Posted by: Debra Kolkka | May 22, 2022

Trapani, a delightful Sicilian surprise

Trapani is a short trip down the mountain from Erice.

We drove through the newer part of town towards the historic centre, on the tip of the crescent shaped promontory, where we were staying. It was a busy Sunday of a long weekend and the GPS tried to send us down various one way streets and limited zones. We drove around the port area for some time before finally getting a car park.

Not really knowing where we were going, we walked one block from the port and found ourselves in a lovely pedestrian area, filled with people enjoying a warm, sunny day at outdoor restaurants and cafes. We decided we liked Trapani immediately.

The city was established as a port for Erice. Like many Sicilian cities it has a chequered past. Carthage seized control in 260BC, making it a naval base. It ceded to Rome in 241 BC. The Normans took over after Roman, Vandal, Ostrogoth, Byzantine and Arab conquests.

The economy still depends on the sea with fishing and canning being the main local industries. Coral, salt, marble and Marsala wine are important exports.

Lunch was our first thought and we had the best meal we had in Sicily. It was in a family run restaurant, Ristorante Hostaria Sette Sapori, in Via Carosio, just one street back from the main pedestrian area. The friendly man who served us proudly told us his wife made the delicious traditional busiate pasta,a specialty of Trapani.She also made the heavenly cassata cake.

We found our accommodation, Fiveplace Design Suites and Apartments. It was a great modern suite in an ancient building. It was a mini apartment, sliding doors covered a well equipped kitchen, perfect for a longer stay.

Directly across the street were stunning balconies.

We had a balcony with excellent views up and down the street. It was mid afternoon, a quiet time in town.

After dropping our bags off we set off to explore.

This wonderful doorway is now the entrance to a bank.


Well worn lions adorn the arches.

The Baroque Fountain of Saturn was built in 1342 when the Chiaramonte family built the aqueduct that brought clean water from a source located on the slopes of Erice. The statue of Saturn was added later. It was one of the first fountains built with the idea of getting water to houses.

Sant’Agostino church is beside the fountain.

The clock tower in the centre of town is one of the oldest astronomical clocks in Europe, dating back to 1596. The clock has 2 circular dials, the dial of the sun to indicate the astrological signs of the zodiac, the solstices, the equinoxes, the seasons and the cardinal points. The dial of the Lunario marks the phases of the moon. It was part of the old city wall and is the oldest entrance to the city.

The municipal administrative building. It was built in the 17th century with a Baroque style facade.

There are lots of stunning buildings to be found in Trapani.

I am always amused by the wiring on old buildings in Italy.

There are lots of new settings among these lovely old buildings.

We went for a walk along the boardwalk beside the sea.

Trapani is lovely in the evening light.

Tentazione di Gusto in Via Badia Nuova was recommended by the host of the accommodation for dinner and it was excellent. The setting was elegant and the food delicious. There were outside tables and a cute little enoteca.

It was a cool evening so we chose to eat inside.

He also recommended the famous Trapani pasticceria, Colicchia,  for breakfast.


We had already spotted it the day before and lined up for a wonderful granita, one of our favourite things to eat in Sicily. There was a queue each time we went.

Still on food, we could not leave town without a freshly pressed pomegranate juice.

On our way out of the town centre we found the old windmills and buildings belonging to the salt production.

If we return to the west coast of Sicily we will make Trapani the base, and stay there for a few days and do day trips from there. It is a great little town with lots to enjoy.


  1. That’s one of the things I remember about Trapani are the pomegranate juice delicious 😋

    • I love pomegranate juice!

  2. Trapani has been on my list of places to visit for a long time. My partner and I were just talking about it this morning and so it is serendipidous your blog post hit my email noticfications just this afternoon! I am delighted by your description and photos. Thank you for giving me a taste of things to come!

    • We loved it! You can take a chairlift up to Erice and it is only 45 minutes to Marsala, which is where we went next. There is also a fabulous beach nearby which will be the subject of a future post.
      We flew into Palermo and it is an easy drive to Trapani from there.

  3. Deb, I enjoyed Sicily but didn’t visit this city. How impressive is this ancient city’s architecture so well captured in your pictures. Love the Portside esplanade and those fortifications.

    • It is a lovely town, I would happily go back.

  4. Wendy and I went to Sicily a long time ago and then Nick and I went together and consumed lots of pomegranate juice – it was lovely –

    • I love it. With some luck my pomegranate trees will grow some fruit this year.

  5. This was a really pleasant and uplifting post. Everything came together; made a wonderful stay AND a wonderful review. The settings for imbibing, eating and sleeping looked so cozy and welcoming. And; the food was great! It must have made up for previous disappointing locations/experiences. Thanks for sharing this positive and beautiful time; wish I’d been there too!!

    • We loved Trapani and would happily go back and stay longer.

  6. Trapani looks like a really lovely place. Lovely architecture in the old part of town and the food looks great.

    • It was a happy surprise, especially as somebody in Palermo told us it wasn’t worth a visit.

  7. That busiate pasta and the cassata cake look seriously delicious! And it’s still a few hours away from lunch — I might decide to have an early lunch after reading this. I had never heard or read about Trapani, so it’s been a delight to see this visually stunning town through your photos.

    • Both were excellent! Trapani is lovely and we would go back to stay longer.

  8. An outstanding town with marvelous architecture. And the local cuisine looks very yummy.

    • Trapani is lovely, we enjoyed our stay there.

  9. Hi Debra, Sicily is a fascinating, intriguing, wonderful, place and reading about your visit to Trapani is very enticing. There is so much history and so many contrasts in this island. I’ve been to some places in Sicily but not to Trapani (yet). Looking forward to reading about your next visit there. Beautiful photos as usual.
    Robyn in Brisbane

    • Sicily is great. We have been all the way around the island and there are several places we would like to go back to.

  10. So many beautiful photos of the architecture of Trapani. All really stunning.
    Amazing to think someone did not recommend a visit. Loved seeing all the food & presentations plus the locations. No wonder you would return there.

    • I think it was good that we had low expectations. We loved Trapani and I noticed when I was at Pisa airport on the way home that there is a flight from Pisa direct to Trapani…something to keep in mind.

  11. Ah the pomegranate juice in Sicilia ! Brings back wonderful memories . Loved photos of the beautiful architecture in Trapani Debra, will add it to my ever-growing list of places yet to visit . Many thanks .

    • Trapani is a great place. I would go back in a heartbeat.

  12. Great place! We went there last month. You can establish your base here and go to amazing beaches like San Vito lo capo or the fantastic reserva de los zingaros

    • I feel the same way. Next time I will use it as a base and head out from there. We went to San Vito lo Capo and were delighted by it.

Leave a Reply


%d bloggers like this: