Marsala

Itchy feet and a desire to do more exploration?

 

Marsala comes from the Arabic ‘Mars Allah’, the port of Allah. It is only five minutes from Mazara. Marsala has a similar history to Mazara but in the eighteenth century, English entrepreneurs started the first wine-making industry, making the famous Marsala wine, which would be decisive for the town’s economic future… Allow half a day to explore.

Erice

History preserved by the mountains

Not to be missed and half an hour’s drive from Mazara is the town of Erice some 750 metres above sea level which can be reached by car or cable car. Its history is in parallel with the whole of the island’s – first the Byzantines and then the Arabs who took over in 830 and gave it the name Djebel-Hamed. It was conquered by the Normans in the twelfth century, who repopulated the town and gave it the name King Roger had named the local mountain, Monte Santo Giuliano.

Churches and convents were built in the Middle Ages. Apart from some Baroque palaces and the building of Square Umberto Ist in the nineteenth century, the fortified part of the town has remained unchanged. In 1934 the town was given the name it had back in ancient times, Erice. Allow at least half a day to explore

Segesta

The Athens of Sicily

If you want to see Ancient Greek remains, Sicily is the place for you! Half an hour’s drive from Mazara is the archaeological site of Segesta, founded by the Elymian people, who built a temple in the fifth century BC and a theatre in the third century BC. In -409, the city joined forces with the Carthaginians to conquer the rival city of Selinunte. It was destroyed by the Vandals in the fifth century. The theatre is still used for a large number of events, especially in the summer. Very impressive! Good trip to combine with Erice.

Selinunte

Souvenirs of ancient wealth

Just 20 minutes from Mazara is Selinunte, an Ancient Greek colony founded by Megara Hyblea in around 630 BC. The town soon became rich and powerful, founding a colony of its own in the sixth century BC at Heracleia Minoa near Agrigento to the east.

The political system of tyrannies was established at this time and the town built good trading links with Carthage. The town is dominated by imposing architecture like the two temples of the Acropolis, named Temple C and Temple D by archaeologists since their original names were lost down the ages, and Temple F on the hillside.

Pantelleria

Mediterranean Centre

Pantelleria is a volcanic island situated mid-way between the coast of Sicily and the coast of Tunisia, accessible by speedboat from Mazara. With a surface area of 83 km2²Pantelleria is the biggest island off Sicily with an unusual landscape of windswept volcanic rocks and prickly pear trees. The highest point of the island is Montagna Grande, 836 metres above sea level. This still wild island lives mainly off farming and tourism. Tourists come here to enjoy the island’s natural saunas known as ‘bagno asciutto’ (dry baths). Volcanoes give off steam which creates natural saunas in caves. In recent years, the well-preserved authentic traditions of Pantelleria have attracted celebrities like Armani and Madonna, who both come here on a regular basis. The island’s wines have a high reputation (Passito and Moscato wines) and other celebrities like Carole Bouquet and Gérard Depardieu own vineyards here producing a highly renowned Moscato. Allow at least one full day.

Elsewhere in the province of Trapani:

Gibellina – The islands of Favignana and Levanzo – San Vito Lo Capo – Castellamare Del Golfo etc….

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