Traipsing Through Trapani
Posted on February 21, 2013 by sguese
If you asked the ancients about Trapani, they would know it well, once at the heart of a powerful trading network that stretched from Carthage to Venice. If you ask travelers today about Trapani, they might only notice its concrete block apartments. While Trapani might not be the trading center it once was and the concrete block apartments still stand, this city on Sicily’s western coast has subtle traces of its former glory. From the atmospheric streets, baroque buildings and typical Sicilian cuisine, Trapani converges with all sorts of appeals for visitors.
Museo Nazionale Pepoli
A former Carmelite monastery, the Museo Nazionale Pepoli is one of Trapani’s best museums. It houses the collection of Conte Pepoli. Conte Pepoli saved much of Trapani’s local arts and crafts. Inside the museum, you can see garish coral carvings, Gagini sculptures, silverworks and archaeological artifacts.
Santuario dell’ Annunziata
A major sight in Trapani, the 14th century Santuario dell’Annunziata rests just 4 kilometers east of the city center. It holds the Capella della Madonna behind its high altar. The chapel contains the Madonna di Trapani, thought to be the work of Nino Pisano.
Palazzo Riccio di Morana
Trapani, like the rest of Sicily, experienced several different conquerors throughout history. To see the Spanish ruling period in this area, head to Palazzo Riccio di Morana, an 18th century baroque palace. Situated on Via Garibaldi, just in front of the palazzo you will find most of Trapani roaming in the evening hours. The nightly passegiata takes place here.
Museo di Preistoria e del Mare
Another one of Trapani’s standout museums is the Museo di Preistoria e del Mare. The museum contains a collection of prehistoric artifacts and medieval objects recovered from shipwrecks just off the coast. If museums aren’t your thing, a visit here is still worth it for the great views from the top of its tower.
A visit to Trapani wouldn’t be complete without getting to know its Centro Storico. The medieval core of the city sits on a headland jutting out into the sea. The most ancient part was constructed in typical North African style, meaning the streets are a tightly knit maze of passageways.
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