Mazara del vallo is located in a zone in the South-West Sicily characterized by the presence of many historical cities.
These places have witnessed the arrival of the main dominations of the island and they keep narrating us the memories of a long history.
Many interesting traces of the past are spread in cities like Selinunte, Segesta and Erice that boast proudly their amazing architectural beauties.
Awesome landscapes and breathtaking natural beauties characterize this sunny area of the Sicilian coast.
Located in front of the Egadi Islands, Marsala is famous all over the world for its wine.
This city has witnessed the departure of Garibaldi and his thousand companions conquering Italy and it has known several dominations: Greek, Spanish, Normans, Swabians, Angevins and Aragonians.
The urban architecture reflects these manifold civilizations mixing together Baroque elements with the Arabian style and Spanish decorations.
Founded initially by the Phoenicians who called the city Lilybaeum, that is to say the city in front of Libia, the current name of Marsala (Marsa-Alì = port of Alì) was chosen by the Arabs.
The city of Marsala keeps some fascinating pearls: an amazing seafront characterized by hundreds of aligned palm trees, the salt-works, their typical windmills and the famous stagnone (big pond) that include the island of Mothia.
Located thirty kilometres from Mazara del Vallo, the city of Selinunte is characterized by a beautiful beach and an archaeological park that attracts visitors from all over the world. Selinunte was founded in 650 B.C. by the Greeks originating from the city of Megara Iblea and it was a bitter enemy of Segesta, a neighbouring town.
Geographically vulnerable, in 409 B.C. Selinunte was invaded and pillaged by the Carthaginians who only left ruins behind them.
The archeological park is one of the most important in Europe, it includes several temples, sanctuaries and sacred altars.
The site includes three main zones: the acropolis, the oriental hill with the famous temple of Era and the sanctuary of Malaphoros.
Most of the sculptures and the findings have been transferred to the archeological museum of Palermo.
The incomplete Doric temple built on the Barbato mountain and the theatre are everything that remains of the old city of Segesta, enemy of the near Selinunte.
The city was founded by the Elymians, legendary survivors of the Trojans, in the IV century B.C.
Thanks to the alliance with Carthage, the Elymians of Segesta destroyed Selinunte in 409 B.C.
One century later the tyrant Agathocles, at the head of Selinunte, took his revenge by pulverizing Segesta and repopulating the city with Greeks. The construction of the temple and the theatre dates back to this period.
The Doric temple is still in good condition and its columns rise up powerfully in the middle of the wild nature of the Barbato mountain.
The theatre is located a short distance from the temple: it dates back to the Roman domination (III century B.C.), it has a semicircular shape and it can welcome up to four thousand people.
Erice is one of the most visited cities of Sicily and it overtops the 750 meters-high Eryx mountain.
The city is located in an amazing place that offers unforgettable panoramic views to its visitors.
The road network of Erice is characterized by a labyrinth of small streets and stairs that have kept their medieval charm.
The amazing castle of Venus, situated in the highest part of the city, was built in the XII century by the Normans.
The Elymians, descendants of the Trojans, founded the city in the V century B.C.
Greeks and Carthaginians contended for a longtime the city of Erice for its strategic position.
Erice was in the hands of the Romans until the 241 B.C. and then, in the medieval age, it was dominated by Arabs and Normans.
The churches of the city deserve a visit: the main church in Gothic style and decorated by a wonderful rose window and the San Giovanni church that has kept its ancient portal.
Erice has an important production of ceramics, bags, carpets and delicious almond cookies.
Iles Egades and Pantelleria
The Egadi islands are made of an archipelago of three main islands (Favignana, Marettimo and Levanzo) and two minors (Formica and Maraone), located ten kilometers from the West coast of Sicily, between Marsala and Trapani.
These islands are characterized by gorgeous sea-beds, amazing caves, crystalline water and a wild nature. This is a real haven of peace where the time seems to have stopped.
Pantelleria is the widest of the satellite island of Sicily and it is only eighty kilometers away from the coast of Tunisia.
The typical habitation of Pantelleria is the dammuso, a cone shaped construction made of squared stones.
The volcanic nature of the island facilitates the cultivation of grapevines and capers and the water of the pond of Venus has energizing powers.
The island has been renamed “the black pearl of the Mediterranean sea” for the black colour of its soil and “daughter of the wind” for the omnipresence of strong winds.