This city, 32km, (19 miles) north of Marsala, has been a lively port town since Phoenician times and was once the centre of trade in coral, tuna and salt with the Levant, Carthage and Venice. Until recently it was seen as a workaday city in which to kill time before the next ferry to the islands. But Trapani now has an elegant historic centre with restored churches and palaces, and a new seafront promenade. The old city is squeezed onto a narrow promontory that juts far into the sea, and the outskirts trail off into salt marshes where windmills catch Mediterranean breezes.
The sprawling modern outskirts are hardly welcoming but once in the old town it’s well worth taking the time to stroll down the Corso Vittorio Emanuele to the Torre di Ligny, a recently restored squat Spanish fortress, built in 1671, at the end of the promontory. The tree is lined with Baroque palaces and churches, and the sea poetically frames the end of the narrow side streets.
Trapani’s airport is now an arrival point for low cost carriers, and from its port ferries sail to the Egadi Islands and Pantelleria as well as to Genova and Livorno, further away on mainland Italy.

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