Sicily, the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, resembles a triangle from a bird's eye view. The Greek historian Thucydides mentions around 400 BC that Sicily's original name was "Trinacria". The term stands for "Drei-Kap" or the "Triangular".
Trapani's geographic location
Where approximately the north-west of the three Sicilian capes would be located, we find the port city of Trapani, the capital of the province of the same name. The old town of Trapani lies on a promontory reaching into the sea. It is considered to be the boundary between the Tyrrhenian Sea and the Mediterranean Sea. To the northeast rises the massif of the 751 meter high Monte Erice with the ancient city of the same name.
A bird's-eye view of Trapani
Trapani - city of sea salt
It is believed that Phoenicians built a protective harbor in Trapani in the 9th century BC. They were followed by Carthaginians, Romans, Vandals, Goths, Byzantines, Arabs and the Normans. Those peoples who determined the development of the Mediterranean region in their heyday. The city owes its fortifications to the Arabs. Trade relations were also developed and expanded under Arab rule. Since time immemorial, sea salt has been extracted from salt flats in the region around Trapani. The salt was already exported to the whole of Italy as well as to France and England in early times. Trapani owes its duty-free status to the Normans who followed the Arabs, and the associated prosperity expressed in profane and ecclesiastical buildings.
Trapani - Tower and Dome of the Cathedral
Trapani - central nave of the cathedral
Trapani in the present
More than 65.000 people live in the eighth largest city in Sicily (as of January 2021). Salt production in the salt pans is still an important branch of the economy. Around 100.000 tons of sea salt are produced every year for various purposes. The area of the salt pans is around 800 hectares. Other economic sectors are fishing and fish processing, agriculture (vegetables, almonds, olives and citrus fruits), as well as the food industry and tourism.
Trapani's salt pans
Trapani is well developed in terms of transport. The A29 motorway leads from Trapani to Palermo, 110 kilometers away, the capital of the autonomous region of Sicily. The region is connected by air to other European countries via a nearby military airport, which can also be used for civilian purposes. The port is of great importance for the city. From there ferries go to the offshore Aegadian Islands, to Cagliari/Sardinia, Civitavecchia and to Tunis. In addition, several dozen, mostly smaller, cruise ships call at the port of Trapani every year. The city is rich in profane and sacred buildings. There are other attractive destinations in the area.
Trapani - ferry boats in the harbor
Trapani - destination of cruise ships
Cruise ships call at Sicily's ports regularly. In general, passenger ships are regulars in the ports of Catania as well as Messina on the east coast and Palermo in northern Sicily. Trapani is rarely one of the destinations of the ships.
Costa neo Riviera in Trapani
We report below what guests of cruise ships can do in Trapani Trapani – Sights.
Update February 2022