The historic center of Trapani is elegant and full of interest things to see. The main street is Corso Vittorio Emanuele, an elegant pedestrian area, along which you can admire the Cathedral and the Senatorial Palace. Another main street is Viale Regina Margherita, near which lies the garden, a very relaxing place to enjoy a carefree stroll.
Continuing along the Avenue, in addition to the War Memorial you can see the remains of the Castle of Earth (XII century) and the beautiful Art Nouveau Palace of Posts and Telegraphs. In the southern part of the city, Viale Regina Elena runs along the coast, from which one can see the Egadi and the white salt zones.
Religious Festivals in Trapani
Among the most important religious celebrations that take part in Sicily, The Mysteries of Trapani during the Christian Easter recall the Passion of Jesus. The religious festival has been celebrated in the city since the seventeenth century: although born in theatrical form, it was soon transformed with the sacred peculiarities of the city of Trapani.
The Mysteries are 18 statues, each one of them corresponding to a category of worker, stunning and life-size statues that are made of cypress wood and cork that are carried by the faithful along the streets of Trapani. Towards midnight the procession arrives in the square, and then it continues its march in the city until the afternoon of Saturday, when the mysteries are then returned to the Church of Purgatory, where they will be kept for one year before being displayed again to the faithful.
Historical Background of Trapani
The foundation of the city was laid, due to the work of indigenous peoples, probably the Sicani, in an unspecified period. Since ancient times, its favorable location, in the center of many shipping routes, became strategically important for rulers who contended for supremacy in the Mediterranean.
After seeing the settlement of Phoenicians and Greeks, Trapani became one of the major Sicilian cities under the control of Carthage: the city was equipped with several towers and massive walls, becoming one of the most important strongholds of Sicily. It was a period of widespread prosperity for its population, also thanks in part to the flourishing trade and abundant fishing.
The Romans conquered Trapani in 260 BC, which marked the beginning of its slow but progressive decline. Only during the Arab domination, the ancient Drépano (in Greek meaning ‘sickle’, in reference to the myths of the time rather than to the geology of the city) found new momentum: were intensive naval building took place, thanks to the expansion of the port area, and introduction of new techniques for plowing fields and fishing.
The strong Arab influence is still seen today, as well as in the urban structure, in the cuisine of Trapani, in which it excels in couscous. A widespread prosperity continued in Trapani under the Normans, who proceeded to fortify the city, and under the Aragonese period that saw a massive reorganization of the urban layout.
During the Middle Ages, the powerful Sicilian families continued to equip Trapani with fortified defensive constructions (of this period was the Tower of Ligny) but the city also lost the charm of the previous centuries, epidemics and choking tributes put a strain on the city, reducing its government’s influence.
During the wars of liberation against the Bourbons, the citizens of Trapani distinguished themselves for the courageous uprising against the French which caused a domino effect in neighboring towns, marking the beginning of the end for the French domination and a new dawn for Italy.
Trapani by Night
For those who decide to eat out, Trapani is an ideal place for gourmets. The city’s restaurants offer delicious dishes at reasonable prices. Not to be missed, between courses, couscous, a typical dish of Trapani now adopted by North African cuisine. Fresh fish is one of the most popular dishes, try a plate and you’ll understand why. Even the pizzerias collect many compliments from the guests, thanks to the typical Sicilian pizzas and other seafood.
The old town, especially on weekends, is filled with young people who drink something in the bars and crowd Corso Vittorio Emanuele and Via Fardella, by day, a perfect place for those who want to shop.
For lovers of disco, clubs organize summer events in the nearby seaside resorts, along the breathtaking coast of Trapani. During the winter there are local discos where you can spend an entire night on the dance floor, which are even found among the neighboring towns of the province.