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Situated on western coast of Sicily, Trapani - even if it is a little city - has a lot to offer, so take your time to explore this breath-taking part of the island. Its strategic position on the Mediterranean coast made it a pivotal commercial harbour in the past, but today it is known as the town of the salt and the sailboats, indeed among its main attractions it is necessary to mention the salt mines and the sail boat competitions. But more than that, Trapani shows to travellers the most elegant face of Sicily through its boutiques and chic restaurants nestled in the ancient buildings of the century city. The centre of the town fully represents Sicily, a land of conquers and a coloured chest of cultures. Each historical period left its trace in this place, where any corner of the town displays architectural beauties and artworks from different centuries. Any monument, cathedral, building, fountain and square narrate the rich past of Trapani. Furthermore, another beating heart of the town is its beautiful harbour where the well-known fish market takes place every morning. And obviously you cannot miss to taste all the Sicilian specialties!
This fascinating Sicilian gem fully represents the Italian dolce vita myth. Chic restaurants and shops perfectly blend with the classical architecture of the city, particularly in the ancient town’s main road- Corso Vittorio Emanuele. Sickle-shaped and bordered on both its sides by the sea, Trapani has a real beating heart in its historical centre, around which main places of interest are located together with the central bus station and the ferry terminal to reach the city. Along with the coastal areas of Trapani it is possible to enjoy miles of beautiful beaches where its typical watch towers and windmills dominate the skyline. The shallow waters near the shore make it suitable for relaxing swimming, while further out visitors can sail around the Aegadian archipelago. Furthermore, since tradition plays an important role in Trapani's culture, if you are visiting the city over Easter you cannot miss the Processione dei Misteri (Procession of Mysteries) known throughout Italy for its exceptional extent.
The typical Trapani cuisine, exactly as its monuments, mirrors the encounter between Italian and Arabic culture. Delicious seafood dishes can be enjoyed alongside pizza and pasta delicacies. The tuna, which is caught just off the coast between the city itself and one of its islands - Favignana - is superb, especially when served with local couscous. Sicilian meals tend to be abundant and more inexpensive than in many other areas of Italy, so that you can enjoy a good pizza or a seafood meal for just a few euros. You cannot miss to taste the characteristic Tumma, a curd cheese, and the Insalata Pantescha, a salade composed by tomatoes, onions, potatoes and wine. Restaurants open most lunchtimes and evenings, although the smaller ones usually are closed on Sunday and Monday. As in the rest of Italy, most restaurants ask for a cover charge (coperto) of around 1€ per person.
As in any other city, town, village and hamlet of Italy, here coffee is absolutely a must and a relaxing break that everyone deserve. But Sicily is particularly known for its pastry tradition, that is why you cannot miss to accompany a cup of espresso with a cassatella or a cannolo. In particular, a famous ritual of this region is having breakfast with croissant and slush. Furthermore, for party-goers a night-time croissant before going to bed is imperative! So if you worked hard to fit in your swimsuit, now it's the moment to enjoy some sweet rewards!
Nightlife in Trapani went through a real transformation in the last few years. The city is trying to enlarge is target of attraction and become more suitable also for youngers, so that now it is possible to find here both tranquil places where to spend relaxing nights, and lively pubs and discos where to enjoy Sicilian movida. Hence, whatever is your mood tonight, you can find the right place for you in Trapani and surroundings!
One of the pleasures of exploring Trapani and its surroundings is to discover the little shops that specialise in local crafts, such as ceramics or leather goods. These shops are by far the best places where to buy souvenirs, since they are actually made on the premises. The choice is usually wider and the authenticity unquestionable. Trapani is a small city, also for this it doesn't have a proper shopping centre, but you can easily find whatever you need in the supermarkets scattered all over the town or head over to the outdoor markets, where some of the best shopping can be done. At the vibrant markets in the Old town, you can buy local merchandise at really low prices, perfect when looking for souvenirs or gifts to bring back home. And when looking for clothes, head over to Via Torrearsa and Via Garibaldi also in the Old town, where plenty of trendy fashion boutiques selling women- and menswear are located. Erice is particularly known for traditional souvenirs and antiques, whereas on island Favignana you can find a wide variety of products associated with its tuna catches. Lastly, if you are looking for chic boutiques where to buy a piece of Italian design Pantelleria Island is the best place.
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