Hola! Hope you are feeling good! So, this month, I had a fabulous opportunity to visit the town of Trapani in Sicily Italy for the first time, so I organised for a little group of ladies to join me via Blog by Grazielle to explore it. Lara, Kirsten, Marija and a guest photographer Ron Kerr were my travelling companions on this trip – and what a lovely weekend break this was!
Traditionally, the town of Trapani thrives on coral and tuna fishing, with some salt and wine production. These days, Trapani’s port buzzes with ferry traffic to Pantelleria, the Egadi islands and the adjacent historic centre which is a popular place to stroll, for both locals and travellers.
With regards to this vacation, it was one on a budget and I based costings on special offers with Ryanair who had Malta – Trapani – Malta flights at only 17 € (excluding taxes) each way and a bed and breakfast accommodation at the Belveliero Trapani at only 30 euros per night including breakfast to make it very affordable.
Bed & Breakfast Accomodation in Trapani
For the charge of 30 euros per night, I was a little nervous about the quality. However, I must say that I was extremely satisfied with this choice of bed and breakfast accommodation – the Belveliero Trapani Sicily and I will tell you why. Our rooms were spacious, with high ceilings, with a balcony overlooking the sea promenade. My room was pretty with vintage-like furniture and pretty Sicilian tiling. Very clean room with an en-suite bathroom. Free Wi-Fi access. This family-run B & B is managed by a young and very helpful gentleman called Giovanni who was always ready to assist us with things like taxi bookings and recommendations for restaurants, gastronomy tours and sightseeing. Breakfast was also excellent and included coffees, Sicilian croissants, yoghurts, cheeses and also fresh strawberries in season. Located 400m from the ferry harbour, this B & B is pretty central and close to all amenities including bars, restaurants, shops, pharmacies, hair salons and also a vegetable and fish market a few minutes walk away. So, it’s a thumbs up from me!
PLACES OF INTEREST
Either on foot or by catching a taxi for the 5 of us, these are a few of the things we got to experience. More to follow in other blogs coming your way.
We discovered some beautiful sites here in Western Sicily: Segesta, the Salt Pans in Trapani and the Medievial hill-top town of Erice.
Erice is a very pretty destination, located on top of Mount Erice, at around 750 metres above sea level, overlooking the city of Trapani. It provides not only spectacular views but also the little village itself which reminded me somehow of Malta’s Mdina with its narrow winding streets and little cafes and souvenir shops was one we enjoyed exploring. A cable car runs daily from the outskirts of Trapani to the town of Erice except between mid January to mid March. We went there by taxi though since it made more sense to us logistically.
Here there are two castles that remain in the city: Pepoli Castle, which dates from Saracen times, and the Venus Castle, dating from the Norman period, built on top of the ancient Temple of Venus, where Venus Ericina was worshipped. According to legend, the temple was founded by Aeneas. It was well known throughout the Mediterranean area in the ancient age, and an important cult was celebrated in it. In his book On the Nature of Animals, Aelian writes that animals chosen for sacrifice would voluntarily walk up to the altar to be killed.
This is an archaeological site worth visiting. We spent a couple of hours enjoying the site and also the surrounding countryside which was wonderful especially on a sunny day in Spring. Built before 430 BC, the Doric temple is the focal point of Segesta. Just over sixty meters long and twenty-six meters wide, built upon four steps, with a total of thirty-six Doric columns. There are fourteen columns on each side of the building and six columns across the front and back. There is also an amphitheatre. At a diameter of around sixty-two meters, it is not very large but still pretty impressive. It offers a high point from which to view the surrounding valleys.
SALT PANS in TRAPANI
A trip to these salt pans known as Le Saline is a must Today the extraction of salt from the salt pans of Trapani is no longer the main economic activity of the city, but the salt pans themselves, not only constitute an important source of revenue for the salt companies, but also are also important for tourism, because salt pans are the most fascinating monument that a territory could ever have. Since 1995, the salt pans of Trapani have been part of a Nature Reserve, managed by the WWF, and covering nearly one thousand acres.
The salt pans are the refuge for thousands of birds during the migration season, but the area is of particular interest not only for the fauna but also for the flora, in fact, among the characteristic species of the salt pans are the Calendula (Pot Marigold) and one known as the Maltese mushroom, a parasitic plant.
SANT’AGOSTINO – oldest building in Trapani
A few minutes walk from our accommodation, this beautiful Church of Saint Augustine is the oldest building in Trapani and it dates back to the Templars’ period. Milestone of Gothic style, the church is recognisable thanks to the big rose window on its facade. In the little square adjacent to the church is situated the famous Saturn Fountain, from the 14th century, as a representation of the mythological founder of Trapani: the god Saturn.
Osteria i vitelloni
This was our favourite restaurant on this holiday and we not only went once but twice in three days, we enjoyed it so much. We loved the tagliata of beef and the salmon dish as well as the pasta dishes, all served with a smile by the staff who were so pleasant and helpful.
I intend to go into more detail about the ladies who accompanied me on this trip together with some adventures in a separate blog coming up with a special photoshoot I organised for the girls!! So please tune in again to my Blog!