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Trapani is a city and comune on the west coast of Sicily in Italy. It is the capital of the Province of Trapani. Founded by Elymians, the city is still an important fishing port and the main gateway to the nearby Egadi Islands.

Trapani - fronte del porto

The ancient town of Drepanon was in the beginning inhabited by the Elimi , that used it as an emporium of Erice.
The same thing was made by the Phoenicians that, realizing its important geographical location, made it become an efficient maritime and commercial landing-place. Then it came to Carthaginians’ hands that populated it making the Erice inhabitants go downhill.
After the battle of the Egadi Islands in 241 B.C. it began to be part of the Roman provinces and so it remained till the V century B.C. .
In 827 Arabs arrived in Sicily: the three centuries of their domination deeply marked culture, art and economy of Trapani.
It came across a difficult period under the government of the Angioini Mill in Trapani, Sicilyto flourish again by the Aragonites about 1200, because of tuna and salt trading, and of coral valued processing.
Then it was followed by the long-lasting Spanish domination, that ended only in 1713. In the half of 1500, Charles V granted the town of Trapani special privileges that allowed it to increase its own commercial and sea trades.
Sicily then entered the Bourbons Kingdom until the coming of Garibaldi in 1860. The people of Trapani took part in the insurrectional risings of 1848 and this brought them the Golden Medal awarded by Umberto I of Savoy.
During the II World War, the town was bombed many times. With the reconstruction, Trapani assumed a new disposition: new quarters and new streets were built.
The vital fulcrum of the town is, up to and including today, the harbour, in the neighbourhood of the historical centre.

 What to see

In the town there are a great deal of churches.
Trapani-chiesa-del-collegio-dei-jesuitiAt the eastern extremity of the town centre, in via Pepoli, rises the big unit of the Annunziata (Our Lady of Annunciation), that is the most important town monument. At the back of main altar is located the Cappella della Madonna (Madonna Chapel), that you reach passing through a beautiful Renaissance arch, closed by a bronze grill of 1591.
Nearby you may also find the exconvent that today lodges the major town museum, the Museo Pepoli (Pepoli Museum).
But it is in the historical centre that you find a series of churches of considerable interest following one another, such as the church of San Francesco d’Assisi (St Francis of Assisi), the church of Cappuccini (Capuchins), the church of San Pietro (St Peter), that one of the Purgatorio (Purgatory), placed in the homonymous little square.
Very beautiful is the Cathedral, in corso Vittorio Emanuele, consecrated to St Lawrence, and erected on a former fourteenth-century building in the seventeenth century.
Trapani PalazzoGiudeccaB One of the most charming streets in the town is via Garibaldi, lined with eighteenth-century mansions and churches, among which Riccio di Morana mansion, crowned by statues, Milo mansion and Badia Nuova (S. Maria del Soccorso), one of the most ancient church in the town, stand out.
The mansion, that close the street in a scenographic way, is “Palazzo Senatorio”(Senatorial Mansion) (or ”Cavarretta”), the face of which is on two orders articulated by columns and statues, and it is crowned by two big clocks. Near by there is the clock tower of thirteenthcentury origin.
To be visited is also the via Liberta’, where are located the church of the Carmine, in Renaissance style, founded by Carmelites, Fardella Mansion and Sanseverino Mansion.
The most important streets, destinations of long walks, are Via Fardella, that scours almost all the town, and Corso Vittorio Emanuele.
Especially in the night, the streets crowd of people spending some hours in the various spots.
To be visited moreover: the Museo della Preistoria e Archeologia Marina (Prehistory and Sea Archaeology Museum), situated in the Ligny Tower, e la Riserva Naturale delle Saline (Natural Reserve of the Salinas), that follow one another in the coastline between Trapani and Marsala, in a so incredible scenery where silence and stillness reign.


Trapani Misteri

During the period of the Holy Week, that precede the Easter Sunday, Trapani offers a series of manifestations, services and rites, jealously kept since remote ages.
The Via Crucis, that occurs on Palm Sunday in Buseto Palizzolo, is very suggestive.
On Holy Tuesday in Trapani the procession of “Maria Addolorata” (“Our Mary of Sorrows”), takes place.
On Holy Wednesday, in Trapani, the “Madonna della Pieta’ del Popolo” (Our Lady of Pity of People), the order of greengrocers having the care of it, is made pass by still through the streets of the town centre.
On Holy Thursday, in Marsala, the Procession of Holy Thursday takes place in the afternoon: some citizens of Marsala play the various characters and the crucial moments narrated by the Gospel.
On Holy Friday you can see various rites in many cities. In Trapani, early in the afternoon, in the church of ”Santa Maria del Gesu’ ”(“St Mary of Jesus”) the ancient service of the “Descent of the Cross”.
The Procession of the Mistery in Trapani takes place beginning from Holy Friday to the midday of Saturday: it is a rite of fundamental importance for the town recovering its own cultural identity.
A smaller Procession of the Mistery takes place in Erice also.
In Castelvetrano, in the moorning of Easter, the traditional rite of Aurora celebrates the Resurrection of Christ.
Villa Margherita houses the prestigious “Teatro di Tradizione” (Theatre of Tradition): one of the most established events of the town, strongly attracting, thanks also to the high level of the performances.


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