West Sicily is full of fascinating sights and places to see ... Here are some brief descriptions of the major locations
Erice, the medieval village fascination
Erice is located on the top of the mountain that dominates on Trapani, here the gaze is lost between the shades of the Mediterranean Sea. In the medieval perfectly preserved village, visitors are fascinated by the architectural treasures, the cobblestones streets and the blooming courtyards. It’s necessary to visit the San Giuliano Church (11th century), the “Chiesa Madre” (called Matrice) with its majestic gothic portal and the Balio garden, with Torretta Pepoli and Venus Castle (12th century) whose origins belongs to the myth. Since from the beginning, the city was dedicated to the Venus cult, symbol of love and prosperity. A suggestive and alternative way to get the top is by cable car: www.funiviaerice.it
The old village of Scopello is a typical seventeen-century “baglio” and it’s famous for the beauty of its rock coasts and the sea bottom. Among its little bays, it’s possible to see the Scopello sea stack with the next tuna-fishing building, one of the most important and ancient in Sicily. The first buildings date back to 13th century, but the real edifice was built in XV century by Sanclemente family; then, it was of the Society of Jesus and finally of Florio family.
On the rocks it’s possible to see two towers, one from 12th century, but there are just ruins, and the second one from 15th century which the Florentine engineer Camillo Camilliani designed.
San Vito lo Capo
San Vito Lo Capo is one of the most beautiful place for its white sand beach and crystal clear sea water. The village has kept the characteristic of fisherman one with its short and white houses. Close, there is the famous “Riserva dello Zingaro” which is along one of the most suggestive coasts in the Western Sicily. Among the calcareous rocks there are gorgeous bays which it’s possible to get to walking along little paths. In San Vito, they arrange international events such as the International Kite Festival (in May), the San Vito Jazz and the Cous Cous Fest (in September)
Segesta, the mystery of “Elimi”
The Segesta archaeological park is an old town built by Elimi and it is in the north-western Sicily. The old town rises on Monte Barbaro, in the Calatafimi Segestadistrict. The Doric order temple and the theatre (a section is excavated in the rock of the hill) are particularly beautiful. The temple is so well preserved and perfectly built that it’s considered one of the most beautiful temple in all of the ancient times.
Egadi Islands. Favignana, Levanzo and Marettimo
The Egadi Islands archipelago is at any miles far from Trapani and it is formed by the islands of Favignana, Levanzo and Marettimo. It is a magical archipelago, the sea is the prevalent characteristic with its rocks, beaches and untouched bays with crystal clear water and a sea full of life. The cultural interests are different: from the ex Stabilimento Florio, the biggest sea museum in Europe, to the Grotta del Genovese, the most important complex of engravings, graffiti, and paintings in our Country, which date back to the final phase of Paleolithic. To get there, we suggest: www.usticalines.it
The salt pans
The “Riserva Naturale Orientata – Saline di Trapani e Paceco” was established in 1995 and it’s managed by WWF Italia. The salt pans are a very important place where thousands of birds stay during their migration, so the zone has got a particular ornithological interest. Till today, they have taken a census of 208 species of birds; some of them winter (like flamingos, great white heron, hawks), others have their nests. The salt pans surroundings is strongly salty and have got different areas with different plants.