It was only a 34-minute drive (22.68 km) from Marsala to our next destination, which was the city of Mazara del Vallo. Since we still had a couple of hours before we could each check into our respective hotels, we killed time by exploring the coastline, and the small towns that lined it. Trying to keep to the coastline, we realized that we needed to head inland a little, in order to cross the river, to enter the old section of Mazara del Vallo, when we ended up in the shipyard parking area.Luckily, Susan and I, both, find humor in the making of wrong turns, etc. So, the drive into the the historical center of Mazara was quite the comical one. Susan was staying at a small B&B, located right on the river. I, on the other hand, had booked a room at a hotel that I found on Booking.com: Meliaresort. This is a lovely hotel, and I highly recommend anyone traveling through Mazara del Vallo to try and stay here. The rooms are very nice, and furnished in a very classic Mediterranean style, with notes of North Africa thrown in. As soon as one enters the space, one relaxes. And the staff could not have been nicer! It really was a wonderful experience. Now, let me say, right from the start, that I loved Mazara del Vallo. I expected to like it, as I always do plenty of research before selecting the towns that I visit. But, I had no idea that Mazara was such an art-filled city. I have never seen so much art on city streets before! Painted ceramic tiles decorate nearly every single street and wall in the historical center of town. These are beautiful works of art, done by various artists. Painted ceramic vases line piazzas. We literally spent hours walking the streets, looking at the treasures that line every alleyway, every twist in the road. You will see examples of these on this blog, over the next few weeks, as I document my stay in Mazara. The hotel was located in a section of the old town referred to as the Casbah. This is an area mostly inhabited by Tunisian immigrants. Walking though this area, it is easy to picture yourself in a small town in North Africa. The call to prayer is broadcast through the streets, from the nearby mosque, a few times each day. It was beautiful to hear this, as one explored the tiny streets, or rested in one of the hotel’s lovely rooms.
Next up: more from Mazara del Vallo, including a visit to the ruins of the Chiesa di S. Ignazio!
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.