The west corner of Sicily has welcomed many and different populations over the centuries, surely attracted by its central location in the Mediterranean, but mainly by its lush countryside and its coasts. All these cultures have left their imprint giving the area a peculiar architecture, as well as works of art of indisputable artistic value.
During your stay in Trapani do not miss a visit to the Museo Pepoli (Pepoli museum), next to the beautiful Sanctuary dedicated to the “Madonna di Trapani (Our Lady of Trapani)”. Its cult is much felt throughout the city, not only by believers. The museum preserves several finds which tell the history of the city but, above all, a precious collection of corals, one of the most superb expressions of the local craftsmanship. There are many churches from different ages and even the smallest has a treasure: if only for its evocative location, such as the one dedicated to “San Francesco di Paola (St. Francis from Paola)”, protector of fishermen and sailors. In addition to the Arab-Norman domes, that are a distinctive feature of the Trapani skyline, the churches of San Pietro (St. Peter) with its seven-keyboards monumental organ, a real masterpiece of Sicilian art dating back to the second half of the 19th century, and Santa Maria dell’Itria, an excellent example of Baroque style containing many relics, are also worth a visit.
The “torre di Ligny (Ligny tower)”, last bulwark for the defense of the city built during the Spanish rule, today preserves findings discovered in the close-by sea, such as amphoras and rostra. The path along the “mura di tramontana (Tramontane walls)” provides wonderful and unforgettable moments.
The salt pans impart a pinkish colour to the side looking towards Marsala: if you come here you cannot miss the wind mills, recently restored, where ancient tools used for extracting and processing salt are kept.
As soon as you arrive on the island of Favignana, you will immediately notice the splendid neo-Gothic “palazzina Florio”: a building from where the Florio family controlled all stages of tuna catching and processing and which hosted important figures from the political and cultural worlds; many kings, princes and artists enjoyed the private parties held by “donna Franca Florio”.
And again: the buildings used for the processing of tuna fish and that today house a “Museo della Tonnara (tunny factory museum)”; they were an example of productivity and modernity (there even was a company nursery school).
On the only promontory of the island stands the castle of Santa Caterina, a military fort, dating back to the 9th, built to defend the island by the Saracen raids and used, for defensive purposes, up to the Second World War.
Throughout the territory of Trapani you can notice bunker of various dimensions, dating back to the Second World War and testifying the strategic importance of our territory.
Other distinctive features of the island are the “Hypogeal Gardens”, obtained by transforming old tuff quarries. Inside these old caves, the inhabitants of the island, have been able to build evocative gardens and courtyards.