Trapani, sparks of history
The ancient Drepanum, ofers to the visitor a charming inner ciy with baronial buildings, ancient walls and observation towers. Famous all over the world for its corals and tuna fishing, nowadays Trapani is the Italian Sailing Capital. Located in Western Sicily, rises in the same promontory of the ancient Drepanon, from the greek sickle (because of promontory's shape).
Trapani has developed in the years an important amount of business based with salt trading, enjoying of its natural environment and the famous port that in the old times was an important trading spot, famous also for Eryx (today Erice). Other important business were and are still today the ones linked to fishing, the tune above all, done with the old and traditional ways, the “mattanza”, used in the tuna fishing nets of the city and the surrondings (San Cusumano, San Giuliano, Isola di Formica) and around the province (Favignana, Bonagia, San Vito Lo Capo, Scopello, Capo Granitola) the extraction and marble trading and the corals.
With the term, Drepanum Battle, people referred to a naval battle fought between Rome and Carthage during the First “Guerra Punica”. It was the 249 a.C. and this battle took place near the Drepana or Drepanon coast, as it was called the city. Exactly, the area in which the battle took place was the Conca di Sant'Anna, where now rises Torre di Ligny and the Trading fish square, crossing Porta Ossuna (few meters from Il Rifugio del Pirata)
Il Bastione di Sant’Anna
The Bastione di Sant'Anna, known also as Imperial, was built by Carl V in 1545, for closing one of the doors of the city. Later on, it was expanded by Ligny Prince and finished in 1673. Its Constructionwas included in the extension and defense of the city from the Viceroy Pignatelli and carried on by Gonzaga Viceroy, but was Carl V that defined Trapani as the key of the reign, he finished that project. Together with the Bastione del Impossibile, that defensive castle remembers the times in which Trapani used to defend itself from pirate attacks arriving from Northern Africa .
What to visit
San Liberale Church
San Liberale Church has been build before Torre di Ligny, 100 meters distance. It was built under corals fishermen request that represented one of the most important working classes in Trapani. Legend says that the event, at the base of the act of devotion was the capture and death of a Trapanese coral fisherman. Too close to Tunisian coasts, has been kidnapped and executed. Tales say that the same day a fishermen group from Trapani had an amazing fishing, on the way back to Trapani, the boats were full of corals. Few times later fisherman's death has been associated with the amazing fising establishing the church construction.
Ligny Tower (today Civic Musem)
Torre di Ligny was built in 1671, want of Viceroy Claudio Morando, Prince of Ligny. The project was included in the defense contruction in the city, always in the range of assault from corsair ships. In the years the tower was used as a lighthouse from helping hundreds of ships passing nearby the city.
From 1983, with alternate lucks, the tower hosted the Prehistoric Trapanese Museum, inside were prehistoric tools discovered from Trapani surrondings, Palermo and Northern Africa (Algeria and Tunisia), now is it a Civic Museum
The Colombaia Castle is probably the eldest and well known (together with Torre di Ligny) Trapani's icon. Different legends connected with its first construction, also if historians agree all in attributing to Amilcare Barca (Annibale's father, warlord able to go through the Alps with elephants and beat the Romans) its construction. The chance hs been given from the First “Guerra Punica” (we already mentioned it in the Drepanum Battle).
Extended later on by different oppressors (until the Normans that built the central great tower), it was used as a prison until the resignation right after the WWII. Recently it's been chosen by Italians as National heart
Among the monuments and attractions in the city that worth to visit there are, for sure::
- San Lorenzo Cathedral
- Purgatorio's church with holy representations of Trapani “Misteri”
- Le mura di Tramontana and via Garibaldi, with churches and splendid buildings
- Collegio's church
- Diocesan Musem and the old Sant' Agostino church
- Pepoli Museum, with its corals and portraits collection
- Annunziata's Sanctuary, Madonna Trapani's sculpture and the chapel of the fishermen
- The Saline Nature Reserve of Trapani, with windmills and pink flamingoes, bunch of salt and breathtaking sunsets
For more info:
- On-line touristic guide
- Touristic itineraries in the city
- About Trapani on Wikipedia
- Trapani attractions on TRIPADVISOR
- Trapanese province attractions on TRIPADVISOR