Less well-known to foreign tourists, Trapani is a good base for exploring much of western Sicily. Once at the heart of a powerful trading network between Carthage and Venice, tuna fishing, salt and wine production were the principal activities.
Little is left today of the town’s ancient history but the now largely-pedestrianised old town is still worth a visit, not least for landmarks such as the Torre della Colombaia. Trapani’s most interesting churches include the 14th century Cattedrale di San Lorenzo and the Chiesa del Purgatorio which houses the twenty wooden Misteri statues which play such a key role in the atmospheric Easter procession.
Locally, the beaches at San Vito lo Capo and the Zingaro Nature Reserve are within easy reach of Trapani. Other nearby attractions include the wine town of Marsala, the Egadi Islands and the temple at Segesta.