Trapani info tourist
    Museum Regionale Pepoli                  Museo del Mare - Museo di Preistoria   
  “Trapani, the town of the primitives and an ancient place of residence, is surrounded by the sea from all sides. The sea enters the town by means of a bridge from the eastern side. The port is situated in the southern part: it is a tranquil port without movement. Here a large number of sailing ships spend the winter sheltered from the winds since the sea remains calm here while waves rage outside. An abundance of fish is caught in this port; large tuna nets are also set, and coral of the finest quality is found in the sea of Trapani. In front of the entrance to the town lies a salina (saltworks)”.

With these words Al’ Idris, an Arab geographer at the court of King Ruggero, speaks of Trapani and its economy.

Over the centuries the town has undergone several changes while maintaining its characteristic sickle shape. It is situated three meters above sea level and covers a surface of about 4000 square meters. Its position is at 38° 4’ of northern latitude and at 30° 40’ of western longitude. It has 69497 inhabitants (according to the October 2001 census). The town is characterised by the presence of four sighting towers: Torre Vecchia, Torre del Castello di Terra, Torre Pali, Torre di Porta Oscura or Dell’Orologio. During the Punic War, the Carthaginian General Amilcare Barca built the fifth tower, the Castello della Colombaia. The four towers surrounded the town with quadrilateral boundary walls. The boundaries were marked by the current Via Garibaldi, Via XXX Gennaio, Via Torre Pali and Via Torre Arsa. The eastern walls ended with a moat, followed by a navigable canal. The urban centre was enlarged in the Aragonian period.

The “di mezzo” (middle) or San Nicola district and the Palazzo district were added to the original “Casalicchio” or San Pietro district. In this period the Rua Grande (the present Corso Vittorio Emanuele) and the Rua Nova (the present Via Garibaldi) were built. The defences were strengthened by the construction of a boundary wall and reinforced with bastions. The town had eleven entrances and numerous new defence bastions. In 1671 Torre di Ligny was built under the order of the Viceroy don Claudio Morando, the Prince of Ligny. It still exists today. Inside Torre di Ligny, situated at the furthest end of the sickle, there is the Prehistory Museum. In 1862 the Italian Government, with a Royal Decree, withdrew the town’s status as a Piazza d’Armi (Parade Ground), which had previously obliged it to maintain fortifications.

The bastions and the boundary wall were therefore knocked down and the town expanded towards the east. The area of Marinella in the Salina del Collegio was drained and reclaimed; the navigable canal was filled. Rua Grande and Rua Nova were given their current names. The roads were paved and others were built, such as the Sea Front, Piazza Marina and Via Fardella. The construction of the Palazzo delle Poste (Central Post Office), the Provincia (Province), and the Capitaneria di Porto (Port Authorities) also date back to this period. Following the expropriation of the Church estate and the abolition of the religious confraternities, several properties were passed onto the Municipality, the Province and private individuals. They became public offices, schools and institutes. Other buildings were demolished, such as the convent of Sant’Agostino and the Monastery of Santa Chiara. The bombardments of the Second World War determined a new urban asset in the town. The San Pietro district was rebuilt with the creation of a new road, Corso Italia. The districts of Palma, San Giuliano (which fall back onto the territory of Erice) and Cappuccinelli were added to the traditional districts of San Pietro, San Francesco, San Lorenzo, San Nicola, Maria Ausiliatrice, Sacro Cuore and Borgo Annunziata.


Viale Regina Elena - Foto Walter Leonardi

Il castello della Colombaia - Foto Walter Leonardi

Santuario della Madonna di Trapani - Walter Leonardi

Telephone number (Police, Taxi, Coast Guard, etc)

click on city map to zoom