Trapani Mini Guide
Tell me About Trapani
Trapani is a town on the north west coast of Sicily. It is a fishing port and well known for producing and exporting sea salt.
How do I get There?
Many European airports have flights into Trapani-Birgi Airport
, mostly with the low cost airlines. ATS has a regular bus service from the airport to the town or you can take a taxi or hire a car. Within Sicily, trains and buses are available from most towns to Trapani. Ferries also arrive at the port from Pantelleria and Sardinia
What can I see in Trapani?
The old town is easily explored by foot, start at the Corso Vittorio Emanuele and admire the fine buildings. You will see the baroque palace of Plaza della Guidecca and see how the architecture has gothic and catalan influences. Visit the Basilica Sanctuary of Maria Santissima Annunziata which was originally built in 1315 and rebuilt in 1760 – inside you will see the marble statue of the Madonna of Trapani. Next door, visit the Museo Regionale Pepoli and browse the art and exhibits to get a feel for the town’s history and culture.
What Else is There to do?
You can take Italian lessons or a cooking class at Scuola Virgilio. To understand more about the local industry, visit the Museum of Salt, it is a semi-working mill with museum and café. The Museum of Prehistory and Sea is in a lighthouse in the old town, there you can see archaeological artefacts from the sea bed and from the roof you can see views of the Gulf of Trapani.
Where can I Stay?
The Hotel Vittoria is in the centre of town and close to the beach, so ideally located to see everything Trapani has to offer. The 65 rooms have free Wi-Fi and there is a bar and restaurant at the hotel.
Where Should I eat?
Try the spaghetti with sea urchin at Trattoria Ai Solito Posto or pizza at the local favourite Calvino.
Getting Out and About
Take the cable car up to Monte Erice and explore the medieval castle and cobbled streets, on a clear day there are also great views as far as North Africa. Head for the beach at Marausa Lido just 9 km from the town and there is plenty of opportunity to eat and shop there too. For a little more history, visit the Greek temple and theatre at Segesta. Why not take a ferry out to the Egadi Islands, it only takes 30 minutes and there are some great beaches for swimming and diving or just relaxing. You can also explore the island by bicycle.
Are There any Festivals?
The Easter celebrations or Misteri are the oldest running religious events in the world. Sculptures and icons from the 17th and 18th century are paraded throughout the town and scenes from the passion are animated, this usually lasts for 16 hours plus! On the 7th August a feast day is held for Sant Alberto, the town’s patron saint and on the 16th August there is a firework display for the Feast of Madonna of Trapani.
Trapani is a very attractive and lively port city on the west coast of Sicily. Look beyond the modern city and ferry port to find gems such as the Corso Vittorio Emanuele with its beautiful buildings which were the homes of rich citizens in the 17th and 18th centuries.
The city’s link with mythology and the sea is further shown by the impressive Triton’s Fountain with its ornate stonework. If you get the chance to, drive your hire car down to the port and sit, people watching, as the Italians go about organising the ferry cargoes to Tunisia.