Although the attraction that draws the most attention from tourists is the Arab-Norman castle, do not forget to visit other buildings of Castellammare.
The Mother Church, located in Via Garibaldi, originally built in the sixth century but considerably changed during the eighteenth century, contains valuable frescoes of the seventh century, which in its time where on both aisles.
Two smaller churches also merit mentioning: the Church of Purgatory and the Baroque Church of St. Anthony of Padua. On the other hand, near the castle, the Church of Rosario with its decorated marble entrance, in which are carved the Madonna and Child with the Saints, a praised architectural inspiration.
An impregnable bastion of the past, so much as to give its name to the Gulf, the Castle of Castellammare, because of damage incurred during the centuries, now only shows the structural part of the complex.
Its fame during the Middle Ages was well noted, enough to be reported even in some historical writings. The immense structure was defended by a large moat and the inside could only be accessed by drawbridge.
Its construction was first undertaken by the Arabs then greatly expanded and modified by the Normans, and the Aragonese thereafter.
After years of restoration, the museum complex “The Memory of the Mediterranean” was established within the castle, and which consists of four different sections: The Museum of Water and Mills, The Museum of Productive Activities, The Archaeological Museum, and finally, the Museum of Maritime Activities.
The sea in Castellammare del Golfo
The most sought after beach of Castellammare is the Playa, a beautiful stretch of sandy coastline about one kilometer long, equipped with bathing establishments that at lunchtime offer the possibility of food and refreshment. As in the rest of the Gulf, the waters are crystal clear.
Ideal for families, but also popular with many young people, it will not be very difficult to find parking, thanks to a number of areas (surcharges apply) located just behind the beach.
For those who have a four-legged friend, the beach of Castellammare allows you to bring your pet with you, and give it a dip in the water too: in 2012 a portion of the coast was made into bow bow beach, where our most faithful friends can enjoy a few hours of sunbathing.
However, on the western side, the coast becomes more rugged resulting in small coves and beaches until you get to Scopello, the little jewel of the coast of Trapani.
Historical Background of Castellammare del Golfo
The natural barriers of the gulf and the mountain, were since ancient times, the reasons for the settlement of people looking for opportunities on the coast. The Elimi of Castellammare became its most important port, where goods from and to Segesta and Erice found their clearinghouse.
During the Arab period the site was chosen as a commercial point of such importance as to build a tuna trap, reorganize the entire urban structure (in Arabic, the city was known as Al Madarig, “the steps”), and for the protection of the city, put a fortified tower, later transformed into a castle by the Normans.
Castellammare, the largest city within the gulf, would be the right place for those who want to experience Sicily in its history, culture, and in all its natural charm.