Trapani is a romantic town situated in the province of the same name at the westernmost tip of Sicily. The sickle shaped peninsula is bordered on its two sides by two different seas – Tyrrhenian and Mediterranean Seas. It is a port and fishing village that stretches in an arc into the sea, and it is characterized by long stretches of coastal plains, salt pans, ancient sites, archaeological monuments, lavish palaces and windmills.
You should explore the islands, quaint provincial towns and the inspiring countryside surrounding this place.
The open sea stretches to the horizon and you can enjoy one of the most spectacular sunsets in Europe. The sea is punctuated by the imposing Mount Erice and the Egadi Islands.
A Little Bit of History
This charming port town is the major port in the west of Sicily and thus it has attracted many invaders throughout history. It was a minor Greek colony before the Phoenicians made it their trading center.
Trapani and Egadi Islands seen from Mount Erice
The Carthaginians took over the Phoenicians, but the Romans defeated them in the Battle of the Egadi Islands and took the town to use it as a minor trading post. Then the town changed hands between the Vandals and Byzantines again thereafter.
In 830 A.D. the Muslims conquered Trapani and reconstructed the town by building walls on all sides, and giving it a unique street plan.
They boosted the prosperity of the town by growing the production of salt, tuna and coral, and introduced an irrigation system by which the region’s food productivity was increased.
Port of Trapani
The port town continued to flourish under the Normans and the Spanish.
Charles V added a deep ditch and channel around the city to protect it from attacks.
From the 18th century, the town started to expand – the walls were pulled down and it expanded to the base of Mount Erice.
The early settlers, the Elymians, named the town Drepanon, which means “sickle.”
Historic Area in Trapani
There is also another legend which tells that Demeter, goddess of harvests and of plenty, dropped her sickle in a moment of despair while searching for her lost daughter.
The sickle fell on the earth and landed by the sea, and in this place grew Trapani that has retained the form of the goddess’ scythe.
The city today trades in tuna, salt, olives and wine, and at present it produces more wine than Austria, Hungary, Tuscan regions and Chile.
During Good Friday, wooden statues of Christ are taken through the streets, and the procession is a fusion of folklore and faith.
This religious culture has been in practice since the 1700s. The Feast Day of Sant’Alberto is celebrated with great enthusiasm in August.
Where is Trapani?
- 63.3 miles/ 102 km from Menfi, Sicily, Italy
- 64.6 miles/ 104 km from Palermo, Sicily, Italy
- 197.5 miles/ 318 km from Catania, Sicily, Italy
- 229.2 miles/ 369 km from Taormina, Sicily, Italy
- 11.1 miles / 18 km from Trapani Airport, Sicily, Italy
- 54 miles / 87 km from Palermo Airport, Sicily, Italy
Things to See
- Chiesa del Collegio
- The Sanctuary of the Annunciation
- Palazzo Senatorio
- Palazzo della Giudecca
- Museo della Preistoria e di Archeologia Marina
- Via Torrearsa
- Rua Grande
- Museo del Sale
- Lido San Giuliano
- Litoranea Beach
- San Vito Lo Capo
- Spiagge Dello Zingaro
- Lido di Marausa
- Egadi Islands
- Mount Erice
The tradition, interesting history, enchanting beauty and unique characteristics make Trapani an interesting tourist destination on the west coast of Sicily.
The wonderful weather and the town’s preserved natural beauty will surely fascinate you.
We wish you a fantastic Mediterranean cruise!