Holiday in Sicily: Explore Trapani and It's Surroundings


The charming Trapani, on the west coast of Sicily in Italy, was founded by the Elymians, the ancient people of Erice (a lovely town nearby), who founded the city to take advantage of the relationship between hill and sea. Today the city is still an important fishing port and the main gateway to the nearby Egadi Islands, but it’s also to able to attract tourist for its own beauty. For your holiday in Sicily, we suggest you visit Trapani and its surroundings.

This ancient city is literally part of legends: one recounts that Trapani stemmed from the sickle which fell from the hands of the goddess Demeter, while she was seeking for her daughter Persephone. Once in Sicily, you’ll be amazed by the fascinating twine of myths, history and traditions. Trapani looks like a romantic setting for pastoral and epic poems, between Greek columns and theatres clinging to the hillside…  sea lovers will be delighted by the crystal clear waters and the sunny beaches, and those who want to see the countryside, will appreciate the landscape sprinkled with olive trees and vineyards.

There are many things to see in Trapani: one main attraction is without doubt the wonderful Basilica-Sanctuary of Maria Santissima Annunziata (also called "Madonna di Trapani") originally built in 1315–1332 and then rebuilt in 1760. Inside you can admire a marble statue of the Madonna of Trapani, which might be the work of Nino Pisano. Do not miss also the Church of Sant’Agostino with the magnificent rose-window, the small Baroque Church of Badia Nuova, the Baroque Palazzo della Giudecca or Casa Ciambra, and the Cathedral, that houses an Annunciation attributed to Anthony van Dyck. Do not miss also Palazzo Fardelle Fontana, Palazzo Cavarretta, Palazzo Riccio di Morana, Palazzo San Rocco and Palazzo di San Gioacchino.

Also the surroundings are worth a visit: if you don’t have time to spend some of your holiday in the suggestive Egadi Island, some destinations are really close to Trapani: Erice, for instance, is a cable car ride from the city: there you can enjoy the views of Tunisia and Africa on clear days. Erice is located on top of Mount Erice. You can admire two castles: Pepoli Castle, dating from Saracen times, and the Venus Castle, dating from the Norman period, built on top of the ancient Temple of Venus that, according to legend, was founded by Aeneas.

Nature lovers should visit the Natural Reserve Saline di Trapani and Paceco, featuring the last and most important Sicilian coastal wetlands, with cultivated salines, marshes and farmlands. The reserve has a great naturalistic, ethno-anthropological and historical value.

San Vito Lo Capo, a lovely town in the province of Trapani, is a must see. This beautiful beach resort between the Monte Cofano Nature Reserve and the Zingaro Nature Reserve, is a small town with quaint white houses, narrow streets scented with jasmine and bougainvillea, and long golden beaches. San Vito is the perfect place for those who love the sea; they can choose between the most famous beaches and reefs further away from the crowd. Also divers will be happy in the depths of San Vito Lo Capo: within a few hundred meters from the coast, many shallows provide the perfect scenery for underwater photography and it's possible to find small branches of red coral.

In September, the town hosts the "Cous Cous Fest", an international festival of culture and gastronomy of the Mediterranean. It is a sort of cooking contest featuring chefs from eight countries – Côte d'Ivoire, France, Israel, Italy, Morocco, Senegal, and Tunisia, and the Palestinian Territories. What are you waiting for? Come to Sicily!

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