Punic War between Carthage and Rome which ended in a major loss for the latter. The city is world renowned since the 16th Century for its coral artisans whose works can be viewed at the Pepoli Museum. A stroll through the historic center will acquaint the visitor with buildings and monuments representative of the various cultures and traditions that passed through this city:
The Jewish quarter and Palazzo della Giudecca;
Casalicchio and its Arab roots;
Palazzo Cavarretta, home of the Trapanese Senate;
The Jesuit Church and College;
San Lorenzo Cathedral and the Crucifix by Flemish painter Van Dyck.
Western Sicily is also the Erice Medieval Borgo, Segesta with its Greek temple and theater and the Egadi archipelago, comprised of Favignana, Levanzo and Marettimo. Further along the coast, facing Africa, are: the port and canal of Mazara del Vallo; Selinunte with Europe’s largest archeological park; San Vito Lo Capo and the Scopello Faraglioni.
Marsala was founded in 397 BC as Lillibeo by the Phoenicians who survived the destruction of Mozia; it was a major city during the Punic, Roman, Arab and Norman periods. Today, it is best known for a prestigious wine-liqueur that carries the city’s name and the landing of Garibaldi’s Mille in 1860 which led to the unification of Italy.
Ancient Marsala’s origins are reflected in its majestic cathedral, the adjacent 16th Century Arazzi Fiamminghi museum, the suggestive Porta Garibaldi sea view and entry to the Spanish quarter. Artistic and cultural itineraries include: the Sibilla Grotto, the archeological museum with the remains of a Carthaginian ship and Lilibeo artifacts and the Laguna dello Stagnone with its windmills and salt marshes.
Experiential Tourism in Trapani Marsala and Western Sicily
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Marsala wine’s bouquet full of intense aromas of dried fruit, spices and dates and dried figs, the dry and sweet taste and the high alcoholic qualities that increase to depending on the maturation and refinement in the bottle. Dried Marsala, served fresh, is an excellent aperitif. A delicious combination is with strong, spicy and tasty cheeses such as ragusano, pecorino cheese but also gorgonzola or parmesan. It is an exceptional dessert wine, in harmony with the traditional Sicilian pastries. But the combination with food is not essential; Marsala is also a wonderful meditation wine to sip at sunset.
Sicilian cuisine is like the island’s colorful architecture; extraordinary dishes rich in decorations and styles influenced by the many cultures that have come here. Marsala is a jealous custodian of the many culinary traditions on the island. Some typical dishes: Mussel Soup, Peppered Mussels, Boiled Broad Beans, Aubergine Parmigiana, Eggplant Caponata, Eggplant with Schnitzel, Stuffed Peppers, Crushed Olives, Baked Pasta, Pasta with “Qualeddu” and Sausage, Pasta with Bottarga, Pasta with sardines, Pasta with sea urchins, Gnoccoli with conger sauce, Busiata with matarocco, Pasta with lobster, Tuna ammuttunatu, Sarde with “beccaficu”, Marinated mackerel, Codfish, swordfish with salmoriglio, Trigliole e Cuttlefish of Stagnone, Scaloppine with Marsala, Lamb or goat stew, Sicilian Cassata, Cannoli, Sfinci, Sfincioni of San Giuseppe with ricotta, Cappdduzzi of ricotta, Pignolata, “Mustazzoli of honey or cooked wine, Cassateddi of fig, Cubbaita, Cuccia, Marturana fruit, Queen biscuits, Taralli and Tagliancozzo.