A vacation guide to the port city of Trapani, Sicily

Why Trapani?
  • TK

Trapani is a slightly seedy port city with a rich history and a contemporary reputation for being one of the most mafia-infested cities in Sicily.

It was founded by Erice as a sea port, but expanded by the Greeks, who named it Drepanon, which means "sickle" and refers to the curving spit of land forming a fishing harbor on one side (and modern shipping and ferry port on the other).

The Greeks had competing origin legends for the city: either Trapani was crafted by Saturn himself, the Titan father of the Gods; or the city is actually built atop the sickle of harvest goddess Demeter (Ceres), who dropped it distractedly here as she searched the island high and low for her daughter Persephone, recently kidnapped by Hades.

The majolica and decorative arts in Trapani's museum are worth popping down for, as is the Tunisian fishing village ambience that clings in between the baroque churches in oldest part of town on that hook of land.

The fishy, Tunisian-inspired cuisine is excellent, though I'd try it for lunch and get out of Dodge before sundown; little Erice perched on the mountain above is a much more welcoming and friendly place to spend the night.

Tips & links


Trapani tourist info:
Via San Francesco d'Assisi 27
tel. +39-0923-545-507 or 0923-545-524

Useful private site:

How long?

0–0.5 days » more

Best way to to get there

Trapani is the main city on the west coast of Sicily, at the island's northwesternmost tip. Trapani is 111km (69 miles) west of Palermo and 33km (21 miles) north of Marsala. Trapani is well-served by trains and buses and has its own small airport for low-cost domestic and European flights. » more

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Trapani tourist info:
Via San Francesco d'Assisi 27
tel. +39-0923-545-507 or 0923-545-524

Useful private site:

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