Mazara del Vallo.

Welcome to Sicily

Mazara del Vallo lies on the southern coast of Western Sicily.

Have a stroll around Mazara del Vallo and discover a delightful town of variegated origins. In 1157, the great Arab geographer Idriss said when he visited the town, ‘It gathers together more beauties in one place than any other town’.

Choose the type of holiday you desire, from hotels to palaces, campsites or staying on a farm, not to mention bed & breakfast and the selection of villas for hire. Mazara del Vallo will warmly welcome you in the authentic Sicilian style.

The cocktail of fine sand and pebble beaches, the crystal clear sea water, the local gastronomy, range of activities and proximity of many tourist sites make Mazara the ideal location for the holiday of a lifetime!

The town’s history centres around its river, the Mazaro, and probably goes back as far as the Bronze Age, but it was with the Ancient Greek colony of Selinunte half way through the seventh century BC that the Mazaro river grew in importance. In that epoch Mazara was part of the ‘polis’ or city-state of Selinunte.

Many wars broke out between the different colonies until 409 when the Carthaginians conquered the fortress on the Mazaro river and sacked Selinunte. The area was then controlled by the Carthaginians, and later by Syracuse, until the first Punic War when Sicily was conquered by the Romans. Towards the end of the Roman Empire (second to fourth centuries AD), Christianity spread throughout the Mazaro valley.

Following invasion by the Vandals and then the Goths, at a time when Sicily was becoming part of the Byzantine Empire and despite attacks from Muslim pirates terrorising the coast, the fortunes of the Mazaro river basin slowly started to revive.

On 16 June 827, at the head of a fleet of 100 ships, 10,000 footsoldiers and 700 horsemen, magistrate Aseb Ibn Forat disembarked in Mazara and conquered Sicily. Under Arab conquest, the town came to life and experienced its glory days, lasting until (and into) the Norman epoch. It even became the most important place in the Mazara valley.

With the arrival of the Normans in 1072, Mazara became the diocese of an area extending into what is today the province of Trapani and Palermo. Mazara then came under the control of the French and Aragonese, entering a period of political and economic decadence.

It later suffered the same fate as the rest of Sicily. Modernisation of the port began part way through the eighteenth century and fish and grape-processing companies were developed.

Today Mazara del Vallo is the most important fishing port in the whole of Italy. Its economy is also based on the production of grapes, citrus fruit and olives.

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