Trapani is an attractive coastal city with miles of sandy beaches, superb cuisine and an historic town center of churches, piazzas and palaces. Bathe in warm waters, tour ancient buildings and dine on Sicilian specialties in chic bars and restaurants.
During the Middle Ages, the city was a thriving trade hub owing to its position halfway between Europe and Tunisia. Following a period of decline, Trapani received a facelift after being selected to host the Americas Cup in 2005.
Start your tour of Trapani’s historical attractions at the Chiesa del Purgatorio (Church of Purgatory), located in the heart of the city. This church houses the 18th-century Misteri, 20 life-size wooden figures that tell the story of Christ’s suffering during the last few hours of his life. Panels written in English explain the role of each figure. If you are here at Easter, don’t miss the I Misteri procession, when the statues are paraded through the streets accompanied by music and dancing.
Nearby, find the Museo Nazionale Pepoli (the Pepoli Museum) , housed in a former Carmelite monastery. Admire the collection of art pieces from the area, including medieval pictures. Drive for a few minutes out of the city to the Museo del Sale (Salt Museum) to find out about Trapani’s long history of salt production.
A half-hour walk to the east of the city center will take you to the Santaurio dell Annunziata (Shrine of the Annunciation). The exterior of this 14th-century church features a grand bell tower, but the main reason to visit is the marble sculpture of the Madonna di Trapani, the patron saint of the city.
Take advantage of Trapani’s coastal location by relaxing on its beaches, a 20-minute walk from the city center. For more secluded beaches, visit the nearby Egadi Islands or take a drive for approximately 23 miles (37 kilometers) up the coast to San Vito Lo Capo.
Trapani’s close proximity to Africa has influenced its cooking, with lots of traditional Sicilian dishes infused with exotic African spices. Sample some of this cuisine in the old town’s restaurants or in those along the coast.
To experience Trapani's beaches, history and cuisine, arrive by boat or plane.