Torre della Colombaia - Trapani
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TRAPANI

Situated along the coast, looking towards the Ègadi Islands and not far from beautiful Erice, is where you’ll find Trapani. It was known by the Greeks by the name of Drepanon, which means scythe, probably due to the form of its cape, even though at the time, they were only islands and reefs.

The founding of Trapani came about by the hands of the Sicani, an ancient native population of Sicily, who moved to the East to escape the invasion of the Siculi, who came from the Italian Peninsula, in the 15th Century BC.
Another hypothesis mentions the Elimi, a population which came about from the fusion of the Sicani with the refugees from destroyed Troy, who arrived here in the 13th Century BC, under the command of the great Enea. Either way, its foundation came about before the end of the 2nd millennium BC.
What is certain is that the Phoenicians used it as a commercial port, which was already taken over by the Sicani when they arrived in the 8th Century BC.
Trapani remained under the Carthaginians for centuries until the break-out of war against the Greeks of Syracuse (4th Century BC) and the arrival of the Romans on the Island (3rd Century BC).
Curing the Second Punic War, Amilcare Barca enclosed it with defensive walls (260 BC) and deported many of the inhabitants of Erice there, but the city fell into the hands of the Romans in 241 BC, right after the Battle of the Ègadi, which was won by Rome.

Under Rome, the City knew a period of decline, which continued until the coming of the Byzantines and which was interrupted only half way through the 19th Century, when it was conquered by the Arabs, who fortified it and erected monuments and mosques.
In 1077, the Normans arrived with Count Ruggero, and raised it to a governing City. It therefore became one of the major ports in the Mediterranean, where goods passed through from the major marine powers of the time: Venice, Pisa, Amalfi and Genoa.
In the 16th Century, the walls were reinforced to guarantee greater protection against attacks by the Saracens from the sea and Trapani became isolated from the mainland, with a navigation canal as its only means of access.
It then passed to the Bourbons who resisted together with the rest of the Island until the disembarkation of Garibaldi (1860).
In 1862, after annexation to the Reign of Italy, its defensive walls were demolished as they were no longer thought to be useful.

In the centre of the City one can find Piazza Vittorio Emanuele, where Villa Margherita is situated with its public park, where the remains of the Castle of Terra (Earth Castle, 1186) can be found.
There are many other places of interests in Trapani: the Palazzo della Giudecca from the 16th Century, the Ligny Tower (1671), which hosts the Pre-historic Museum, the Regional “Pepoli” Museum, which hosts a wonderful collection of sculptures, paintings and archaeological remains.
Amongst the churches we can mention: the Church and College of the Jesuits, the Basilica-Sanctuary of Maria Santissima Annunziata (1315-1332), the Church of Saint Augustine (14th Century), the Church of Santa Maria di Gesù (Saint Mary of Jesus).

During the Easter liturgy manifestations in the City, the Procession of Mysteries is held yearly on Good Friday.

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