Trapani - ancient Drepanon town surrounded by the sea, salt-pans, isles and coral. - Sicilyincoming

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Sicily Guide > Trapani province


Trapani, the ancient Drepanon, just out into the Mediterranean sea in the shape of a sickle. The Ligny Tower, an imposing watchtower built in 1761, stands on its extreme tip and now houses the Museum of Prehistory.
The best way to get know Trapani is looking at the ties this town has always had with the sea. Nowadays fishing provides a means of support, but in the past the Mediterranean was a source of wealth because of the coral industry.
The precious coral works made by skilled craftsmen have made this town famous since the second half of the 16th century. Today this remarkable and creative craft is gaining strength again thanks to the workshops set up by young artisans, who have revived an ancient form of art that seemed to have fallen into oblivion.

The Santuario dell’Annunziata  It is the main monument in the town. It was erected in 1315-32, later enlarged and then totally redone in 1760. The façade is the original one and is decorated by a magnificent rosette and an early fifteenth-century Gothic portal. On the little side portals there are two sixteenth-century statues of the Angel and of the Madonna of the Annunciation. Inside there is the chapel of the Madonna, done in 1530. The big outer marble arch was done by Antonello, Antonio and Giacomo Gagini, who decorated it with fine reliefs (Eternal Father and Prophets). On the altar there is the magnificent Madonna with Child, done by Nino Pisano and his workshop.

Regional Museum Agostino PepoliThe museum is located on the outskirts of the town in the ancient Borgo Annunziata and it’s housed in a 14th century Carmelite Convent. The museum illustrates, with its collections of paintings and sculptures, the development of the decorative art in the territory of Trapani and in particular that of applied art, which was very important in the field of coral objects, majolica, gold, silver, and cribs. Between 1300 items in the museum we can find: "Enthroned Madonna with Angels", "Enthroned Madonna and Child", "Polyptych", "San Giacomo Maggiore".
Location: Via Conte Agostino Pepoli 180
Info: 0923 553269
Opening hours: Monday-Saturday from 9:00 to 13:00 & from 15:00 to 19:30; Sunday from 9:00 to 12:30 (ticket office closes 30min before)

The Church of Santa Maria di Gesù
It dates from the first half of the 16th century. The façade has mixed Gothic and Renaissance forms and in it there is a fine pseudo-Catalan portal. At the back, to the right of the presbytery, there is the Staiti Chapel, inside which, under a refined marble canopy by A. Gagini (1521), there is a glazed terracotta statue of Madonna degli Angeli, a fine work by A. della Robbia (1435-1525)

Saturno Square
According to ancient source sit was named after Saturn, the mythical founder of Trapani. At the right of the square the statue of the god is placed on a beautiful fountain of the 18th century. On the walls there are various inscriptions of the Spanish epoch. The water from the springs of Mount Erice was one of the sources that filled the basin of the fountain.

Palazzo Cavaretta
It acts as the background to corso Vittorio Emanuele. Born in the 15th century, it was renewed in the second half of the 17th century. On the third façade of the building one can admire statues of the Madonna of Trapani, Saint John and San Alberto. It was the main office of Trapani’s city hall

The Fish Marketplace
Giovanni Battista Talotti realized it in 1874 in the same place where the public slaughterhouse and meat market once stood. An elegant portico with a fountain and bronze statue of Venus said “Anadiomene”, because she was born from the froth of the sea, is found in the small square. This is the site of the picturesque fish market. Every morning, for the last 100 years, the local fisherman extol with their singing the freshness of their fish to the demanding clients.

The Church and the College of the Jesuits
Built  in the 17th century by Jesuits, it has an imposing structure and a grand cloister in the boarding school.

Palazzo Riccio di San Gioacchino
In the late 16th century the family Riccio di San Gioacchino and Santa Anna promoted the construction of the building in late Renaissance styling. It was altered many times until in 18th century  it finally obtained its present configuration. Especially noticeable is the Baroque style of the façade and the sumptuous balconies. The inner courtyard has a stupendous fountain.

The Cathedral of San Lorenzo
It was built in 1635 on a previous 14th century church, in the place where since 1129 there had been the lodge of the Genoese, who left a trace in a coat-of-arms inside the edifice. The elegant Baroque portal was enriched in the eighteenth century by an airy portico and a cupola, bizarrely flanked by smaller cupolas. The interior is decorated in the early Baroque style. There are numerous works of art, including a “Crucifixion” attributed to the Flemish painter Van Dyck.

Ciambra Palace – Giudecca
It is a typical example of the plateresque style of Catalan derivation, which spread in Sicily from Spain in the sixteenth century. The palace which now looks rather old - it dates from the middle of the sixteenth century - was once splendid thanks to the use of carved stone and the richness of the ornaments. A fanciful artist translated into stone the subtle fascination of the work of the goldsmith and of gems in the processing of which the Jews were unchallenged

Special Thank You for the text to the Trapani Tourism Office


Trapani: ancient Drepanon town surrounded by the sea, salt-pans, isles and coral.
Area: 271 km²
Elevation: 3 m  
Population: 70 638
Population name: Trapanesi
Dialling code: 0923
Zip Code: 91100
Geographic Location: North-Western Sicily
Saint Patron: Sant'Alberto degli Abati


- Every year on Holy Friday: the Processione dei Misteri

The “Misteri” are a collection of twenty sculptures made of canvas, wood and glue that represent the phases of the Passion and the Death of Jesus. The statues are carried through the streets of the town centre in a 24 hours huge procession. On the day of the Procession, Trapani is transformed into a mixture of sacredness and folklore, and the town has maintained these unchanged characteristics for centuries.

- from July to September: Summer Opera Events

The Summer Opera Events have been organised at Villa Margherita for over five hundred years by the Luglio Musicale Trapanese (July Musical Corporation of Trapani), chaired by the mayor of the town. The most famous shows with exceptional casts takes place in the outdoor theatre in the public villa, dedicated to the tenor Giuseppe Di Stefano.

- 7th August: the Feast day of Sant’Alberto

The bust of the Saint is carried in a procession from the Basilica dell’Annunziata, where it is conserved, to the Cathedral where it remains until 9 August. A second procession, which is highly impressive, takes place along the streets of the historical centre. The celebrations end with the traditional fire work display.


- Cous cous

- Tuna products – tunnina, bottarga, etc.
- Pasta cu l'agghia - pasta with garlic above all busiati (strips of pasta twisted by hand), dressed with a particular pesto composed of tomato, garlic and basil.
- Cassatelle – fried pastry with ricotta


By car: Autostrada Palermo – Trapani (A 29)

By train: Palermo - Trapani (Via Milo)

By bus: Palermo - Trapani / Autoservizi Segesta - 0923 20066
Agrigento - Trapani / Autoservizi Lumia - 0922 20414
AST (Via Virgilio)

By plane: the nearest airport is Trapani-Birgi “Vincenzo Florio”

By ferry boat: Cagliari - Trapani / Line Tirrenia – 0923 545433
Tunisi – Trapani / Line Tirrenia - 0923 545433
Isole Egadi e Pantelleria  / Siremar – 0923 545455


Location: Piazzetta Saturno
Info: 0923 544533

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