Susan had arranged for us to pick up our rental car from the airport, outside of Palermo. Of course, what we didn’t know at the time was that they were in the process of changing the car rental offices at the airport, and while some had already moved to a new location, others hadn’t. The strange thing is that even though the airport is small (and it really is!), it took us quite a while to find the right place. But find it, we did! And before long, we were on the road, ready to begin another leg of our adventure!
The drive from Palermo to Trapani is not a long one. Using the highway, it takes about an hour and a half. As usual, we couldn’t check into our hotel until 15:00, or 3:00pm, so we decided to take a leisurely drive along the coast, making a few stops whenever we found something interesting, or simply wanted to get out of the car.Friends back in the States had told Susan about a little town that they’d visited, and which they loved. The name of the place was Scopello, and since it was situated along the route that we were taking, we decided to stop and check the place out. Scopello is a sleepy little village located on Sicily’s northwest corner. While certainly not on the top of most people’s list of places to visit on the island, over the years the town has become a favorite of the fashionable crowd. There are a couple of B&B’s, restaurants, and even the odd shop or two, along its winding streets.Having done my research, I knew that there was a place that I wanted to see, on the way to Trapani. It was a cave, which had been inhabited the Mangiapane Family for approximately 150 years, since the early 1800’s. It was now a museum, located in the small town of Scurati. In order to arrive at the museum, one must take back roads, but the signage is quite good, and we were able to find it without any problems.Four units of the Mangiapane Family lived in the cave, and farmed the surrounding land. Visiting this site is like taking a step backwards in time. It is wonderful! After leaving the cave, we headed directly for Trapani. Of course, the rooms were not yet ready for us, so we left the luggage at the hotel and set out in search of a place for a quick lunch. Il Bar nel Mezzo was a few blocks away, and we decided to eat there. Susan had a nice salad, while I ordered a panini, and we both opted for a typical Sicilian soft drink, made from fruit juice, sparkling water, and herbs. Everything was wonderful, and we quickly made this our lunch place for the duration of our stay.After lunch, we walked around for a bit, killing time, until we could check into our rooms.As fate would have it, right around the corner from the hotel, there was a bakery that sold the cutest marzipane, among other things. It didn’t take a fortune teller to predict that money would be spent there, before our stay was over!
Next up: More from Trapani, including a visit to the Chiesa del Purgatorio, and the charming hilltop town of Erice!
Note: This blog is written in English and Spanish, and the author takes no responsibility for the quality of any other translations which may appear.