Glorious Trapani

Trapani 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 was founded by the Elymians to serve as the port of the nearby city of Erice (ancient Eryx), which overlooks it from Monte San Giuliano. The city sits on a low-lying promontory jutting out into the Mediterranean Sea. It was originally named Drépanon from the Greek word for "sickle", because of the curving shape of its harbour. Carthage seized control of the city in 260 BC, subsequently making it an important naval base, but ceded it to Rome in 241 BC following the Battle of the Aegates in the First Punic War.

Two ancient legends tell of mythical origins for the city. In the first legend, Trapani stemmed from the sickle which fell from the hands of the goddess Demeter while she was seeking for her daughter Persephone, who had been kidnapped by Hades. The second myth features Saturn, god of the sky, who eviscerated his father Cronus with a sickle which, falling into the sea, created the city. In ancient times Saturn was the god-protector of Trapani. Today Saturn's statue stands in a piazza in the centre of the city.

After the Roman, Vandal, Byzantine and (from the 9th century) Arab dominations, Trapani was conquered by the Normans of Roger I, flourishing under their dominations and having also a role in the Crusades as one of the most important ports in the Mediterranean Sea.

Main sights
Much of the old city of Trapani dates from the later medieval or early modern periods; there are no extant remains of the ancient city. Many of the city's historic buildings are designed in the Baroque style. Notable monuments include:

The Church of Sant'Agostino (14th century, with the splendid rose-window
The Church of Santa Maria di Gesù (15th-16th centuries)
The magnificent Basilica-Sanctuary of Maria Santissima Annunziata (also called "Madonna di Trapani") originally built in 1315–1332 and rebuilt in 1760. It houses a marble statue of the Madonna of Trapani, which might be the work of Nino Pisano, and with the museum Agostino Pepoli.
Fontana di Tritone ("Triton's Fountain")
The Baroque Palazzo della Giudecca or Casa Ciambra.
The Cathedral (built in 1421, but restored to the current appearance in the 18th century by Giovanni Biagio Amico). It includes an Annunciation attributed to Anthony van Dyck.
Church of Maria SS. dell'Intria, another notable example of Sicilian Baroque.
Church of Badia Nuova, a small Baroque church.
Monte Erice is a cable car ride from the city and aside from the cobbled streets and medieval castle, there are views of Tunisia and Africa from up there on clear days.

There are several beaches running along the coast of Trapani, the best of which are at Marausa about 9 km south of the city.

Trapani seen from Erice. The islands of Favignana (left) and Levanzo (right) can
Museum Pepoli, Trapani
Castello della Colombaia
Palazzo Cavarretta in Via Torrearsa
Tower of Ligny and the walls
Villa Margherita
The Walls of Tramontana - historic center