At one point in its history, Trapani was considered one of the most important political and economic centers in all of Sicily. Because of its location, the city acted as a gateway to North Africa, which is surprisingly close. No matter where you are in this city, you are never far from the sea. All that one needs to do is to walk either north, west, or south, and you are bound to end up at water!Standing on a battlement, and looking out to sea, it is easy to imagine a time when it was necessary to keep watch against invading people or pirates. Piazza Mercato del Pesce is a lovely semi-circular square, with a statue in the center. The good thing about living in a city like this is that if, for some reason, you miss the opening hours of the fish market, you can always go and catch your own dinner.We passed a very interesting artist’s studio on one of the side streets, but it was closed, and so we didn’t have a chance to check it out. Everything that I’d read about Trapani mentioned that a visit to the nearby hilltop town of Erice was a MUST, and that it was relatively easy to do. There is a cable car, which will take you up the mountain to Erice. It is possible to arrive at the cable car via public transportation — the bus number 203, and on Sundays and holidays — numbers 201 and 202. It is a ten-minute ride up to the town at the summit of the mountain, and the views can only be described as spectacular!As you enter into the town, through one of the gate cut-outs of the ancient Phoenician walls, you feel as if you are entering another time. If you can look past the many tourist shops that line the main road, and take the time to explore the alleyways and side streets, you will be rewarded with sights and experiences, which you will never forget!Having arrived in Erice around 16:00 (4:00pm), we simply didn’t give ourselves enough time to explore the town like I had wanted to. But, that is fine. There is always the next time, and the next visit — for I know that this is a town that I need to return to!
Next up: Still more from Trapani, including a visit to the Tonnara di Favignana!
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.