Situated along the coast, looking towards the Ègadi
Islands and not far from beautiful Erice,
is where you’ll find Trapani.
It was known by the Greeks by the name of Drepanon,
which means scythe, probably due to the form of its cape, even
though at the time, they were only islands and reefs.
The founding of Trapani came about by
the hands of the Sicani, an ancient native
population of Sicily, who moved to
the East to escape the invasion of the Siculi, who came from
the Italian Peninsula, in the 15th Century BC.
Another hypothesis mentions the Elimi, a
population which came about from the fusion of the Sicani
with the refugees from destroyed Troy, who arrived here in
the 13th Century BC, under the command of the great Enea.
Either way, its foundation came about before the end of the
2nd millennium BC.
What is certain is that the Phoenicians used
it as a commercial port, which was already taken over by the
Sicani when they arrived in the 8th Century BC.
Trapani remained under the Carthaginians
for centuries until the break-out of war against the Greeks
of Syracuse (4th Century BC) and
the arrival of the Romans on the Island (3rd
Curing the Second Punic War, Amilcare Barca enclosed it with
defensive walls (260 BC) and deported many
of the inhabitants of Erice
there, but the city fell into the hands of the Romans in 241
BC, right after the Battle of the Ègadi, which
was won by Rome.
Under Rome, the City knew a period of decline,
which continued until the coming of the Byzantines
and which was interrupted only half way through the 19th
Century, when it was conquered by the Arabs,
who fortified it and erected monuments and mosques.
In 1077, the Normans arrived
with Count Ruggero, and raised it to a governing City. It
therefore became one of the major ports in the Mediterranean,
where goods passed through from the major marine powers of
the time: Venice, Pisa, Amalfi and Genoa.
In the 16th Century, the walls were reinforced
to guarantee greater protection against attacks by the Saracens
from the sea and Trapani became isolated
from the mainland, with a navigation canal as its
only means of access.
It then passed to the Bourbons who resisted
together with the rest of the Island until the disembarkation
of Garibaldi (1860).
In 1862, after annexation to the Reign of
Italy, its defensive walls were demolished as they were no
longer thought to be useful.
In the centre of the City one can find Piazza Vittorio Emanuele,
where Villa Margherita is situated with its public
park, where the remains of the Castle of Terra
(Earth Castle, 1186) can be found.
There are many other places of interests in Trapani: the Palazzo
della Giudecca from the 16th Century, the Ligny Tower
(1671), which hosts the Pre-historic Museum, the Regional
“Pepoli” Museum, which hosts a wonderful
collection of sculptures, paintings and archaeological remains.
Amongst the churches we can mention: the Church and College
of the Jesuits, the Basilica-Sanctuary of Maria Santissima
Annunziata (1315-1332), the Church of Saint Augustine (14th
Century), the Church of Santa Maria di Gesù (Saint
Mary of Jesus).
During the Easter liturgy manifestations in the City, the
Procession of Mysteries is held yearly on