Trapani is a city in the Italian island of Sicily. It is a beautiful historic city with an impressive Basilica (Madonna di Trapani), a 17th century Cathedral and magnificent examples of Baroque architecture, such as the Palazzo della Guidecca. The colorful fishing port is also worth visiting. Trapani is the gateway to the offshore Aegadian Islands.
The city has well over 70,000 inhabitants.
Trapani is located on the northeast of Sicily and is situated on a peninsula that stretches into the Mediterranean, in fact the city is wedged between the sea and Mount Erice (751 m). The city´s name originally comes from the Greek word Drepanon, which means sickle, and is called this way because of the curve shaped harbor.
Fishery and the processing of fish products are the main pillars of the local economy. Other important export products are salt (from the large saltpans nearby Trapani), marble and wine. Not only the many fishing boats, but also various ferry boats make intense use of the port. Ferries depart to the Aegadian Islands, Sardinia and Tunis (the capital city of Tunisia).
The airport of Trapani, Vincenzo Florio Airport lies 13 kilometers to the south of the city. There are domestic flight connections to the Sicilian capital city, Palermo, the island of Pantelleria and to Pisa, Milan and Rome on Italy's mainland. The budget airline Ryanair offers flights to a few cities within Italy and to several other cities in the rest Europe.
Trapani's public transport consists of 13 bus lines but bear in mind that the buses do not always stick to the schedule. A cable-lift will take you to the top of Mount Erice. Other places in Sicily can be reached by bus, however, most bus lines do not run regularly. There is only a frequent bus service to Palermo.
There is a clear distinction between the old and the new part of town. The old town can best be explored on foot. Because of its more orderly street pattern, it is much easier to drive by car through the new part of town. You can park your car on the street, but take into account that in the city center it is paid parking.
Several fine highways connect Trapani with other places in Sicily, such as Palermo, Catania and Messina. The coastal road to Mazara del Vallo is very comfortable as well. Other roads are winding and narrow, therefore it is important to drive cautiously.
Trapani has a good range of hotels and simple guesthouses to offer. There are both atmospheric hotels in old buildings and modern luxurious hotels (such as the Crystal Hotel next to the train station). Normally you can easily find available accommodation, except around Easter when thousands of people visit the colorful Easter procession.
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