Food and wine itinerary
Between sea and hills, this corner of Sicily offers prodigious fruits of the earth and a gastronomic culture tied to fishing. Top quality olive oil and wine; almonds, citrus fruits and ricotta cheese – the chief ingredient of world famous pastries; not to mention the fish, unlike any found in other places, bringing to life unique recipes such as couscous and tuna-based or other local fish dishes. The strength of this territory lies in the amalgamation of natural, historical, and archaeological beauty with exquisite desserts, unforgettable pasta dishes, tasty fruits and vegetables at the base of innumerable dishes. There is also bread, pizza, ice cream and other culinary traditions linked to traditional festivals. A territory that not only satisfies the eyes, but also gives authentic pleasure to the palate.
The natural attractions of the area allow visitors to experience nature of the western part of Sicily with pleasure, here there is no adventure, risk or danger but on the contrary wellness.
The wellness provided by the shadow which shelters from the sun, by the scent of flowering plants, even rare, which explode in their spring and autumn colours, then burned by the hot summers of Sicily…here nature is a serene pleasure to enjoy with care, through silent paths, solitary climbs, peaceful stops….in which visitors can observe the smallest details of a discreet flora and a far and shy fauna. Moreover, there is the sea and it never leaves you, whether you walk through the tanks of the saltworks, or the steep slopes of Cofano, or the high “trazzere (typical tracks)” of the Zingaro nature reserve, or the coastal routes. And this sea provides not only the backdrop or the scenery, but it gets under your skin and it is itself nature, place for diving, discovery and emotion.
The monumental route begins from Trapani, capital city of the former Province, with its characteristic historical centre – the oldest part of which preserves paved streets and houses with courtyards of Arabic influence.
Along the main streets baroque churches and buildings stand out: noteworthy façades include ‘Palazzo Milo’ on Via Garibaldi, ‘Palazzo Senatorio’ (ie Senate or City Council) on Via Torrearsa, the ‘Chiesa del Collegio dei Gesuiti’ on Corso Vittorio Emanuele: the latter has a richly decorated interior of marble and plaster.
Along the same street is the Cathedral of San Lorenzo, built on a chapel of the Genoa Consulate, presumably of the 11th century, rebuilt in the 17th, with an 18th century portico.
The church of Purgatory (17th century) with an 18th century façade deserves a visit. It houses the sculpted statues of the Mysteries, made in papier-maché (ie wood, canvas and glue), depicting episodes from the Passion of Christ, which are carried in procession on Good Friday.
Not to be missed- the 14th century church of Sant’Agostino (on piazzetta Saturno) with a rose window in chiaramontano Gothic style, and San Domenico (on Piazza San Domenico), which enshrines a Gothic wooden crucifix and three 13th century frescoes in a chapel behind the apse.
It’s a multi-day tour to be followed calmly and unhurriedly, getting up early in the morning and living your gestures as slow motion frames, without effort and with a smile…..today a beach, where you can enjoy your rest or laze around, salty for the last dip, tasting the next one…..and tomorrow a rocky coastline, where possibly with flippers and diving mask you can enjoy a cooler water and its tonic and regenerating action, looking at the colours and all forms of life hiding in the recesses. There are also several mixed zones, where the alternation of sand and rock allows you to have both experiences in a short distance ….so you can choose: here the coast is all for yourselves, whether you’re looking for remote zones, far from the highway routes, very difficult to reach by land, or equipped beaches where life is easier and more comfortable.
Trapani and its coastal hinterland offer many opportunities to those who are looking for the sea….it’s your choice, there are many options: you’ll be able to choose which beach or cove you want to visit tomorrow.
Towers and tunny-fishing factories routes
It’s a landscape and coastal itinerary to be followed as an adventure, a photographic tour in pursuit of unique views, among monuments to the work and strength. If you’re looking for abandoned “tonnare”, although the life and work of entire generations can never be heard, you’ll be able to listen to the rustle of the wind accompanying your curious gaze, through evocative strips of old walls, plays of light and old industrial techniques, to the discovery of corroded tools of the past. Whereas, in the few “tonnare” remaining, today turned into factories or hotels, you can seek their old form. Instead, the many ancient towers will pave the way, because it’s good to remember that there will always be one that observes you from afar and everywhere. Today, these monuments to the strength, these communication, defence and sighting towers suffer fatigue of time: medieval or seventeenth century structures, they are almost always located on steep slopes, or even unreachable: on the top of spurs of rock, high, very high on crests difficult to reach. Today, those which can be reached are always ruins, timeless and without a future, abandoned because of the carelessness of man by a distracted society, but sublime to the gaze, immersed in the blue of the sea, in the grey of the rocks, in the brown of the soils, in the green and in all the colours of a still friendly nature.