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Are you looking for the best things to do in Trapani, the culturally rich land of Sicily? If so, we have got you covered!
Trapani in Sicily is as picturesque and magical as its history. This crescent-shaped coast alongside the Italian coastline is full of activities, architecture and history. It is not only beautiful because of its geographical location; it also has a rich cultural aspect. Trapani is home to the twin towers, the watchtower, a pilgrim church, and a monastery museum with many valuable archaeological artefacts. There is absolutely no shortage of things to do in Trapani.
Below is the list of places you can explore and experience much more that Trapani has to offer.
Things To Do In Trapani, Sicily
1. The Cathedral Of Saint Lawrence (Cattedrale di San Lorenzo)
The Cathedral is the main attraction of Trapani. You can recognize the beauty of the building from afar. Considering it is the oldest church in the city, it has also been renovated multiple times in history. Hence, its architecture and design have been modulated various times throughout its lifetime till now. But the main attraction has always been its white-washed walls, along with arched ceilings and gorgeous paintings over them.
The beauty of the long hall comes to life only during the festive time in the city. For the rest of the regular days, it remains a sanctuary for travelers, tourists and people who want to bathe themselves in the serenity of the Basilica. The Cathedral of Saint Lawrence is one of the must see things to do in Trapani.
2. Torre di Ligny
Another attractive monument in Trapani Sicily that has historical significance is the Ligny Tower. You will find it on the city’s western coast, standing tall as a symbol of the city guarding the place against the coastline. And that was the purpose it was being made in the first place. The tower was built between 1671 and 1672. It was built to defend the city from a group of Muslim pirates called Barbary Corsairs.
The tower is designed as an old-style lighthouse. You would see an entrance and four windows strategically built to place the four lanterns. Guns were also placed later to guard the city as well as to send instructions in the city as per the guidelines. It was later abandoned but then it played a huge role during World War II.
3. Palazzo Cavarretta (The Twin Clock Tower)
Among the old and new architecturally built buildings, the Twin Clock Tower building stands in the middle and it might look naturally lit only at a certain hour during the day, because of the dense, tall buildings all around it. At night, the lighting of the tower adds to its beauty. Though the building of the tower might look old, the functioning of the tower and the lighting suits the gorgeous design.
The lower half of the tower serves as an entrance and the upper half simply has spellbinding architecture. The Italian flag adds the perfect color to the otherwise white-washed building. The leading streets towards Centro Storico are filled with wonderful facades. There could be nothing more beautiful than the night at the Centro Storico.
If there is a clock tower at one end, there is an open square on the other end. The lighting showers on every building and it would make for a perfect picture for your Instagram feed.
4. Museum of Illusions
It’s not all churches and old buildings in Trapani. There is one place where you can have more fun than any theme park around the world and that is the Museum of Illusions. It is a museum of optical illusions. You can go all upside down there and have a time of your life. It is the first museum of its kind in the entire of Italy. There is a guided tour available at the museum. On the tour, you can explore art, architecture, physics, psychology and optical illusions.
5. Madonna di Trapani
The statue of the Madonna, white as milk, life-sized, weighing 12 ton and 165 cm stands calmly here adorned with golden and brass frescoes and sculptures all around her. This is the pilgrimage church of the Virgin Mary. It was founded in the 13th century but was replaced by the large church. It was again renovated in the 14th century and since then it has been preserved. The white and golden halls lead to the chapel of the Virgin Mary. The design of the church is spell-binding.
6. The Agostino Pepoli Regional Museum
Trapani is a city that has such a profound history that we rarely find in any of the cities in the world. People here have made sure to preserve that history as that is the identity of the city. To understand and know more about it, you need to visit the Agostino Pepoli Regional Museum. It is one of the most important museums in Sicily.
What makes it important is its collection. The collection includes the private collection of Sierra Pepoli and Neapolitan paintings. You will also find a statue of San Giacomo by Antonello Gagini that dates back to 1522. Moreover, since the museum is in the Carmelite Monastery, it adds a different aura to the art and sculpture in the museum.
The sculptures are made of marble and stone. It has Renaissance sculptures, Industrial paintings and Risorgimento memorabilia. You can easily spend hours gazing at every single piece here.
7. A Visit To Trapani Old Town And Harbor
A walk through the center of Trapani is a must to imbibe the feel of the city. At the west of Piazza Umberto and the rail station is Trapani Old town. A lot of history has been made at this place. But today, you will find this place perfect for long walks and romantic evenings. You will find many eateries here too. During the day, this area acts as a harbor. A lot of ships load and unload here. While as the night comes, the same harbor becomes silent and turns twice as beautiful as it is in the day.
8. Mount Cofano Nature Reserve (Riserva Naturale Orientata Monte Cofano)
The beauty of Sicily not only resides in the paved roads and mediaeval architectures, but it also resides in nature spread around the coast. The best way to enjoy it is to visit Mount Cofano Nature Reserve. The land as well as the Mountain gives a serene sense to the soul. And the coast on one side brings the best of both worlds. There are two entrances to the reserve. The east coast is in the Gulf of Macari and the west coast is in Cornino.
There are three trails to explore the whole reserve and you will find many surprises along the way. There is immense flora and fauna to discover throughout the reserve. Rabbits, Fox, Weasel, Porcupines and many a variety of plants like dwarf palms, rock cabbage, The Bivona Spurge etc can be found here.
9. Dine At La Giuditta
When you are in Sicily, you need to part the Italian way. You need to party with the community along with the food and the drinks. La Giuditta is the perfect place for all of it. You might not see the perfect beauty of this place during the day. However, as soon as the day turns to twilight the area lights up and the people regional as well as tourists come together at this place.
A long list of cocktails and mocktails, different types of cuisines, perfect aura to dance and be free. You would find the perfect vibe here. From silent discos to hookah bars, your preference would be taken care of.
10. Visit The Salt Pans
Any visit to Trapani is incomplete without seeing the formations of the natural salt pans on the Sicilian fields. Salt production was a part of the economy in the 15th century which continued for decades. You will see salt pools and few windmills on the fields that were a part of traditionally produced salt. Taking a tour of the salt road is one of the most unique and fascinating things to do in Trapani. You will also spot flamingos and many migratory birds around the salt pools. The hues of the reflection of sun over the salt fields is a site to admire. Click here for a tour of the salt pans and the museum for an insightful experience.
General Information On Trapani, Sicily
How To Get To Trapani
The easiest and quickest way to reach Trapani is by flight as the city has a well connected international airport. It is just 18 kms from Trapani downtown.
Alternatively, you can arrive in Trapani by train from major destinations such as Palermo, Marsala and Mazara del Vallo. Bus services are also available from the nearby towns including Palermo.
Where To Stay In Trapani
To make the most of your trip, the best place to stay in Trapani is its historic center. This area is closest to the beaches, numerous restaurants and the attractions you would be visiting during your stay. You will find a mix of accommodations including hotels, apartments and airbnbs here. Below are some of our top recommendations from which you can choose your perfect stay in Trapani as per your budget.
Budget (Upto €55) : Barone Sieri Pepoli is a centrally located bed and breakfast facility. It is a great option for families, backpackers and couples who are looking for budget friendly accommodation in the historic center of Trapani. The hosts are welcoming and helpful. Rooms are clean, comfortable and well equipped. The property also has a sun terrace overlooking lovely views of the city. Airport shuttle, free WiFi and rental cars are some of the other convenient facilities that you can avail at the property.
Mid- Range (€55 – €100) : Hotel San Michele is another pocket friendly option in Trapani’s historic center. It is just a 5 minute walking distance from the harbor. Rooms are bright, spacious, clean and comfortable. Airport shuttle, buffet breakfast, free WiFi and biking rentals are some of the other convenient facilities available at the hotel.
Luxury (€100+) : Palazzo Gatto Art Hotel & SPA is a beautiful 4 star hotel in central Trapani. The rooms are elegantly decorated and are just like a work of art. The property has world class spa facilities, a lovely sun terrace, wellness center, art galleries, tour rentals and other convenient facilities for guests. Staying at this artistic hotel is an experience in itself while you are in Trapani.
Did we miss any of the best things to do in Trapani? Let us know your favorite attractions in Trapani in the comments.