Corso Umberto is Mazara’s main shopping street. For the most part, it is pedestrian only. The street is lined with shops and cafés, and is a favorite spot for the Passeggiata — or the evening stroll that seems to be popular in most Italian cities and towns. The street is also notable for the large vases that adorn it. These are each painted by different artists, like the tiles on the neighboring streets, and are quite beautiful. Even the benches on Corso Umberto are decorated.The tiled steps led down to a walkway along the Fiume Mazaro — the Mazaro River. Mazara del Vallo has the largest fishing fleet in all of Italia. Fish caught by these boats can be found in restaurants all over the country, and in most of Europe. Right in the middle of the Casbah, you can find the lovely church of San Francesco and its adjoining convent. The doors to the convent are the ones which are to the left of the entrance to the church, in the photo above. If these are open, go inside. We did, and I am so glad as it was an experience that I will never forget!
The convent is no longer in use. Signs of deterioration are everywhere. Yet, it is remarkably beautiful and peaceful when you are inside. I was surprised that we were allowed access to the rooms — not only those off of the beautiful cloister, but also those on the floor above, or the first floor, as the Italians would say. By the time that we finished exploring the convent, the church itself was closing for the day. So, we decided to come back to see that, later in our stay.
Next up: a visit to the lovely Church of San Francesco, and also a stroll along the Lungomare!
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.