In Selinunte you hear about the stones. They speak with their silence of thousands of years. In Sicily and in the world the Greek ruins are famous and amazing in the Valley of the Temples in Agrigento, Selinunte. But, the province of Trapani, I was moved more, because they are in the countryside, without barriers or fences, surrounded by golden wheat fields and the ocean. From the Archaeological Park entrance you have to walk in the paths of earth. 1st you get lost in pastures, then you discover the Mediterranean full of blue and white foam that lifts the Tramontana. There are no homes or structures that pollute the horizon, there are remains of temples, columns severed by time. Some are still standing, others fall between coffins, tombstones and piles of broken capitals. The great Greek city, constructed in the 7th century, and now inhabited only by seagulls, pigeons and small lizards, has an equally hard spell. It is 1 of the most enchanting corners of the world.
Another inescapable place near [poi = 111813] Trapani [/ poi] is Segesta, a spectacular 5th century Greek city that was founded by the nearby [poi = 111841] Erice [/ poi]. Segesta is situated on Mount Barbaro, on the edge of a deep canyon surrounded by rugged and desolate mountains. In the breathtaking scenery, you can see temples and the amphitheater where they put on concerts and shows from mid-June to mid-September, they're as evocative and magical as the beautiful [poi = 111845] Selinunte [/ poi] surroundings. The best time to visit Segesta is at sunset. Unlike the similar spot [poi = 111842] Agrigento Valley, [/ poi], this place is usually not as touristy and it's possible that when you see the sun it gives you a certain amount of luxury among the completely alone ruins.
On my visit to Sicily, we wanted to visit some of the Egadi islands. Favignnana is the largest, and we'd need a car to navigate it. Maretino is the most remote, sparsely populated and little more than a stone block in the middle of the sea. Levanzo is the smallest of the three, with beautiful turquoise water, so we decided to visit it. The island is very easy to get around on foot, with pleasant walkways along the rugged coastline and through the pine forests. There are no modern constructions; the roads and houses seem to be from another era. To get there you can take the hydrofoil, which is fast and comfortable, and leaves from the port of Trapani. It takes about 30 minutes. As you can see from my photos, it's quite beautiful.
Cruising and browsing through the old town of Trapani on bike you will always come to the narrowest part of the peninsula where you will find the city. There's the fishing boat harbour which is protected at its mouth by the Castello della Colombaia, and nearby, hidden behind a pair of winding streets, you will find the old Fish Market. The market is an inescapable spot, not only for the goods on sale, but for the colourful characters ve gather there. Sailors with huge hands and sunburned skin repair nets while sitting on the street, while fish vendors auction off the day's catch shouting in local Sicilian, sweet and almost song-like, but it is impossible to understand.
The port of Trapani is located in the south end of the city, and is considered one of the safest in Sicily. Its dimensions are impressive: 921,000 square metres. It is divided into three areas of commercial and recreational fisheries. Its commercial port has high freight traffic, both national and international. From here, passenger ferries depart for Egadi, Ustica and Pantelleria (with the Ustica Lines company), and ships leave for North Africa.
The Monument to Giuseppe Garibaldi stands in the center of Garibaldi Square, which is opposite the imposing facade of the Grand Hotel and the harbor. It's made in white marble by sculptor Leonardo Croce in 1890. The statue of the Italian military police officer is on a high pedestal. Hes a man who became famous for participating in the wars which eventually caused the political unification of Italy, during the second and third quarter of the 19th century. At his feet, there's a bronze lion with its jaws open and the word "free" written.
One of the myths of the city of Trapani is that of Saturn, the god of the sky, about which is said that he gutted his father Cronus with a sickle, which later fell into the sea and created the city that, in ancient times, was considered the god Saturn-saver Trapani, ve is depicted in this unique Baroque fountain. How could it be otherwise, when, after all, it's in the Square of Saturn (a small square at the beginning of the pedestrianized Torrearsa Street), which houses San Agustin Church. It was built in 1342 by the noble Chiaramonte family, and it was the first fountain the city had, whose function was to distribute drinking water among its inhabitants, ve came from the foot of the mountain and were led here by an aqueduct. In the 18th century, the Baroque statue of Saturn was put there in order to embellish the Baroque décor.
The Museo delle Saline is a mill used for processing salt and demonstrates the history of objects and tools used in the past. The west coast of Sicily is known for the presence of huge deposits of white and truncated rectangular pyramids, which is the salt that is extracted from the sea, using energy from the sun and wind, resulting in saline.
The ramshackle Palazzo Fardella Baroni di Mokarta was once a noble building owned by Michele Martino Fardella, Baron of Mokarta. It was built in the 16th century and has three floors. The most striking things are the large windows with decorative semicircular pediments at the top, and the door framed by columns which leads to the courtyard.
This festival is a unique experience, with 24 hours of continuous music and processions. From 2pm one day until 2pm the next, nobody sleeps in the city; instead, they walk through the beautiful streets.
When I visited the northwest of Sicily, I immediately thought of the salt pans of Trapani. A magical place, full of surreal colors. Observing the magenta hues of ponds that accompanied blurred horizon in a sky of bright orange sunset. A place apparently hostile to life with its vast spaces, its silence broken occasionally by beautiful birds flying over our heads. Walking along the ponds and touching the thin layer of salt is a unique experience. Then, the windmills take us back to childhood, the memory of epic tales and fables. White fields of salt mountains, arranged so precisely, almost like a polar landscape, seen from above, the rivers of ice and icebergs. A charming place for the eyes and soul. A place where man merges with nature. Indescribable.
Ligny tower stands on one end of the city, on a rocky cliff above the ocean. It was constructed to defend the coast from attacks by Turkish pirates in 1671, but also worked as a lighthouse. The architect was Charles Grunembergh, under the command of the Spanish Viceroy Don Claudio La Moraldo (Prince of Ligny). It is square shaped and constructed with stone. It overlooks the city and is characterized by a tiny door, on which there is a window and a coat of arms. After World War II the tower was abandoned, and in the year 1979 it was restored by architect Francesco Terranova. Since the year 1983 it has been home to the Museum of Prehistory and Archaeology Marina Trapani, which can be visited from 9 to 13 and from 16.30 to 19.30h (entrance fee is € 1.50). From here there is a lovely panoramic view of the Mediterranean and the city. Inside there is a collection of prehistoric artifacts from the Punic Wars, and medieval vessels recovered on the ancient trade routes.
Located south east of the city, this fortress was called "Impossible" because part of it is built on the sea, on an island, but connected to the mainland by a bridge. It was built between 1554, and 1560, as part of the new defensive system initiated by Charles V. It was left to fall into ruin and disarray, but it is now being rebuilt in preparation for future public use.
Most of the churches that I saw in Sicily had a pretty run-down appearance. This is one of them, although it is now being restored, so it was closed to worshipers. It is located in a small alley, in the west side of the city, and we wouldn't have found it if it weren't for the tourist map. It was built in the fourteenth century by fishermen, and modified several times since. You can only see the outside, with its baroque facade located on the Via Santa Anna.
This castle is located on the island on the same name, opposite the Lazaretto, and 600 metres from the mouth of the harbour. This strategically important island was the site of the first fort in Trapani, during the first Punic War. The current castle was designed by Camillo Camilliani in 1586, but was strengthened in the seventeenth century. It was also used as a prison. It has an irregular plan and is built in limestone. Highlights include its high octagonal tower, added in the seventeenth century, which was used as a lighthouse.
This building, located next to the Church of Purgatory, was built in the late sixteenth century and used as a prison between 1655, and 1965. It has four floors and a rather austere stone facade, with four imposing white marble statues by the main entrance, which support a giant coat of arms.
Malatto Palace is a large building in the historic centre of Trapani, with frontage on two streets. It was built in the eighteenth century in the neoclassical style, and has three floors. The stone facade features columns supporting a balcony (the only one on the building). Like other palaces of the time, the windows are all decorated with floral motifs and topped with pediments.
Manzo Palace stands at the end of the Corso Vittorio Emanuele. It was built in the eighteenth century, in the late baroque style, and has three floors. It was the birthplace of Nunzio Nasi. The gateway is its most striking part, richly decorated with garlands, scrolls, lion heads and crowned by a large concave balcony. Today it is a private house, and when we saw it, it had a "sold" sign in one of its windows.
There are many things to do in Trapani, which is no surprise considering it's the most-visited city in Sicily. Trapani is famous for its salt mines and the Phoenician archaeological ruins found on the island of Mozia.
Trapani and the surrounding area have amazing beaches and the beautiful San Vito lo Capo is only a few kilometers from the city. This beach is without a doubt one of the top places to visit in Trapani. Even though it's touristy, it is well worth a visit. For something a little more intimate, Trapani offers Tonnara, a former tuna processing complex which is located on one of the most beautiful beaches of the island.
Another of the top attractions in Trapani is the Selinunte Archaeological Park where you can explore many paths and get lost among the quiet pastures. You can also discover the beauty of the Tramontana mountains and find Greek ruins built in the seventh century BC.
Another one of top Trapani attractions is Ligny Tower, which stands at the end of town on a rocky cliff overlooking the sea. It was built to defend the coast from attacks by Turkish pirates in 1671 and also served as a lighthouse. Make sure you also check out the Church of San Francisco de Asis while you are in the area.
If you want to find more stuff to do in Trapani, check out the tips and reviews from real travelers on Minube. You're sure to find the most popular things to see in Trapani and discover the most highly-recommended Trapani activities.